Once the problem of our spiritual “clothes” is addressed, the issue of our material clothes will solve itself
I realise that it is before God we are presenting ourselves, and that he has a particular affection for the poor. The problem with dress is not the material clothes we wear, but the spiritual clothes – pride, vanity, worldliness etc, versus purity, humility, charity, etc.
Mother Teresa was asked by Jesus to wear the clothes of the poor that she served – a simple sari.
Good idea but it will never happen in Georgia. In our church flip flops, jeans (tattered), shorts and general sloppy attire are the norm. the priest never mentions attire, not even to his Deacon who is very sloppy and his running shoes are always visible under his Alb ( which he calls a dress). Old and young alike come to church on Sunday wearing clothes that look like they slept in them and not very clean either. The article makes for wishful reading but it will never be mentioned in Georgia (USA) by the priest and certainly not by the Bishop………
I guarantee that within driving distance of any Catholic parish anywhere in Georgia there are a dozens of little Protestant churches (Baptist, Pentecostal, etc) where the vast majority attend their religious services on Sundays wearing formal attire, many of them for multi-hour services in both the morning and the evening. There is no reason why modern Catholic Georgians couldn’t ever possibly do the same.
In the first parish mentioned there is less sense of community and rampant use of contracteptives, and mire concern over reputation and appearances over actual interior spirituality
Before I became Catholic, I was a white trash kid who “got saved” in a Pentecostal church. Jeans were only appropriate for youth group and retreats, not even for state-wide youth rallies. We wore business casual to Thursday night Bible study and we wore formal-wear to both Sunday services, year-round. All the teens belonged to a youth choir that sang every Sunday morning. To go up on the platform in front of the congregation the boys had to wear slacks, a button-up long sleeved dress shirt, and a tie. Most of us also wore jackets most of the time. The girls had to wear long skirts or dresses and at least mid length sleeves. There were other guidelines about hair, shaving, make-up etc.
Anyhow, I agree with you wholly
I had no nice clothes when I joined that church, the people welcomed me to everything and when i wanted to join the choir I was showered with clothes from older boys in the nicest way. There was a very strict policy in the church that no one should speak to new people about how they dressed (except maybe staff if absolutely necessary). Everyone knew that anyone who kept attending would gradually adjust their wardrobe, but we didn’t want them to stop attending because someone tried to hurry that process along before the new person was ready.
I should have written last night when your blog first appeared, but it was so late already. Should have known better, it’s not so late tonight but there are so many comments. The priests should sometimes make mention of not so appropriate clothing. Has never happened in my parish, however it was uplifting when Father pleaded with the parents that the kids have at least washed hands when receiving the Eucharist.Thanks for all your efforts.
On the issue of modesty I wholeheartedly agree. And I agree that one should be “dressed up” for church, however, “dressed up” is different for different people. I wear jeans and tshirts daily, my work only requires that I don’t wear jeans, so I wear decent pants, sneakers and a tshirt. I’ve worn a dress twice in the last two years, both times at a wedding, one was my own! So dressing up to me is to not be in sneakers and tshirt. I think that jeans can be made dressy very easily with nicer shoes, a nice blouse, and general effort in the appearance of hair and makeup. There are two parishes that I attend, one is technically my home parish, people dress WAY up, but not all in the right ways ( tight, revealing, generally immodest) and I know many people who act as if it’s a fashion show ( from hearing peoples comments and what they say, I’m not just assuming). At the other parish, immodesty Is rare , but jeans tshirts sweats, etc. Are not. Again, I’m not guessing, believe me, I know. In the more casual parish there are families of 5 and 10, enough youth groups, bible studies, and clubs to service the metro area and more seminarians than any other parish in the archdiocese.