Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer is Almost Over

People won't be exposing themselves in church as much. I really wish everyone would learn how to dress for Mass. I don't blame the young people since they do not know any better. As for the adults, well, they seem to have lost all common sense and awareness of the dignity of God's house. Each Christian soul is a Temple of the Lord, so modest attire should be a given. As Christine of Laudem Gloriae describes:
I must confess, though, that I get tired of having within my line of sight (and prominently displayed) tight-fitting jeans, miniskirts, bra straps sticking out from tank tops, bare backs, bare shoulders, and flip-flops. It is even more irritating when they are worn by adolescent girls accompanied by parents who should know better.

I grew up rather clueless about such things. I didn't understand, as an awkward teenager, that my body could actually be attractive to men, and that certain clothing could accentuate my physique. I simply wore what I wore, and thought no more of it. Thus, I do understand why so many girls show up at Mass looking as if they're about to go to a nightclub, or to the beach. Girls do not necessarily instinctively know (especially in today's society) how to dress as they should--and this is why it is up to parents (especially mothers) to
teach their children. Mothers, after all, are no longer naïve or ignorant of such things; having dated, married, and, naturally, had sex, they know exactly what men find attractive and what sort of clothing serves as a distraction. So the fact that so many girls are showing up to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass looking like Britney Spears clones shows that parents aren't doing their jobs. (Of course, attending the Traditional Latin Mass, one has the opposite problem: women who go too far in the other direction and equate modesty with frumpy, androgynous, utterly unfeminine clothing; but that's another post for another day.)

So, my dear parents, and especially my fellow mothers, let me list a few no-no's for attire at Mass:

--Bra straps: There's a reason they're called undergarments. They belong
under your garments.

--Halter tops: If you feel the need to expose your neck, back, chest, shoulders, and armpits for the world to see, at least have the decency to wrap a pashmina around yourself.

--Cleavage: The last thing Father wants to see while offering you the Sacred Host is a bird's-eye view of your chest. Obvious.

--Tight jeans/pants: This is usually the hardest one for women to grasp. I'll be as frank as possible: the eyes of the most chaste heterosexual man in the world are still naturally drawn to (1) your behind and (2) your crotch. Most women, unaware of this fact, tend to be surprised when they discover it. Consider yourself no longer surprised or unaware. (There is a reason only "emancipated" women and lesbians wore pants in the 19th century; it was considered indecent.) Try to prefer skirts if possible, but if you must wear pants, at least cover up certain portions of your anatomy so as not to distract these poor men trying to exercise self-control over their eyes during the liturgy.

--Skirts shorter than the knee: At every parish, one always has the middle-aged mom who thinks her legs too shapely to cover up and puts them on prominent display when at the lectern doing the reading. Women, please get over yourselves; short skirts are inappropriate at Mass. For one, when you sit, they hitch up to mid-thigh. For another, they just look tacky. Knee-length or longer is far more dignified. (Oh, and even long skirts can be inappropriate if they are spandex-tight.)

--Flip-flops: This is sheer laziness.


Mrs. Rudd said...

"...short skirts are inappropriate at Mass." And not just for middle-aged women.

A sweet young lady, in a darling little sundress, doing the duties of lector, crossed from her seat on one side of the church, stopped in the center, bowed towards the tabernacle (flashed the congregation), and continued on to the ambo.

Readings concluded, she went back to her seat, stopping on the way for another deep bow (no mere head nod here), and anyone who missed the first show certainly had a second opportunity.

There was more than one note (some kinder than others) to the person in charge that she suggest longer hemlines for lectern duty.

elena maria vidal said...

Common sense seems to have disappeared.

AliceS said...

My husband and I go to a Latin mass every week and the traditions are more in place there than at most churches. I have been saying this for years with clothing at mass; it is just another breakdown, and the church does nothing about it. After all, the "slighted" one may not come back next week, and drop their money in the basket.