It's that time of year again: summer sun . . . butterflies, dragonflies & BBQ's. Oh - and mini-skirts & short-shorts. At Church. On 14 year old girls who are attending Mass with their parents.
It's not healthy to live in the past - but I miss a few things of days gone by. Two in particular: Reverence and Respect.
In Church - NOW: Dads wearing tees and tanks - sons following the example of the "role model." Women and girls wear tight dresses with plunging necklines . . . tube tops . . . exposed arms and backs. Worse yet mini skirts - and they ain't baggy folks. Busy families on the run - Church and then activities - but dressing for activities - not for Church.
I believe that people don't know - truly don't realize what they do. I'm not condemning - I've been there myself! I just wish somebody would've clued me in! I want to share with my brothers & sisters - to pass on knowledge - because I know that we all want to approach the altar of our Lord with reverence and respect.
For example: I didn't always realize that a woman shouldn't be sleeveless in Church. Now I always wear (or bring) a light shrug - easy peasy!
WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION:
I'm going to digress for a second - in keeping with the reverence and respect theme. Did you know that we are to give a nod of the head before accepting the Eucharist from the priest or minister? Also - the proper response after "The Body of Christ" is not "thank you" it is "Amen."
Back to attire. Most parents don't want to sexualize their children or teach a lack of respect - but this is exactly what they are learning with current styles of immodest dress. Let's not cave to "peer pressure." WE are the parents - the teachers.
"They're just lucky I'm here!" If we had fine dining reservations would they LET US IN wearing a "Giants" tee shirt? YET - if we showed up for Holy Mass - the Wedding supper of the Lamb - and weren't allowed in because of our attire - many of us would be OUTRAGED. Some might tell EVERYONE within earshot how "strict," "old fashioned" and "out of touch" the Church is.
YET . . . off we go in our collared shirts and tea length dresses/shawls to our favorite restaurants.
Reverence. Respect. Values.
Let's all start an enjoyable Sunday morning "family tradition!" Dress appropriately for Church and teach our children to do the same. Attend Mass together - cleaned up & lookin' pretty! Perhaps after Mass it's off to breakfast or lunch - or a change of clothes for a fun, family activity.
God is thrilled to have YOU in Church. We can't know a person's circumstances and we are not there to condemn. LOVE is above the law- Jesus teaches us this . . . and BECAUSE we love - we want to be reverent and respectful. And so - a line must be drawn when it comes to modesty at Holy Mass.
Here's what the Catechism teaches:
“Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.” #1387
“Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing.” #2522
So let us celebrate the Holy Eucharist in thanksgiving with modesty, decency, respect for the Lord and for one another - and above all - great JOY!
Your Sister In Christ,
Jesus I Trust In You
*Photo Credit: EWTN Chapel, Alabama by Deborah M. Johnson