Just have to laugh at this, right? I mean what man in his right mind would show up to Mass in a tank top? But what if we totally relaxed the dress code or basically took the “Hey, at least he came!” attitude that has become the norm in American parishes? Do you think we would find a hairy guy in a tank top standing next to us in the near future? I think so! So, what do we do about this situation?
Well, awhile back I talked about how respect is shown in how you dress with the example our daughter’s volleyball coach, who always wore a suit jacket and tie to the games. Yes, he looked handsome and well dressed, but you knew he took his job seriously. Getting paid for doing a job should be respected with hard work and an outward display of some interest and he did that in his attire. Attending these games, I was always proud of our new school…yes, one man, one team, representing the entire school! Sadly, our young coach’s wife found a better position north and the couple moved over the summer. We have a new coach now, equally young, but a woman and a different coaching style all together. I began to wonder what she will wear to the games. During practice she is strict and very serious, but still I wondered how she will represent our school at the games. The big day arrived and it was an away game, I looked for the coach and there she was in dress pants and a blouse. I was relieved that again our school will be respected by her example.
Many companies have a dress code that forces the employees to show an outward sign of interest for their paid positions, like it or not. Sports have uniforms, schools have uniforms, all forcing this concept of respect and spirit. Not all would take it upon themselves to dress appropriately, so all must conform as ordered. Should we do that for Mass? Should we force parishioners to follow a dress code? I suppose not. That isn’t what our Lord would want, that isn’t how God works or He wouldn’t have given us a freewill.
God loves the hairy guy in a tank top just as much as He loves the young coach in a sport coat and tie. I think that we need to do a better job of evangelizing the believers. I think that parish priests should talk about it more at Mass, I think youth ministers, catechists, parents, and religious should make sure that they are respecting the Mass in their own actions and attire. We live by example, if our hearts aren’t in it, how does the example come across? No we should not relax our attitudes about dressing for Mass, quite the opposite, we should dress the hilt and be with our God and Creator showing Him our love and respect, not only for Him, but for those around us.
One man, one team, representing the whole Church!
Copyright 2011 Ebeth Weidner