“Why must I dress up for just one hour for Mass, Mom and Dad?” “It is so long and boring….I really do not want to go!” If you have teenagers or thinking about having a family in the near future, you will be hearing this or have heard this a million types. Okay, I am overreaching, but I hope you get the point. There is something wrong in today’s society, when a parent or both parents allow their children to have that ‘come as you are’ philosophy. I just came back from Europe about a month and ten days ago and I can tell you that if it is another thing that the European Catholics are beating American Catholics is that they know how to dress up for Holy Mass. You will not see one European Catholic dare to wear shorts or a t-shirt either inside a Catholic Church to walk around in or attend Holy Mass in. The Catholic Churches in Europe have a strict dress code and if you are not wearing pants and a dress shirt, you are denied access until you look presentable. Women cannot also wear tank tops unless they are wearing a sweater. I personally love that idea and think that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops should do the same thing! This past Sunday, I wrote a blog about courtships that lead to marriage. A bride and groom must wear appropriate and modest attire to their wedding day, so why not us at Holy Mass? In the Book of Revelations, the Mass is about the Wedding Feast of the Lamb of God. Everyone is dressed to the nines or are wearing something modest that is pleasing to God. Why do we not do this at Holy Mass? If we truly believe that Christ should be at the center of lives in what we do, what we think and how we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, shouldn’t we at least try to look our best? Men and women alike should dress like they are going to a wedding. If you are wearing a spaghetti strapped dress or something that will distract a man from paying attention to Jesus at Mass or if you think it will be, either do not wear it or put a sweater over the dress, so it can be modest. There are men that attend Holy Mass looking to take your daughter away from you and by him seeing what she is wearing that is inappropriate will go after her and kidnap her. A woman at Mass should not dress to please man, but to please God and God alone. Men, you are not out of the woods either. You are a man and as such, you are to set the example at Holy Mass. You are to act just like Christ and be like Christ especially in places like attending Mass or just being at a Catholic Church. Christ did not dress comfortably when going to worship in the temple, he dressed because his culture dressed that way. Cultures from then to now have changed and Christ is still present in the Tabernacle. Everything you do as men has impact on children, women and everyone across the board. Dress like you are dressing to meet your bride for the first time. The Church is the Bride of Christ that leads us all to Jesus. How do you want to meet Jesus? In crappy clothes or dressed up to how a man should look like? Men, once you start taking accountability for your actions, you will have the biggest impact in the world. Here are some suggestions on how to impact the world:
-Start dressing appropriately (no wearing Hawaiian shirts, no shorts, sandals and especially shorts that are way above the knee).
-Start by wearing short sleeve dress shirts with pants and shoes (blazer optional with tie).
-Start saying the Rosary before Holy Mass (say it after is an option also).
-Start praying once you get into the Church. Save that whole greeting thing for later when Holy Mass is over. You are not there for socialization, you are there for God and God alone. He is the only one that is going to save you.
Once you start doing these steps, you will have the biggest impact on how people should look for God at Holy Mass!
I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.