Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What not to wear - to Mass

"A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper."

--The Cardinal Vicar of Pope Pius XI

Since this blog often shows up in Google searches for how to dress modestly for Mass, I want to take a snippet from our Church bulletin on how to dress for Mass and publish it here, for the education (and edification) of all:

Based on the principle that clothing is meant to conceal rather than to reveal, please dress modestly, even in warm weather.

Men and boys: please wear full length pants. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are not appropriate for Mass. Remove your ball cap before entering the Church.

Women and girls: dresses should reach well below the knee when sitting; shirts should cover the chest up to the collar bone. In your charity, avoid tight shirts, sleeveless blouses and tank tops. Finally, if pants are worn, they should be loose-fitting.
This fits with Our Lady's words at Fatima, "Certain styles and fashions are being introduced which gravely offend My Divine Son."

St. John Chrysostom also warned against immodesty in the fifth century:

"You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment, and much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body, but the soul. And it is not to enemies that you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride."
Those words of St. John Chrysostom's are strong indeed. I think I'll be off to purge my wardrobe now.


Vash said...

Thanks to my old-fashioned fashion sense/lack of any fashion sense my warddrobe is aok :D.

Linan said...

And thanks to living on the Oregon coast, where rain is a daily thing, we seem to be doing ok here. :-)

Anonymous said...

Well then!

Smiley said...

Well put. I always wear a suit to church. I neverf understodd why people would wear a suit for a job interview but to see the king of kings they would dress like bums.