Protestants love to highlight Constantine as affecting the overall implementation of Sunday within the church. While I do agree on several of their points, I believe his actions were almost all being “secular” when dealing with such matters concerning Sunday. I have in some other articles demonstrated where he took away pagan permissions that were then around, and his earlier true Judah Julian branch house(Este female line) of Emperor Julius abolished homosexuals and rooted out these false religions. His line was of the House of Este Italy (who is shown to be the male line of Anenaeus of Troy, with Genealogy to the other branch of Judah Zarah*). It was under that successor a temporary genealogical Judah line in Rome had put down all sodomy and pagan religions were largely removed. I hope you will enjoy this additional information on that topic. l have to open up this larger topic, at least first with quotes from my book
'De sabbat in de ware orthodoxe kerk' (oost en west) BOEK GEPUBLICEERD DOOR ONZE KERK. It’s not so simple but it’s very edifying I believe.
I hope we can give Constantine a little more chance, especially as he himself was a descendant of St Joseph of Arimathea through his mother St Helena(British Hebrew line of Pharez Judah and of King David).
We see that Constantine may had kept Sabbath from one writing (at least):
+Bishop St Theodoret of Cyrrhus, an Early Church Father (c. 393-458A.D.), Regarding a trial of the heretic Arius, Theodoret wrote that both the Emperor Constantine and Bishop Alexander “waited until after the Sabbath to admit Arius”, to hear his languishing plea.
St Theodoret still called Sabbath the Sabbath. Regarding the Ebionites He said “they conduct their lives according to the law of Moses, they confess that the Saviour and Lord was born of a virgin. They use only the Gospel according to Matthew, and they honour the Sabbath according to the law of the Jews, and celebrate the Lord’s day very similarly to us.” (Book IV: About Arius and Book II: About Ebion the poor)
(See also my page 51 of my book on Sabbath in the *True Orthodox church, as will be quoted below. )
On the topic of refuting the Protestant over-emphasis on Ecumenism within the hundreds of independent Orthodox jurisdictions. They may have some points Latin Rome(minus the numerous pre-existing Orthodox Monastic jurisdictions of the West who remained in full communion with the East) , but Constantinople initiated the break away on the very point of the Sabbath itself, as the highest point that they would not violate Sabbath to keep Rome’s traditions. I have a whole chapter on that primary reason of the Great Schism(as proven in the most major points in the correspondence), but will be quoting on other parts about the ecumenism overall below. Besides Constantinople also claimed the title “Ecumenical Patriarch” and would only address Rome’s bishop as a “brother”, not a superior. I highlighted these points in my book on the following pages.:
From page 13:
As I quote from numerous authoritative sources, you will find that at the heart of the Great Schism breakaway was the issue of the 7th Day (Saturday) Sabbath. You will find even among the Latin church jurisdictions that Sabbath on Saturday continued unhindered, and the Sunday laws were ignored. To most the Roman pope was seen just as one of any other normal Jurisdiction of a Bishop. He wasn’t held higher than any other. Many of the Early Ecumenical Church Councils didn’t even invite Rome to attend.
Still today, there are numerous Orthodox rites which are based on the Didascalia, where the 7th Day Sabbath is codified in all liturgical guidance. Those are mostly known as the Eastern Orthodox church today.
From page 18:
In this booklet I also demonstrate from several current local and mainstream Orthodox Church publications, that they officially declare Saturday(7th day Sabbath) is a holy festival day above the other days of the week.
We’re also sealing up many loopholes in this book. Some Protestants have misquoted the small local church council of Laodicea, mistakenly thinking that this small unknown council was the authority that Catholics have used to change the Sabbath to Sunday. However, that is a very careless assumption. It takes just a small check to confirm that the smaller council of Laodecia was never universally accepted among Roman Western Catholics nor the Eastern Orthodox. It is not even included as one of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The local Laodecian council was held in a time of war with much political upheaval. However even within the text of the canons decided there, it also specifies and endorses Saturday Sabbath observance within it. We should not leave out some parts of the council that agreed the Sabbath should be kept while only quoting the ones which appear only to forbid a version particular version of Saturday/Sabbath keeping “when it is done in a Judaizing manner”. We will quote some of those canons later on in this book. We also cover several other canons of the larger councils, and several concrete Orthodox theologies that promote the Sabbath.
Most Orthodox do not even embrace five out of the seven ecumenical councils. Much of the Orthodox world typically claims only to adhere to three of the councils. So even if one of the big seven ecumenical councils did in fact disregard Sabbath entirely then it would still be a moot point. However, that never happened. Yet even still if it did, clearly there are in all the texts a responsibility handed down to the local Bishops and their local Dioceses to keep the services going on Saturdays as they have priests available. This is evident in many of the established liturgies, like Saint Basil(+Saint James the Holy Apostle Liturgy), and even the Western Sarum Missal, (the English Liturgy, BCP), and in the numerous Celtic Collects (Liturgical Prayers), these all have assumptions Saturday is kept in a Sabbatical way. We will get into these further in this book. The Divine Liturgy of St Basil contains major declarations of the blessings on the Holy Sabbath of God on Saturday (the 7th day of the week). While the English BCP does have Collects for Saturday explicitly outlining our adherence to the Sabbath, in the Preface it mentions many of the festal celebrations aren’t included in the book. It says these can differ per congregation depending on the availability of ministers, and to check with your local Bishop or Archbishop if any further questions arise for the additional services. There is always much autonomy provided for, and responsibility assumed, for each local Diocese that administers the Sacraments to the people, to ensure they are striving to grow the feasts.
There are no major councils rejecting the Sabbath, and even the minor councils have stopped short, citing only if the Saturday should be kept with Christian liturgies and not the Jewish. Yet herein this book you’ll find that often some of the most important jurisdictions were given this label of Judaizing and being ignorant of Sunday and other non-Hebrew days etc. Even the Seventh Ecumenical Council never attacked Sabbath. However, they reiterated that only the ones doing Jewish traditions secretly (on top of the normal Saturday services) are to be pushed back completely into Judaism and excluded from the Christian church services. Yet still the council still regarded Sabbath a Holy day, but just admonished all to keep it in the Christian way. The canon therein just called for a full communion of its members, not only part way. In this council it highlighted that new converts who were visibly not fully converted from the heart, but after being baptized in the Orthodox church had retained several distinguishing parts of Judaism. It merely says that in those cases they should go back to their religion and be fully openly Jews. This was a reiteration of earlier councils who said the same, while still admonishing Christians to keep Saturday as a day of rest, or worship, hearing the Scriptures in church, and of course the mandatory feasting. Yet still this council wasn’t widely accepted and didn’t reach our Orthodox Celtic jurisdictions.
Those who say that Rome had changed the Sabbath for the whole world are totally misinformed. For the proof, just read the canons of the Council of Trullo. There they confirmed in five canons, four directly, that the Sabbath (Saturday) remained a feast day for the Church.
Trullo was no minor Church Council. Emperor Justinian convoked the Council, at which 211 Bishops attended, of whom the principal were the four Patriarchs, Paul of Constantinople, Peter of Alexandria, Anastasius of Jerusalem, George of Antioch. Next in the subscriptions are named John of Justinianopolis, Cyriacus of Cesarea in Cappadocia, Basil of Gortyna in Crete.
One may also find that the liturgical services on the Saturday Sabbath are exhaustive enough to demonstrate that the full Sabbath was kept and continues to be kept in the East and in the West. The Byzantine and Syriac rites of Orthodoxy claim the “Constitutions of the Holy Apostles(Didascalia)” to be the basis of their liturgy. I will quote the Saturday Sabbath references from these texts. These serve as numerous affirmations Sabbath keeping has remained assumed within the Orthodox church overall (East and West).
Most of the Orthodox Faithful do claim to follow the fundamental principles of Sabbath keeping in one way or another, on Saturday.
Many others have embraced anti-Semitism as the basis for rejecting the Sabbath. Simply because they don’t want what is Jewish, and for this zeal they refuse to be scholarly on the topic. This would be at least irresponsible for any Christian.
We find in the Scriptures and history that the Christian nations do fulfill all the definitions, prophecies and identifications of God’s true Israel. So there again is a moot point for rejecting the Sabbath based on anti-Semitism, when actually we are all factually Semitic (sons of Abraham through Isaac)! The true Israel has always had a remnant who keep the Sabbath. God foretold that He would preserve the Sabbath as a National sign that we are His people throughout every generation (Exo 31:13).
One way God has preserved this sign of the Sabbath among His true Israel Nations, is probably found in the freedom we have to rest on weekends. Not all countries of the world are so prosperous or sophisticated as to have weekends. All blessings come from God through Christ, especially in those European Christian nations where His laws are followed, His National holidays are observed, and He is declared the King of their kings and lords. We all know that weekends are not the typical workdays. Minus a few professions, they all agree. However, the word “weekday” in many European languagess just use the word for “workday” as the days of the week (excusive of the weekend). This should suffice it to show that God has kept His promise of this National sign of His people. We all have the National prosperity and freedom to keep it. As Saint Paul had written the Sabbath rest has remained for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)
Thousands of books on Israel Identity are widely available which prove that the descendants of the true Israel of God are the people known as the European (and British) Christian nations. This is proven historically, genetically, and with numerous proofs of the royal, covenantal, and spiritual promises of God that are fulfilled only among the Christian nations. Please subscribe to the Anglo Israel book Club for more information on True Israel, by writing to email@example.com of firstname.lastname@example.org
From Pg 26
Ecumenical Councils (and only some parts of the Jewish practices were banned via the Seventh Ecumenical Council). There was no mention of banning the regular communion / worship on the Saturday Sabbath day (although it’s recorded Rome and Alexandria had sometimes ceased keeping it). While some practices on Sabbath may had been limited in a church council (whether a local council or ecumenical), still it was a day of assembly and worship even in Rome and Alexandria. According to the authentic copies of the Apostle’s Didascalia, Saturday was still a mandatory day of assembling for worship in the whole church. There became a debate much later from Rome, telling people to be fasting (rather than the commanded feasting) on the Biblical Saturday Sabbath. Rome pressured several jurisdictions to adopt it. Rome often protested when some of their jurisdictions still were feasting on Sabbath even during the days of Lent. Still numerous jurisdictions continued to feast during Lent. This (and all fasting on Saturdays) was fiercely debated nearly everywhere else, because God has always commanded, we have a feast and celebration on the Sabbath days. So it was kept everywhere, minus a few exceptions like Rome, who still declared it is a day of rest and worship, far and wide. We’re going to get into an enormous amount of strong quotes that show they believed precisely this.
Many hints of the popularity of Sabbath keeping is found in the writings of Early Church Fathers. As we may glean off of the following several quotes (and sub sequent chapters), Sabbath keeping was highly prevalent around the highest times of the Eastern church. The early Church Fathers continually substantiate the position recorded in the Didascalia, that the 7th day Sabbath is an official day of worship. There really wasn’t any theologian from this period or for the next several centuries that ever claimed God’s Sabbath was ever abolished(although many gave more precedence to Sunday).
Many of the Orthodox had merely argued to “include” Sunday as the 8th day, but never to replace the 7th Day. However, the theology still remained that He rose on the 7th day, not Sunday. (Though agreed it was the first day He assembled with His Apostles, and the second time He assembled with them “and shut the doors for fear of the jews” Jhn 20:19 ). ……
40 established Early church fathers are quoted within the booklet to advocating both a First day(“let there be light day” as part of the new creation) and also paying homage to the 7th Day Saturday at the same time. Here is one such Ecumenical authority (although ecumenism is overrated), from page 34:
+Bishop St Gregory of Nazianzen (4th Century) is titled a Theologian, Doctor of the Church, Great Hierarch, Cappadocian Father, Ecumenical Teacher. He was raised in the Hypsistarian sect (who kept the dietary laws and the 7th day Sabbath). His father, also a Bishop, was denounced for making some compromises with Arianism while the Emperor Valens had mandated these concessions. After his death, Gregory was sent to Constantinople to fight the Arianism. He is said to have been converted away from the sect by his wife Nona before being consecrated Bishop of Nazianzen.
However it’s evident from his writings that he never rejected the Sabbath. As revealed in his Oration number 41, “On Pentecost”, “Thus the veneration paid to the number Seven gave rise also to the veneration of Pentecost. For seven being multiplied by seven generates fifty all but one day, which we borrow from the world to come, at once the Eighth and the first, or rather one and indestructible. For the present sabbatism of our souls can find its cessation there, that a portion may be given to seven and also to eight (so some of our predecessors have interpreted this passage of Solomon).”
More on page 51:
In several of the general church histories you can clearly read the plain language that not only in those ancient times but even today the Eastern church still keeps the Saturday Sabbath. Here is a quote from one general history (and several more are included in this book):
“The observance of the Sabbath among the Jewish Christians gradually ceased. Yet the Eastern Church to this day marks the seventh day of the week (excepting only the Easter Sabbath) by omitting fasting, and standing in prayer; the Latin Church, in direct opposition to Judaism, made Saturday a fast day. The controversy on this point began as early as the end of the second century.”
(History of the Church, p.372, 1864 edition; p.205 1952 edition.)
In those days, we can clearly see that the Saturday Sabbath was fully expected and celebrated. Even the Seventh Ecumenical Council was clearly on the point of new Hebrew converts, who do not fully from the heart convert, must be excluded. Sabbath was not the reason for excluding, nor were the other Jewish customs mentioned. It was highlighted that if a person is to join a church they shouldn’t do so grudgingly but with the whole heart.
Another 4th Century Alexandrian Bishop, +St Athanasius, explained all these facts well. He was another who as of the school who had become far entrenched into Sunday as a result of the great persecutions from Rome etc. He came out of the period the church of the East (and most of the West) was in great peril in those Roman dominated regions, and most of the Bishops were living underground, and driven out numerous times into exile. It wasn’t till the beginning of the 4th Century under Constantine that the church there in that region could stand still and raise it’s flag.
The church had in those regions, for a long time, under the persecutions had to operate as the first assemblies of the Apostles did when Christ met with them the first two times. As it says Christ appeared to all His Apostles “on the first day of the week, when they shut the doors for fear of the Jews”. This “coiling down and going behind the doors” was because of the great persecution. These in Alexandria and Rome had just come out of the Diocletian persecution and retained different traditions. The Bishops of these ranks still admitted the Sabbath was done within their own jurisdictions that were finally free to now operate openly in the 4th Century.
(There is still more in the book, including confirmations from 40 Early Church Fathers)
Kind regards and God Bless
If this Orthodox church information has been helpful for you, consider our book on the 7th day Sabbath in the Orthodox Church. It introduces people to the Celto-Saxon Israel people of God through His covenants and proof of His faithfulness through all generations.