Friday, July 19, 2013

Churches grapple with appropriate dress as summer heats up

As Ann Cabiness stood in the Communion line at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Sunday morning, two things were on her mind: connecting with God and getting out of the humid sanctuary before someone mentioned her skimpy tank top and tight, knee-length running pants.

“I know I’m inappropriate, but I’m trying to save time. I know I’m in the wrong. My mother would not approve,” the 30-year-old said sheepishly as she made a beeline from Mass at the Bethesda church to the gym. “But would it be better that I not come?”
Read the rest here.


Matushka Anna said...

Hm. Looking at the third picture in the article, the woman looks appropriately dressed for the space. You go to a place that looks like a venue for a rock concert and a service that sounds like one, and you're going to tend to dress for one.

Nikolaus said...

I noted that many of the commenters at the original site are missing the point - deliberately I think. It's a matter of priorities. I live near a Catholic parish with an affluent congregation. What I see going in and coming out is shocking. I screams loud and clear: "I'm just here because I'm obligated."

Priest David Thatcher said...

Well, Nikolaus, I suppose one can interpret such behavior/dress as a kind of minimal compliance to a "holy day of obligation." Honestly, though, I think it goes deeper: not so much "I'm just here because I'm obligated," but rather "I'm just here on my terms." Let's face it: our culture has so fragmented people and their sensibilities that they do not connect the dots; they do not connect the self-offering of true worship with offering one's very best -- attentiveness, preparation, dressing in a way that honors Almighty God, who is so truly manifested in the gathering of the People of God in the Holy Eucharist. People rather come to "get" something, as if the Church was simply a locus where we can "pick up" a spiritual blessing or sacrament. The mind of Christ -- "Holy Tradition" -- is torn and tattered in such cases.

Nikolaus said...

No argument Father! You have accurately (imo) expanded on my brief remark.

Anonymous said...

We had the same issue when I was with Lifeteen. We decided to have a teaching night on the Mass, explaining it. We never brought up clothes. There was an automatic change in how people started dressing to Mass. There was a change even in body language.

Soon the most respectfully dressed people in the church were teenagers.