Jeffrey Brian Flood
Today Is the Sun's Day
By the time the Roman Emperor Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sunday on March 7, 321 AD, he was only recognizing a Roman custom that had already been going on for almost three centuries. In Roman culture, Sunday was the day of the Sun god. Today, it’s still the Sun’s Day.
The sun, then as now, was perceived as a source of life, giving warmth and illumination to mankind. It was the center of a popular cult among Romans, who would stand at dawn facing East to catch the first rays of sunshine as they prayed.
To this day the majority of alters in medieval Christian churches face East towards the rising sun. During both the times of Roman hegemony and Christianity, the sun was popularly considered one of the seven planets that periodically circled the Earth.
On 25 December AD 274, the Roman emperor Aurelian made Sol Invictus an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults, to be celebrated officially the same day as the decree: December 25th.
On 7 March 321, forty years later, Constantine I, Rome's first Christian Emperor, decreed that Sunday would be observed as the Roman day of rest. “On the venerable day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed”.
Constantine never lost his attachment to the worship of Sol Invictus, the “unconquered Sun”. For him, the God of the Christians was either another name for Sol Invictus or a close relative. Even after he adopted Christianity, Constantine’s coins displayed images of Sol Invictus.