HumorLiturgy Casual Sunday by Jeffrey Miller June 29, 2008 written by Jeffrey Miller June 29, 2008 Here is a sign I would like to see in some parishes. Though my own parish does have a “Out of respect for our Lord” sign that lists what should not be worn. 26 comments 0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +Pinterest Jeffrey Miller previous post Sunday Stickers next post I guess they have a beef You may also like Prepare the Kitty Conclave March 2, 2013 Divine Mercy April 23, 2006 “Manly virtues are downplayed—even shamed” November 3, 2014 Watching brick building February 28, 2010 Pay-Per-Pew July 31, 2003 "Do Not Quench the Spirit" November 28, 2003 What Catholics really believe May 8, 2004 Clinton Contest November 20, 2004 Tith-O-Matic October 1, 2006 Abbott and Costello go to Sunday School March 14, 2005 26 comments Ann June 29, 2008 - 4:18 pm I love it!! Reply Paul Smith Jr June 29, 2008 - 4:19 pm I was thinking about this today: the way some women dress makes going to Mass a near occasion of sin. Reply aine June 29, 2008 - 5:30 pm Today we sat behind three teenage girls and a lady who I guess was their mother. One pair of tight jean capris, one pair of daisy dukes, no joke, and one very short skirt usually seen on cheerleaders. All wore flip flops. I will not say what body part we all caught a glimpse of when there was movement. It was a TLM so I was pretty surprised. Reply aine June 29, 2008 - 5:30 pm Today we sat behind three teenage girls and a lady who I guess was their mother. One pair of tight jean capris, one pair of daisy dukes, no joke, and one very short skirt usually seen on cheerleaders. All wore flip flops. I will not say what body part we all caught a glimpse of when there was movement. It was a TLM so I was pretty surprised. Reply aine June 29, 2008 - 5:32 pm sorry about the echo, I have no idea how that happened. Reply Gary Keith Chesterton June 29, 2008 - 9:57 pm Oh boy. I wish. This is a real problem for me. There have been times when I have felt like a prisoner in the pew behind some beautiful young woman who decided for whatever reason to dress immodestly. It’s my major weakness and I wish I didn’t have to face it in church. Oh well! Reply Anonymous June 29, 2008 - 11:00 pm You may want to redo that image of the “glasses.” The way the combination locks are position it makes it look somewhat like women’s undergarments, at least to my juvenile mind. Reply joanne June 29, 2008 - 11:37 pm Not that juvenile, Anonymous. I thought it was a bra with swirling eyes–isn’t it? Reply Mary Rose June 30, 2008 - 8:42 am Heck, I’d like to pass out flyers with that info to some women! When I was at my last non-Catholic church, an older woman (maybe mid-forties) came to our Friday night worship service with a very short dress. I was behind her and as she raised her hands up high, I was starting to see geography that is best left unseen. Later, while she left to go to restroom, I followed her. I waited until she came back into the lobby area and gently confronted her. I told her she may not have been aware of what was happening (I gave her the benefit of doubt) but it was something that could be a problem for men. At the time, I was the church secretary. After the incident, I typed up a short piece of what it meant to be a woman of modesty. My boss (the administrative pastor) loved it but it really didn’t go much further than that. If anything is seriously going to be done about this issue, I believe it will need to come from other women strongly encouraging their sisters to stop being so stupid. It’s one thing to wear immodest attire outside the church – but quite another to bring it in. Hmmm. I just might write something about this for my new single Catholic young women’s group… 🙂 Reply K T Cat June 30, 2008 - 9:02 am Hmm. Good point. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to need the immodest dress in order to sin in my heart. The women who dress like that aren’t being flirty, just trashy. Modesty is very cute. As for the guys, it’s not about modesty, it’s about changing the oil in you car after Mass instead of before. Reply irishgirl June 30, 2008 - 10:17 am Love it! Yesterday when I was waiting to go into the chapel where TLM is said, I saw two women heading to the main church for the Novus Ordo Mass. One wore a halter top (I saw her bare back as walked away with her husband), and the other wore a very short demin skirt. I almost felt like opening my car door and yelling, “HEY LADIES! COVER UP!” But I like you take on it, Jeff….. Reply David L Alexander June 30, 2008 - 11:28 am Your notice would need to be more specific. Personally, I’m surprised at the number of otherwise responsible adults who are clueless when it comes to what constitutes “modesty.” They need to be told specifically, whether it’s requiring ladies to wear a skirt or dress at or below the knee, or gentlemen to wear a coat and tie (although a “barong” or guayabera shirt in the summer might be considered appropriate). The pastor needs to make an announcement at all Masses, and it needs to be in the bulletin for a few weeks. Since I’ve been a master of ceremonies for a local parish, I wear a suit every Sunday, even though no one sees it under a surplus and cassock. But before and after Mass, I need to be taken seriously at some point, so I dress the part. But before that, I have to admit that a jacket and tie were as far as I went, sometimes without the tie, especially in the summer. Many years ago, I wasn’t above wearing shorts to church, but I’d have just enough sense to sit in the back or the choir loft, maybe refrain from communion. Thankfully, I got older, and got more sense. It may take a while for the rest of us as well. Reply covered up June 30, 2008 - 11:50 am If only! A few yrs. back in the dioc. of Galveston-Houston (before DiNardo) there was a directive that lay people helping with Mass were to dress appropriately, but then gave no specifics. Well, of course, a big argument broke out at my parish about this–especially in a hot climate where running the air conditioner would break the parish budget. Differences of social class and ethnic group didn’t help, either. Some folks really think red spandex isn’t casual on a married, middle-aged woman. But equally, I think it’s in very bad taste for an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist to wear many rings with big rocks, no matter who gave’em to her. Modesty isn’t just about what’s sexy, but also what’s ostentatious. I’m all for a dress code for church, but it’s a hornets’ nest for a pastor if the dioc. doesn’t give the guidelines. Reply Rebecca June 30, 2008 - 1:55 pm That would be a great flyer to put in the bulletin. Clothing worn to Mass speaks volumes about one’s reverence. Reply J. McGrath June 30, 2008 - 3:09 pm While I certainly agree with the sentiment, and the appointed authorities certainly can hold Catholics to modesty, I don’t think we’d want to post a sign. What about that broken heart that comes in from the street and discovers she is not welcome in our church because of her flip-flops? Reply joanne June 30, 2008 - 3:12 pm Anyone else old enough to remember “Sunday clothes”? My grandparents took us Easter shopping every year. Whatever we chose for Easter would become our “Sunday clothes” for the rest of the year. We would reserve that outfit for Mass and other very special occasions…I’m sure that on Easter we were always wearing something fancy with “room for growth”. 🙂 Reply Amy P. June 30, 2008 - 4:09 pm The way the combination locks are position it makes it look somewhat like women’s undergarments No, that’s what I thought at first, too. What about that broken heart that comes in from the street and discovers she is not welcome in our church because of her flip-flops? I think the dress code – and any posted guideline – could be done in a loving, charitable manner. Indeed, a parish could have a group specially designated to manage either a small closet of donated clothing and/or shawls and the like they could give or lend to an individual who wishes to participate in Mass. Reply lwestin June 30, 2008 - 5:15 pm joanne, I’m old enough. We got Easter hats and gloves. Then, just before my First Communion, out went the Latin Mass, and with the new priest came unisex white albs instead of First Communion dresses! No more gloves or hats or Sunday dresses! If you think the dress in North America is bad, you should see what North Americans wear to Mass when they’re down here! (The Caymanians know what Sunday best is!) A year or two ago we had a visiting priest who in his homily scolded the dress, and actually pulled a woman’s shirt sleeves up over her shoulders before giving her Communion!(He was from Rome.) I was astounded, but grateful.(I don’t think that was the majority opinion, however!) Reply April June 30, 2008 - 7:58 pm Jeff, thanks for your timely article, it is unfortunately very needed, we have seen a lot of bizarre *outfits* at Mass too. How about another article on the immodest clothing at weddings worn by the bride and bridesmaids? Reply Adeodatus June 30, 2008 - 8:48 pm Yeah, this is something that should be addressed. Females know when they’re dressed sexily, right? I presume that there’s some level of intentionality there. But even if there isn’t, it would seem prudent for them to check before heading to mass. I have a hard enough time behaving myself outside of church. The last thing I need is to have to fight the urge to turn into the Tex Avery Wolf right before communion. Reply Andrew July 1, 2008 - 10:49 am What about that broken heart that comes in from the street and discovers she is not welcome in our church because of her flip-flops? I’ve heard that point many times, especially back when I was still Protestant. We need to welcome with open arms any person that walks in off the street, but a Catholic who regularly attends Mass should know better and be an example. Reply Rachel July 1, 2008 - 4:41 pm At my church there are signs at every door just like the one’s at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome: http://www.saintpetersbasilica.org/Pics/SQR/DressCode-JG.jpg Even with the clear illustrations, people come flashing cleavage, etc. Usually this happens at weddings or confirmations when there are guests who don’t normally come to our church. They get sent home to cover up. Reply Liz July 1, 2008 - 5:22 pm I must say that it is not just women who dress inappropriately for Mass. I have seen an equal number of men and boys wearing shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops and other attire best suited for the beach. For one hour a week, is it too much to ask that you dress in slacks and a nice shirt? My grandmother would spin in her grave if she saw how people come to church dressed today. Reply joanne July 1, 2008 - 10:15 pm I’d prefer casual over “dressed up” these days. “Females know when they’re dressed sexily, right? I presume that there’s some level of intentionality there.” There IS some level of intentionality; the problem is that even young people (especially females) have learned from tv and their peers that “sexy” is attractive and “dressed up”. So if you ask them to dress nicely, they wear what their peers would find attractive. It is hard to talk someone OUT of this perception. Therefore, on the most important days of their lives, including Confirmation, you do NOT want to see what the bishop has to see, over and over again. Yikes! If it gets any worse, our bishops and priests will have to refuse to have their pictures taken with brides and the newly confirmed! Reply Tim July 2, 2008 - 3:21 am Rebecca writes: Clothing worn to Mass speaks volumes about one’s reverence. Well, it might or it might not. I agree that for attending Mass, a suit and tie looks best on us guys, and modest attire for women (I know less about the particulars of women’s clothing but will assume we’re on the same page here – we know it when we see it). That said, though, going to Mass is not the same as participating in a fashion show. The rule of thumb I have always adhered to was, if the boss would send me home to change if I showed up to work wearing it, I shouldn’t wear it to Mass. This wouldn’t necessarily apply to those who do hard manual labor in field or factory, obviously, but I’ve found it to be quite workable, and seems to be the unspoken standard for most people who intend to worship reverently. In my case, this means wearing clean jeans or slacks and nice shirt (no t-shirts). I do “dress for church” (as I used to say when I was Protestant). It does not, however, mean I wear a tie or jacket. Here’s how I would frame the issue. Are you dressed as though Mass were your destination? Or are you dressed as though Mass were just a stop on the way to the beach or a nightclub (or worse, was it an afterthought once you finished doing something else)? Of course, the converse of the whole attire issue could just as easily be true. Just because a fellow wears a suit and tie to Mass does not mean he is there with the right intentions. I think we’re all bright enough to realize this; just thought it was important enough to make sure it got mentioned. Reply Clare A July 24, 2008 - 12:49 pm A lot to think about here. I will mention the dress code issue to my daughters. We could take note of the way some Italian churches behave, women (and men) must be dressed modestly with arms covered or they will be asked to leave. It doesn’t just affect women – boys in T shirts with offensive mottoes, for instance. Not to mention chest hair peeping out of an open necked shirt. It’s not just about modesty, but reverence. Reply Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.