Monday, August 6, 2007

A Word about Mass Dress Code

Isn't attending Mass and participating in it the most important thing we do as a Catholic Christian? So why do we attend wearing picnic clothing, spaghetti strapped dresses, necklines so low to reveal cleavage, carpenter shorts, "Crocs", and the like? I recently sat in Mass watching an adult couple chomping down on their gum so adamantly that they appeared to have forgotten where they were....not in Mass! I couldn't believe my eyes as they both stretched their gum between their teeth, smacked, and chewed openly as two cows in the pasture. My children saw them too. What a great example if irreverence, disrespect, and complete lack of appreciation of what they were doing and where they were doing it.

I searched around to see what was said about this and other atrocities and I found an article written awhile back, but still very pertinent and timeless called, "Dress, Demeanor, Discipline Show How We Value Holy Mass".


SRMcEvoy said...


I agree in principle, but there are circumstances beyond our control that some times make attire a matter or necessity.

I have been off work almost 2 years with an injury and surgery nearly a year ago. In that time I gained over 50lbs before the surgery and have taken 18 of that excess off. I currently only own 2 pairs of pants that fit, and with not having worked can not afford more till I find a job.

I would love to wear dress pants to church, but that is just not an option.


RobK said...

Fr. Stephanos at Me Monk, Me Meander has a good article on dress code. He talks about it in terms of lectors and Eucharistic ministers, but it applies more widely.

It is at

And while we must be conscience of situations like Steven mentions, the vast majority of people simply don't care to show proper respect.

Ebeth said...

Steven, I totally agree with you and understand what you are saying. I also don't think that you sit through Mass chomping on gum in a picnic outfit!!

Whatever we wear, it should be the best we have available to us...not necessarily label brands, or top quality...just the best that we have.


Jeff said...

As a converting protestant, I have a different tangent for a perspective... I go to church for the liturgy and the scripture. I agree with the thoughts of "Keeping it clean" - that should just be common sense (key word... *should* ) - but I hold little value otherwise on someone's clothes.

Maybe it's part of the generation I've grown up in, maybe it's driven by my own experiences in a smaller church (where the ones that would always show up in suits ahve since pushed the church way out of the realm of a logical church budget... but I digress)... but as long as I'm there for the right reasons, I don't think (in the grand scheme) the clothes matter.

Now, about the gum... if the livestock decides they really need to chew their cud that much, hocking it up from their second stomach and salivating all through mass... Maybe they just want to gnash the eucharist into their gum, so when they (hopefully) swallow it will have a better chance of sticking to their ribs, and thus make them better people. Then again... maybe they were raised in a barn?

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

i'm totally into modesty at all times! i went from being always in jeans or 'pants' as i think you say, to only wearing long skirts or dresses. This is better for larger ladies as well as slim. i think trousers should be worn by men!i think women should dress like women...well now about the crocs..they're not immodest are they? As i might go to Church twice a day walking & comfort for my feet is essential..but i'll bear your view in mind!

Ebeth said...

Jeff! Wayyy too funny, but a possibility for those folks that want to be a better person. hahahaha FOPL!!

ROBK: Thanks so much for the link. Just what I needed, another great blog to gleen from!!!

Climbing for the MASS!

Jaimie said...

I agree. As a eucharistic minister I definitely wear a dress or nice pants to mass, even when I am not serving. In dress, modesty and proper respect for the mass has improved in our church. I only said something once in passing to another lady who agreed with me that we do not want to see lower back tatooes or thongs. I do not think that is asking too much, do you?

Anonymous said...

My husband would have no qualms about telling that gum chewer where to stick it.