I’ve had several conversations in the last year or so about how Sundays have shifted from being days for church to normal days full of athletic activities, football, and shopping. One commentator suggests this change is due to larger sociological forces:
The revolution in the American Sunday was wrought not so much by paganism as it was by sociology. The workweek shrank from six to five days, and with two days free each week, Sunday lost its specialness. Women went to work, and retailers had to adjust their hours to suit them. The traditional American Sunday, which consisted largely of attending church and abstaining from work, was conditioned by cultural circumstances that no longer existed. Americans could not adapt themselves to 19th-century agrarian life.
So Sundays are the way they are because of an extended weekend, more women in the workforce, and an information-age society? Were all these changes necessary for this to come to pass or would have one, say the extended weekend, been enough to erode the importance of Sundays? What about the rise of the NFL? If these larger social forces are responsible for this change, what could religious congregations or others do to re-promote the Sunday as sabbath idea?
I wonder if someone has some hard data on when and how exactly this shift took place…