The outfit is, as it were, a testimony of the person who wears it. Especially a Catholic who goes to the temple for Holy Mass. Meanwhile, during the Eucharist, you can witness scandal, or worse, the cause of scandal. What is the importance of the dress code in church and which items of clothing should be avoided when attending mass?
High temperatures encourage the use of summery, airy clothing. Nowadays, the distinction between a beach, a sports field, a street, an office or… a church disappears. Very often, what was once only allowed on the beach or in the park today becomes “summer church fashion”.
Respect for the holy place
It seems that universal secularization deprives us of the notion of the sphere of the sacred. As a result, the sacred character of temples is no longer respected. Someone will ask, what does respect for a holy place mean? Just as the inner expression of respect is silence, concentration, bowing or kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, the outer expression of respect is manifested, among other things, by a solid garment. The way we behave and dress when we go to church is an expression of respect for God, priests who perform the sacred ordinances, but also for all participants in the liturgy.
It’s also worth asking yourself: does my outfit evoke respect for myself in the first place, or is it a reason to evoke other feelings and emotions?
– For me, the key to understanding what was going on was the comments of a Carmelite father who during the retreat said on behalf of the gentlemen that he was harassing them, if the woman’s clothes are tight, if you can see a bare belly , a plunging neckline, there is a short skirt or even a long one, but with a cut that reaches the crotch … Let’s not forget that men are visual learners and let’s respect their feelings – said the image consultant, vice president of the Catholic Association of Educators in Wrocław Marzena Jagielska.
“Church shoes”, that is, with unique clothing for a special gathering
One of the Fathers Pauline who served in Jasna Gora pointed out that it seems that only the outward problem of dressing in church poses a much more serious problem – “the internal predisposition to the relationship with God”.
The pastor remembered the times when each family member had “the so-called church shoes, church pants or church shirts”, an exceptional encounter with Jesus, which also required a unique outfit – explained Father Waldemar Pastusiak.
In the thresholds of God in dignified clothing
Today, claims that “it doesn’t matter what I look like, it doesn’t count, it’s Christ’s sacrifice” or “God loves me no matter what I wear” are becoming popular. But just like at work, at school, or in diplomacy, certain standards, determined by etiquette, also apply in the church. This is one of the elements of savoir-vivre. In the case of the church, this etiquette includes two principles: modesty and elegance.
What does modesty mean in clothing?
Modesty means covering your body. Out of respect first for the holy place and second for self and others. The sensitivity of those who come to church must be respected. Keep in mind that we do not go to the temple to focus our attention and focus on ourselves. The outfit should not cause scandal and disgust.
The attire of the person entering the church should not be an expression of disrespect. Our attire in church bears witness to our Christian dignity. Therefore, what needs to be covered must be covered: arms, stomach and legs.
Elegance in the Church
What then is elegance? In an elegant outfit, everything fits together, you see harmony and tranquility. Elegant clothes should suit a person, their figure, type of beauty, but above all their interior. It is the man who must first and foremost be elegant, and only then his outfit.
There should also be no double standards in clothing for a Catholic. Belly top or shorts for church, no, but for a walk, yes. Certain items of clothing that have become popular and fashionable today are generally not to be worn – neither to church nor for a walk. Today, women’s shorts are so short that they often resemble underwear. – And this is indecent – comments Marzena Jagielska. He adds that fashion evangelism is needed today.
Evangelism in fashion
– The main need in this topic is the evangelization of the fashion field, so that we also bring it: to prayer, to the encounter with the Word of God, asking: “Lord Jesus, is it appropriate? Is it worthy?” – noted the Vice-President of the Catholic Association of Educators in Wrocław.
The former chairman of the board of the National Institute of Catholic Action, Halina Szydełko, also disagrees with the statement that it doesn’t matter what we wear when we go to church or to Holy Mass. – “Friend, how did you come in here without your wedding garments” (Mt 22:12). As we read these words from the Gospel of Matthew, we are aware that they refer to more than just clothing. It is the soul that must be prepared to meet God. It is to be worthy of this honor. Isn’t the outfit important though? Because Jesus used such an example, it means that what we are clothed with also has a meaning. The outfit reflects our attitude to the importance of the event. We will dress differently for a social gathering, and differently for an official celebration in a group of people who expect respect from us. Unfortunately, today it is more and more difficult to feel what is suitable for a specific occasion – said Szydełko.
Many parishes, shrines and places of worship, not only in Poland but around the world, are campaigning to make the faithful aware of the importance of their clothing. More and more you see signs in front of churches that indicate what clothing SHOULD NOT look like in the temple. “On the doorstep of God in decent clothes”, “Dress decently, not comfortably” – these are just some of the slogans whose task is to encourage reflection on what seems only apparent appearance.
What to wear to church? – That is the question…
Regardless of the weather or any day of the week, the church is not a place of entertainment and recreation, but a place of prayer and worship. This must be taken into account. – Let’s be brave and creative, let’s create new standards. We don’t have to imitate the world. Let’s be beautiful and God, let’s set boundaries and be an inspiration to others – encourages stylist and image consultant Marzena Jagielska.
The availability of clothes and the determinants of fashion leave us a lot of room to inspire ourselves and others. Honestly. It is difficult to determine exactly what to wear, because there are many options. Simplicity and classic will certainly turn out to be good advice. For example, closed shoes (for both men and women), long trousers (for men) and a knee-length dress or skirt (for women). However, it is worth mentioning which outfit should not be in the church.
In women, the following is unacceptable:
- short mini skirts,
- shorts, leggings,
- see-through blouses, strapless, with plunging necklines, revealing the belly or back,
- close-fitting clothes that emphasize the shapes, such as bodycon dresses,
- visible underwear,
- sports or beach shoes (thongs, flip flops), shoes with too high heels (more than 7 cm)
For men it will be inappropriate in church:
- T-shirts, T-shirts, especially sleeveless,
- flip flops, flip flops, sandals.
When we dress to go to church in the summer, we must realize that the Greatness, Dignity, Glory and Majesty of Christ – the King of the Universe – are infinitely greater than that of any human being. So if we can dress elegantly and with class for a business meeting to show respect for the other party, shouldn’t we pay more attention to how we respect God Himself?
Summer excursions for a day. Sanctuaries in Poland that are worth seeing