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fides quarens intellectum

Modesty: Does It Include Bare Shoulders In Church?

Bare shoulders in Church?  

212 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think strapless dresses/tops are appropriate/modest enough for Church (Mass, Adoration, weddings...)?

    • yes
      31
    • no
      157


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fides quarens intellectum
this came up in the thread on women veiling in Church, so i started a separate thread to see what you guys (especially for those of you who don't want to weed through 18 pages of text on the veiling thread!).

So - is it ever appropriate to wear something strapless to Mass, Adoration, or as a bride in a wedding? i know our society is saying so (just look at a David's Bridal), but what do you think?

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Mercy me
I voted no because I really don't think it is in keeping with modesty. However, I have found that I am in good company. The churches in Rome require sleeves. Sleeveless is not appropriate muchless thin straps or strapless.

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uruviel
I don't believe it's appropriete for mass. If it is for a special occasion, like a wedding, you can improvise and wear a cover or a shawl. Yes, go out of your way to be modest in a wedding if its strapless or sleevless.

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knightec
I teach a high school confirmation class at my parish. There were several girls who showed up to get confirmed looking like they were about to go clubbing. I can understand trying to be fashionable but when you spend the entire time pulling up the top and pulling down the bottom of your dress because it isn't covering enough, is ridiculous.

When my nephew was getting baptized, if the mothers or godmothers were wearing dresses that were too low cut or had bare shoulders the priest made them cover up before he would finish the baptism. He had a whole box full of sweaters and stuff to cover up with. I thought it was great.

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uruviel
I love the idea of having skirts and shirts available for those who come in inapproprietly dressed. Edited by uruviel

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T-Bone _
[quote name='uruviel' post='1378143' date='Sep 4 2007, 06:12 PM']I love the idea of having skirts and shirts available for those who come in inappropriately dressed.[/quote]

Just like the fancy New York restaurants that "let" you borrow a jacket if you don't have one?

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aprilvasquez
Ewtn and some churches in Rome have paper shawls and skirts that they hand out to those who do come inadequately covered.

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jeffpugh
I voted no. Just, seriously, covering is great. It's very common that women wear things that are revealing, and it bugs me. It's everywhere.

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abercius24
If it makes a guy take a second look, then its distracting enough to not be considered modest dress for Church. Edited by abercius24

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BG45
Bear in mind I'm not Catholic, but, usually during my high school years, I saw more revealing clothing at church many Sundays than I did in school. Bare shoulders for instance, were common in every season but winter. To directly address the topic, yeah, I feel strapless/bare shoulders is inappropriate.

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aalpha1989
I voted no, but I'd like to explain a little bit. I don't believe it's appropriate for Mass or weddings (hopefully the wedding is in the setting of a Mass or Communion service anyway)....but for adoration I could understand it. I don't htink that it is necessarily wrong to have a sleeveless top on at some occasions (informal occasions), and I stop by at adoration on my way home from random events dressed in all sorts of things. I go in work uniform, school uniform, school spirit, jeans and a t shirt, tux (on one occasion), anything. I think adoration is more of just talking to God either formally or informally depending on the prayer we are praying that day. Dress doesnt have a lot to do with adoration, because adoration isn't a liturgy. Our actions matter, but not as much. During adoration the prayer is much more interior and lacks the exterior elements which the Mass contains. The Mass has both.

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fides quarens intellectum
[quote name='uruviel' post='1378143' date='Sep 4 2007, 07:12 PM']I love the idea of having skirts and shirts available for those who come in inapproprietly dressed.[/quote]

yeah - when i was a YM, i'd bring leftover shirts from previous retreats to hand out to girls who didn't wear something modest with them to Mass. after a while, they caught on. never thought about having skirts, though.

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photosynthesis
I don't think it's appropriate for women to wear strapless tops in Church, even those that don't reveal any cleavage. It's simply too much skin. One might ask, "Why not? It's just a woman's shoulders. What's so sexy about that?" Miniskirts only show a woman's thighs, and some women choose to wear low-rise pants and t-shirts that show midriff. While those aren't necessarily sexual parts of a woman's body, they should not be put on display.

Modesty encompasses more than just covering up sexual organs. It's about not drawing attention to yourself. The most beautiful, sacred things in life are hidden. I'll use the Eucharist as an example, for it is the most beautiful reality man has ever encountered. Jesus Christ, our Most High Lord and King, hides under the appearance of bread and wine. Instead of beholding Him in all of His splendor, He wants us to see Him, hidden in the Eucharist, with the eyes of faith. The devout soul gazes upon the Eucharist and says, "Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee, truly present underneath these veils: all my heart subdues itself before Thee, since it all before Thee faints and fails!"

Our culture is very permissive when it comes to talking about sex, to the point where most peoples' conversation about sex is completely inappropriate. The sexual union is so sacred that man should not speak about it. It's a private encounter between a man, a woman, and the Holy Trinity and when someone reveals intimate details, it cheapens the act. This isn't repression, it's reverence.

In a similar way, a woman's body is sacred because God has endowed her with the ability to bear children. The experience of pregnancy is an awe-inspiring encounter with God the Father as he 'knits' a baby in its mothers womb. This isn't to discount the experiences of fathers, but childbearing unites a woman to God in a most intimate way. With this special grace comes the duty of protecting it, and that is why it is especially important for women to dress modestly for her own sake and for the good of Holy Mother Church. A woman's body is like a rare flower that only grows at the top of a very tall mountain. Only the man who is brave enough to scale its height is worthy. If you owned the most expensive house on the face of the earth, would you go out and leave the door unlocked? If you inherited the most expensive diamond in the world, would you show it to everyone you meet? Someone is bound to take advantage of you. Why would wearing immodest clothing be any different?

Clothes are an extension of the human person. What you wear expresses who you are. Am immodest outfit sends the message, "I want everyone to pay attention to how attractive I am. Hey you! Behold me!" But when a woman dresses modestly she says "My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is too beautiful to be kept on display, so I guard it like a precious treasure."

I don't think miniskirts, strapless tops, or outfits that reveal midriff are appropriate for Church, or anywhere else. In the eyes of God, the body is holy, but it must be protected from the eyes of the world, lest the sacred be turned into something profane.

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Sojourner
Not a fan of strapless in general. Clothing should not require that much brain focus to wear ... when you wear strapless you are conscious all the time of potential disaster.

I wouldn't wear spaghetti straps to church either. But a sleeveless dress would be OK, in my view.

Frankly, though, you can look like a hoochie without baring much skin. I've seen women coming to church wearing very tight tops/skirts and so on.

BUT one thing I tell myself is that inappropriate though these outfits are, these women are trying to be beautiful for church. They've just lost touch with the true source of beauty, because they're bombarded daily with images and messages that tell them that emphasizing certain portions of their bodies makes them beautiful. I think the approach of having covering garments available is not a bad idea, but what needs to happen is a steady re-education about beauty -- and not just for women. Lots of women are dressing in the way they think will attract men. And they're usually right ... but it's not the kind of attraction they really want, deep down.

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XIX
[img]http://funnyjoke.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/image005.jpg[/img]
[img]http://funnyjoke.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/image004.jpg[/img]

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Sojourner
[quote name='kateri05' post='1378440' date='Sep 5 2007, 12:01 AM']John Paul II seemed to disagree :rolleyes:[/quote]
Too true ...

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