Sleeveless shirts, mini skirts, jogging pants, shorts, sneakers are some of the examples of clothing people use in church. As years pass by, our culture becomes more and more too casual. The way we act, speak and dress-up seems to be getting too casual. Do I have anything against this? Certainly not. BUT…
Modesty is one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit (amongst with it are charity or love, joy, peace, patience, benignity or kindness, goodness, longanimity or long-suffering, mildness or gentleness, faith, continency or self-control and chastity. Longanimity, modesty, and chastity are the three fruits found only in the longer version or the latin version known as the vulgate.) Modesty generally means being humble and all your abilities and success are God´s gifts and not your own. Another meaning would be behaviour, manner or appearance intended to avoid indecency. Let us check what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the word modesty
“2521. Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.
2522. Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires ones choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is descreet.
2523. There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body…. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.”
When we go to parties, we wear party clothes. When we go to the beach, we wear beachwear. When we go to a formal dinner, we wear formal wear. When we go to church? We wear …. ? Even the flight attendants use white gloves when there are royalties on board a flight. If you were invited to have dinner with the king of Norway, would you use sleeveless shirt and shorts? You would definitely use appropriate clothing. We are all invited to the Lord´s supper, we, the church – His bride. As Catholics, we believe that when we go to mass, we meet the Lord. We believe that the REAL presence of GOD is in the Eucharist. What do we use then? Are we to use something we wear when we buy our groceries? Or something that shows our skin? You decide. You gauge, since He is your God too.
Do we have a dress code at church? No one will say there is but I hope you will at least ponder if we dress to church impress others, to be noticed by others, to be comfortable or because we do not want to take the effort to iron clothes,