Do Clothes Make the Mass?
By Kim Roberts
Being a woman of a particular age, I recall attending Mass every Sunday with my family dressed in “church clothes.”
My sister and I almost always wore dresses or skirts, my brother always wore dress trousers with tucked in button-down shirts, and we all wore dress shoes.
We never questioned it; we knew that we were expected to dress properly for church – without question. It was a sign of respect.
My husband grew up Baptist, and you better believe he dressed for church and Sunday school, every Sunday.
As parents, our children dress in “church clothes” as well, I never thought twice about it. Over the years, I have found myself looking at the people in Mass that wear shorts and T-shirts and thinking, “Don’t they know better? We are in the presence of God.”
I always felt uncomfortable going to Mass during school fair weekends when I was wearing the fair T-shirt and shorts because I was working all weekend at my booth. I have, over the years, let my children wear jeans to 4 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday Masses because we rationalized it was more casual.
I am conflicted, especially in today’s culture. I now find myself thinking that maybe I should not judge those who dress casually for Mass, the important thing is that they are present and receiving the word of God.
Everyone has a different relationship with God and who am I to tell anyone how that relationship should unfold.
Getting your family to Mass is the goal. But, for my family, we will always dress traditionally for Mass. With the exception of fair weekends and possibly 4 and 6 p.m. Mass, but only really nice shorts and jeans.