The “come as you are” approach to “dressing down” for Sunday service has caused the Sabbath to become sloppy. Today, people saunter into church in baggy shorts, flip-flop sandals, tennis shoes, and at times, grubby t-shirts. Some even slide into the pew carrying coffee cups.
When attending church, it is expected that you dress in a way that reflects the morals and standards of that particular church. While standards for dressing have changed over time, many churches still expect you to wear your best clothing when attending the worship service. Before you make the mistake of offending someone, take the correct steps to make sure that the clothes you wear are appropriate.
If God loves us just the way we are, then why are we expected to “dress up” for Mass?God loves me just as I am whether I’m in sweatpants or a dress, right? Well, that is right, but think of it this way: the celebration of the Mass is the SOURCE and SUMMIT of our faith. It is quite literally the most important thing we will do on this Earth because we become ONE with God.
Remember that song, Christmas Shoes? The one that induces uncontrollable weeping every time you hear it on the radio? The gist of the song is “a boy who spends all of his money trying to buy his passing mother shoes so she can be beautiful for Jesus.” There is something in that song that speaks to our souls. He recognizes the holiness of the Lord and that his mom would want to be her best self for Him. We too should desire to be our best selves for our Lord. Yes, our “best selves” is truly who we are on the inside, but we are not merely souls. We are souls with a body, and our outside should reflect our inside. When we go to Mass to see our Lord and receive Him, become ONE with Him, we should want to be our best selves – both inwardly and outwardly. It’s a matter of respect.
Imagine this: you are going on a date with your spouse. He/she loves you unconditionally right? (They should-they vowed to!) Technically you could go on this date in sweats and a ratty T shirt and they’d still love you. But there is something about getting ready for a date - picking out an outfit that makes you feel beautiful/handsome, doing your hair, and putting on perfume or cologne. During the process you think about the person you are about to spend time with and you look forward to the date. Then you come downstairs looking fabulous and your spouse lights up. It’s a beautiful moment because it communicates to them that you were so looking forward to this and the special care you took to look your best for them was worth it. THIS IS MASS!
You are going on a ‘date; with Jesus. Dressing up for Mass prepares our hearts for the time we are about to spend with Him. It lets Him (and the world) know that we are excited to spend time with Him. Yes, He loves us always no matter what we wear. But when we dress with intention, it truly makes a difference in our hearts, and is a respectful gesture for the most important date we will ever go on.BACK TO LIST