Summer attire at church Print
Thursday, May. 28, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

We’re finally enjoying some warmer weather in Wisconsin after a long winter.

As the temperatures rise, naturally people start dressing with lighter clothes. What does that mean for our choice of clothing for church?

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One of my “pet peeves” is seeing people dress in shorts, jeans, and low-cut tops and dresses for Mass. It especially bothers me when persons dressed this way are Eucharistic ministers, lectors, or singers/musicians.

A Catholic Herald reader, Esther Kennedy of Madison, sent me a copy of a message she found in the bulletin of St. Andrew Avellino Parish in Flushing, N.Y.  She suggested I consider publishing it in the Catholic Herald. I think this message would be appropriate to publish in bulletins or on Web sites of parishes in our diocese, too.

Proper summer attire

Summer is here and with it, hot weather. That usually means a different form of dress. Casual and light is the order of the day. But I ask everyone to consider what exactly is appropriate for Sunday Mass.

Sunday Mass is a sacred event. We gather in a special place (air conditioned when appropriate) in the presence of God and one another to do the most sacred thing we can every do — offer the sacrifice of Christ to the Father. Certainly such an event calls for the greatest degree of reverence and our attitude, shown in our dress, should be profound respect.

How would you go to a family member’s July wedding? Sunday Mass is far more significant. Shorts, cut-off jeans, tank tops, athletic shirts, and the like are definitely not appropriate. Please, before setting out to church on the weekend, ask yourself: Does what I am wearing show respect for where I am going and tell everyone how I feel about this sacred action?

I suggest people consider these suggestions when selecting attire for Mass. Parents might cut this out and post it on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board. Thank you, Mrs. Kennedy. It’s a great reminder for all of us!