My Grandparents were both teachers; he taught college level mathematics and wrote mathematics books, and she taught grade school
they always dressed in “Sunday Got to Meeting ” clothes. Grandpa always had 8 dress shirts and 7 of them were in the wash on Monday. He always wore wingtips, even when he worked as a hydraulic engineer and walked the plant floor. Gramma used to complain about the metal shavings in his shoe soles ruining her kitchen floor.
My Mom had ONE dress which she made herself, for church and wore jeans and Dad’s shirts aroudn the house, because they were in a constant state of building our house.
Mom always made dresses for my sister and me, and the boys had shirts and black or blue slacks for Catholic school, and tennis shoes were allowed for boys, but girls had to wear uniforms and something like saddle shoes or penny loafers. Dad wore dark green, heavy duty work clothes every day except Sunday and then he wore navy slacks and a white shirt with a white teeshirt under, and he smelled like fresh ironed cotton clothes all the time. Mom always made sure even his work clothes were pressed and neat. HIs multicolor hankies all week long changed to a crisp white embroidered hanky on Sunday.
Good luck to all who make this attempt at reform…
Dad didn’t own any jeans until all of us six children with Dad got together and bought a farm, and then one of my brothers bought him a pair of farmer jeans and flannel shirts for winter. He always had a hanky hanging from the back pocket, and another in another pocket, And when Dad died last June the grandkids all wanted one of his hankies or a square from one of his flannel shirts. They all associate the scent of sun warmed cotton with him.
How difficult is that?
Clothing depends on the Mass at our parish.. the early Mass has mostly elderly who dress in Sunday dress; the next Mass is families with small children and my guess is some families are lucky to have anything that matches… the two Masses after that are a lot of folks in casual business to almost beachwear/shorts in summer as we have all lakes and summer cottages around here.
I am very uncomfortable around girls who wear low cut jeans and belly exposing tops to church, because I ahve watched the men around such girls have a difficult time not looking.
Me? I love to dress up, in dresses and nice clothing, because most of the week I am in my “studio grubbies” all covered with paint, because I paint paintings and also restore statuary.
I think that the main idea that Monseignor suggests here is that we should all take the time before coming to Church to consider where we are going and Who it is we are going to glorify…and dress appropriately. That does not mean we have to put on a fashion show for the rest of the parishioners or look like we accidentally ended up in Church when we were headed for the beach! Clean, appropriate attire that is modest in all ways, for both men and women. These items do not need to be expensive or of the latest haute courture ( I remember in the 50’s when women often did this with their hats ) nor should they give offense to the rest of the community by being vulgar or too casual. The fact you are on vacation need not be the first thing you announce when presenting yourself at Sunday Mass. We too live in a tourist town…and during the summer months for the most part you can tell the natives from the tourists without a scorecard. I think the fact that women in our culture now seem to go just about anywhere in pants it will be difficult to demand skirts and dresses be the de rigeur….as long as they are neat, clean and not clingy. Modest dresses are difficult to find for women of all ages…but surely if one shops long enough the possiblity exists. If you really want to see a change in your own parish suggest to those responsible for the bulletin to publish a list of proper attire for Mass for both men and women…perhaps a list drawn up by the parish council with the pastor’s approval. And I might suggest starting with a print-out of Monseigor’s above suggestions…to start from. We all can certainly do better at this…all parishes everywhere. In our parish all lay participants including the Extraordinary ministers as well as the lectors wear a special robe covering their outer garments. Now if we could just get rid of the sneakers on the altar servers….that is another whole topic. and re-institution of a simple dress code for proper church attire!
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