St Francis Q&A

Thursday, July 27, 2006

God's dress code for Church

"Worship the Lord in holy attire" - 1 Chronicles 16:29


  • Its amazing that in a split second we size people up by what they are wearing!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 PM  

  • Why doesn't the priest mention dress code for his church during announcements?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:33 PM  

  • Of course there should be a dress code, your in God's house. In respecting God you have to respect his house, Jesus is in there. Im 14 and I get this! Why don't people get this, its obvious to dress respectfully in God's house where Jesus Christ is I mean come on. The preist have tried influence a dress code, but people get mad. You dress nicely to your grandmas house, seriously whos more important Jesus or your grandma? I MEAN ITS IN THE BIBLE RIGHT. Wake up teens you need to respect Jesus cause your not going to be happy without him.

    By Anonymous Teen girl, at 4:58 PM  

  • Teen girl you get it and you are so young. Its sad that so many adults don't!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 AM  

  • It's nice to see some agreement that we should be properly attired for Mass. As a life long Catholic, I find it amazing at the number of people who will come to Mass dressed as if they are on their way to a baseball game ... or even worse, the beach. Much of this began 20 yers ago when people, and Priests, would say "at least they come to Mass."

    One tale: At work I had a coworker who was Baptist and her husband was born and raised Catholic but had left the faith. We had many meaningful discussions on the Church and Catholic belief and after about 2 years her husband began to re-explore questions about our faith and she often joined in those debates. Clearly they both were interested in pursuing more about Catholicism. I suggested that they just go to Mass some Sunday as a beginnning point to experience Christ "up close and personal" with a specific emphasis on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    They took me up on that little suggestion ... after going to Mass four times they both announced to me that they would NEVER step foot in another Catholic Church and they told their 3 children that they must never enter another Catholic Church !!!

    WHY? Because they were appalled at the dress of some of the congregants at Mass and the behavior as people talked, shouted, arrived late, left early, etc. ... I was told that as Baptists, they would never dishonor God by entering a Church so informally dressed, or be late, or book out the door early.

    The painful comment was that if Catholics really believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, they could never attend mass in tank tops, shorts, immodest tops, etc, etc, etc. In effect, they told me that we don't believe in the Real Presence and we prove it by acting as if the Mass is no different than say, a brief stop on the way to the gym.

    I COULD argue our belief in the Real Presence but I was trumped by their view of how some Catholics dress for Mass. They were a bit harsh in their judgement but they were not wrong when they told me that Protestants go to Church in their "Sunday Best" and that if Catholics really believed what we say we belive, then we could never go into a Church service looking as if we were heading to a ball game.

    We need to get away from acting as if OUR presence at Mass is a gift to the Church. That gives us "permission" to just show up any way we'd like and justify it by asserting that "at least we come to Mass." Attending Mass is not our gift to the Church. The MASS is Christ's gift to us so that he can be physically present with us, his children. We should respect that beautiful miracle that occurs on our Altars everyday by dressing as if we are meeting God, in person. Because we are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 AM  

  • I remember when women used to go to church every Sunday in their Easter best! What a downward spiral it has been since then.

    SAD, SAD, SAD!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:06 PM  

  • So,are we going to throw out of Mass those who do not come dressed well? Maybe they do not have money to buy "nice" clothing to go to Mass with? I do not know, I have met a lot of people who are very well dressed in the outside during Mass but very badly dressed in the inside. On the other hand, I have seen simply dressed people at Church, even homeless people who were very "badly" dressed (whatever you mean by this) but very nicely dressed in the inside. As for wearing hats and what not to Church, I have been to Churches like that, and I enjoy it when everyone dresses nicely. But, unfortunately sooner or later is turned into a dressing competition and that is NOT THE POINT OF GOING TO CHURCH. I agree with Fr.Greg, you go with the best you have but remember for some people the best is not your best. I think the point is that we have to dress respectfully.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:08 PM  

  • Whoever said about throwing out the Mass? That is an extreme comment. All that has been said is that people need to dress better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 AM  

  • Anon #2, some priests do address dress code for Church in their homilies and bulletins. Fr. Mike told me that he addressed this during Mass here some time ago.

    By Blogger Fr Greg, at 11:50 PM  

  • Sad story about your Baptist friends' experiences at Mass, Anon. On behalf of the Church, I apologize to them. Unfortunately, I have heard many similar comments from Protestants over the years- one said he doesn't believe in the Real Presence because of the way Catholics come to and act in Church. Wow, sad state of affairs. I've got my work cut out for me!

    But, you wrote beautiful and powerful words about the Mass in relation to us. I know it seemed like a lost cause with your friends, but the only thing I might have said was something along the lines of pointing to how people treated Jesus 2000 years ago.

    They were in the Real Presence of the Body of Christ and they insulted, whipped, spit on, slapped, laughed at, and eventually killed him. Your Baptist friends have known and studied the complete lack of respect of those 2000 years ago for the Body of Christ. They has not stopped them from believing in Christ, so why should it be any different now?

    I'm not excusing Catholics for a second, but in the context of the Passion of Christ, no Christian should ever be scandalized with how Christ is offended. And, certainly, a true believer sees the teachings of Christ as primary over anything else, even the actions of other people.

    He taught that it's really His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, and it is really Him. No scandalous or blasphemous behavior can ever take away from the Truth.

    By Blogger Fr Greg, at 12:38 PM  

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