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Reverence, Silence & Respect In Parishes


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On 4/18/2021 at 10:18 PM, Nunsuch said:

Also, "modesty" is not just a woman thing, although it often treated that way--what about men?

Just out of interest: what would be considered as immodest male clothing? It is indeed always about women, I'd really want to know what I as a man should keep in mind.

Not that I'm worried, recently an elderly couple came to me before entering the church, just to tell me they noticed that I'm always so well dressed for Mass and that I should keep that up. :hehe:

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This thread has become so odd - if rather entertaining - that I cannot resist adding a very funny memory. In her best-selling book, "Karen" (1950s, when women still had to cover their heads in ch

If jeans are unacceptable for women, are they also for men? Also: tank tops and other sleeveless shirts, t-shirts (tight, torn, and/or with problematic illustrations or slogans), shorts, etc. Let

I remember being at a TLM at Rouen in Normandy, a lady entered with a mantilla. My (very) trad friend  whispered to me "that's how you spot the american tourist." Same at Chartres, you could spot the

33 minutes ago, NonNovi said:

Just out of interest: what would be considered as immodest male clothing? It is indeed always about women, I'd really want to know what I as a man should keep in mind.

Not that I'm worried, recently an elderly couple came to me before entering the church, just to tell me they noticed that I'm always so well dressed for Mass and that I should keep that up. :hehe:

If jeans are unacceptable for women, are they also for men? Also: tank tops and other sleeveless shirts, t-shirts (tight, torn, and/or with problematic illustrations or slogans), shorts, etc.

Let me make it clear--I'm not a fan of modesty codes; I'm grateful when people come to church, and don't think that being critical is a way to keep them coming back. But women shouldn't be seen as somehow the "guardians" of purity. If men are tempted by women's attire, I suggest the problem is at least as much due to the men as to the women.  

I'm also not sure why any of this is in a vocations phorum, anyway....

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SicutColumba

Nunsuch has a good answer. Men’s clothing can definitely be immodest. Too flashy, too tight, inappropriate slogans, etc. 
There’s a difference between being suggestively dressed and simply not dressed for the occasion. Jeans, for instance, aren’t bad (if they fit right) in themselves, but their place is not at mass. Same goes for tank tops and shorts. 

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It's funny, I work partime retail and  have a full time job,so don't get to mass on Sundays. However, I have seen black families go grocery shopping or come into our store and you can tell, they had  been to church.Why, because dad and his sons are in suits and mom and the girls are in dresses. You know they put on their Sunday best as my late parents would say, to  worship the  Lord. They aren't looking like a bunch of slobs. Even in poor countries the people try to dress up as best they can when they go to church, whether it is Catholic or protestant. Good thing I can't be a priest I'd let my parishioners  know, i don't care for all that stuff.

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Considering that half the young men on the street seem to think it's stylish for half their... hind parts showing, I'd say that modesty extends to the male. :D

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I would probably put it differently, not "modesty" but what is  appropriate for the church including esthetics. When a person, a man or a woman walk into the sanctuary to read wearing a saggy jeans and some top with advertising slogans which have nothing to do with Liturgy it does clash with the environment badly even if it is not "immodest". Perhaps it is more about a liturgical sense than anything else. If a priest is being dressed up then, logically speaking, congregation also can make an effort, for Sunday and the feasts. 

As for men and modesty... again I think it is about a style and an effort and a context. A man in some casual shorts really look out of space but ones I saw an older man in "colonial" shorts and high socks (I do not know how you call them, similar to which are worn with a kilt) all excellently colour coordinated. It worked, probably because it was not too casual and a man made an effort to look good.

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I very much dislike denying Communion to the faithful. I would not consider the priest who won't give Communion to one he judges to be immodestly dressed to be a hero - I think it is tragic. I equally think that he needs to do some soul-searching about his own maturity in his vocation if giving communion to someone in a top he thinks is immodest is an occasion of sin. (I'm assuming they are teens - didn't all of us like to be a bit cheeky to the self-righteous? I'm surprised they go to his church in the first place.) 

I am capable of being very much the dignified Brit at formal services, but I equally delighted in the casual, easy-going services I saw in Italy. (I'm of Italian parentage, and spent time as a Religious, in an Italian congregation.) It is their Father's house. People talk, laugh, wave, kiss in greeting, play with their kids - the priest may say, before the Eucharistic prayer, 'now, I don't want to hear any noise for now, except from the babies.' (The nuns from Cork, who educated me in my youth, could make one think that even smiling in church might mean a fiery destiny.) 

Perhaps I am being cheeky (and I actually prefer formal liturgy, most of the time), but a part of this old lady's mind is thinking, "Loosen up!" I remember a pamphlet from my younger days, about "Mary-like" clothing. (I'm guessing it first appeared in the 1920s, since even short sleeves are frowned upon.) I would imagine that any bloke could get randy, just reading the descriptions! ("Not more than 2 inches from the pit of the throat...")  My mother wore trousers to church in her old age - she was cold! 

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1 hour ago, gloriana35 said:

My mother wore trousers to church in her old age - she was cold! 

My mother was 86 when she died; during her last 4 or so years, she used a "scooter" around her independent living facility to get around. I don't think I saw her in a skirt after she turned 70. And, yet, she was once elected to the 10 best dressed list in her small city, and she always dressed appropriately for any occasion.

I confess that I hardly ever wear a skirt, either, but I wear pantaloons that are neat, clean, and fit properly.

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I'm kind of losing the line of thought in this thread...

I see a difference between immodest clothing (wich should never been worn) and inappropriate clothing (for a specific occasion, such as Holy Mass). I'd say that all immodest clothing is inappropriate clothing, but not the other way around. The terms are often used exchangeable though, I guess that is what can make conversation harder.

My question was about immodest clothing. That would be the kind that could tempt people, because it draws attention to certain bodyparts. Saying that if men are tempted by the women's attire is equally their own fault, is not really fair (neither if it's a woman tempted by men's attire). Isn't that the point with immodest clothing, that it's about provoking wrong ideas by stressing or showing bodyparts (doesn't matter if intended or not)? If that is not the point, then why make a difference between modest and immodest clothing?

Wich clothing is appropriate for church is a whole other discussion. I'm a suit guy, but I'm not expecting others to follow my example. Some people seem to feel underdressed in my presence when they don't wear a tie though :whistle: I think deciding what is appropriate has a lot to do with the understanding of the attended event. If Sunday Mass or major feasts are the most important thing in my week, I'll do the effort to show that in my clothing, just like I would do to attend for example a wedding. Mass in general should actually be of that utmost importance to realise I should think of what I wear. My rule of thumb is that if I can get in St. Peter's in Rome with what I'm wearing, I'm good.

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2 hours ago, Nunsuch said:

My mother was 86 when she died; during her last 4 or so years, she used a "scooter" around her independent living facility to get around. I don't think I saw her in a skirt after she turned 70. And, yet, she was once elected to the 10 best dressed list in her small city, and she always dressed appropriately for any occasion.

I confess that I hardly ever wear a skirt, either, but I wear pantaloons that are neat, clean, and fit properly.

For the record--I never said Pantaloons! This somehow got changed without my participation. Yikes. 

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SicutColumba
1 hour ago, NonNovi said:

My rule of thumb is that if I can get in St. Peter's in Rome with what I'm wearing, I'm good.

My mom used to tell us to dress as if we were going to visit the queen, because we were actually going to visit the king of the universe. 

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I think wrenching "modesty" away from hyper-focus on female purity would be great.  The Summa discusses modesty as acting in the moderate and the "mode" in a great number of actions, whether dressing, eating, studying, etc and is complemented by humility.

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8 minutes ago, truthfinder said:

I think wrenching "modesty" away from hyper-focus on female purity would be great.  The Summa discusses modesty as acting in the moderate and the "mode" in a great number of actions, whether dressing, eating, studying, etc and is complemented by humility.

I feel like there are things to be said about the relationship between modesty and the simplicity of life that Pope Francis calls us to live in Laudato Si'.
I've been trying to buy only clothes that are made in France (my country), and it's hard because it's very expensive (from a "today" point of view - did you know that in the 60's, clothes were 30% of a family annual budget and today it's 5% !), and even if I have the monney, I stuggle to spend as much monney on socks as I used to do for a full dress and shoes, despite knowing that I absolutely can and should do this. 

What to wear to church is very cultural. I remember seeing an american trad parish recommending to have below the kness skirts or dress. To illustrate this, they posted a picture of a girl in a long, flowing, skirt. What they called "modest and appropriate for a chuch" is what my old-fashioned, conservatice, French mom would call "undignified and never appropriate for a propre young girl."

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SicutColumba
12 minutes ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

I've been trying to buy only clothes that are made in France (my country), and it's hard because it's very expensive (from a "today" point of view - did you know that in the 60's, clothes were 30% of a family annual budget and today it's 5% !), and even if I have the monney, I stuggle to spend as much monney on socks as I used to do for a full dress and shoes, despite knowing that I absolutely can and should do this.

There’s a pretty interesting wave of sustainable fashion going around, and I don’t just mean cloth diapers and stuff. There are some really interesting YouTubers like Karolina Żebrowska and Bernadette Banner who push for learning how to sew and repurpose old clothes instead of constantly buying cheap trash, and they end up looking unique and stylish.

 For the past couple of years I’ve been trying to be conscious of what I’m wearing, if it’s made of a material that’s good for the environment and if it’s made using fair labor practices. But it can be expensive. 

12 minutes ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

What they called "modest and appropriate for a chuch" is what my old-fashioned, conservatice, French mom would call "undignified and never appropriate for a propre young girl."

Remember that what’s considered appropriate varies wildly from country to country and has considerably changed over the ages. There are basic standards of decency common to the western world, but what’s normal in the US might not be in France. For example, I attend a TLM in France; where in America the overwhelming majority of women at the TLM (at least the ones I’m familiar with) would veil with mantillas, in France many trad women don’t veil at all, or if they do they usually wear a headscarf or hat. Trads in the US dress very differently from those in France (perhaps it’s the Protestant influence) but that doesn’t mean one is inherently right or wrong. Both have their equal share of problems. 

Edited by SicutColumba
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