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Reverence, Silence & Respect In Parishes


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PaxCordisJesu
50 minutes ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

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."

Too true! If I were to step into a TLM church without clothes meeting very exacting standards, I'd be shot daggers by most people. Most trads seem to believe that even makeup and jewelry is "immodest", whatever they mean by that. IMHO, forcing girls to cover up every inch of their bodies is more objectifying than many fashions out there! 

Sorry, Sicut, that was also off topic! :)

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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

1 hour ago, SicutColumba said:

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. 

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 girls from the american chapter from far away.

However, my favorite story about dress in churches was told by our parish priest. He was to celebrate a wedding mass. The married couple did not warn him that their wedding was Greeks-and-Romans themed and that all of the guest were going to show up in church wearing togas. He nearly had a heart attack.

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Just a reminder that decorum is a subvirtue of modesty. Therefore, what is not appropriate for a particular setting is immodest, no matter how much it hides.

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49 minutes ago, PaxCordisJesu said:

Too true! If I were to step into a TLM church without clothes meeting very exacting standards, I'd be shot daggers by most people. Most trads seem to believe that even makeup and jewelry is "immodest", whatever they mean by that. IMHO, forcing girls to cover up every inch of their bodies is more objectifying than many fashions out there! 

Sorry, Sicut, that was also off topic! :)

This must be particular to where you are.  I have never heard makeup or jewelry talked about, and most women will wear some makeup.  Although nothing like evening makeup to church (like a smokey eye)  - although it wouldn't be out of place at a concert or theatre.  I don't think I've ever seen daggers, although there were some slightly confused looks at one woman and her daughters at Palm Sunday once where their dresses were halfway up their thighs and a bit plunging down the front.  If anything, they stood out; we knew they were visitors.  Made sure they had missals, and it wasn't like they were trying to offend.

I wear slacks to church when I feel like it; which isn't often, but likely when it's raining and I know I'll get mud splashes up my legs etc.  It's rarer, but there are some communities who get pretty in a huff that women must wear mantillas.  Not scarves, not hats. Which is crazy, and really shows an insularism and a lack of knowledge, showing they are completely devoid of understanding why things were done and how they evolved.

Nada's comment reminds me of all the lovely First Communion pictures from the pre-1960s where the girls' dresses were often way above their knees, and their veils were often the longest thing they were wearing (in some places there was the tradition to wear the mother's wedding veil for first communion).  And that's the thing too, in most of Western society through the early 20th century, girls did not wear long skirts/dresses until they were considered 'old enough'.  A long dress was a mark that one was mature.  Society implied that young girls should not be sexualized, and thus it should not matter if their dresses were shorter.

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Christians in general are rather taken aback by the atmosphere in Orthodox synagogues, I think, as being lacking in "proper decorum".   It comes from the historical reality that it is the minyan, the prayer quorum, which counts, and the place used for prayer was often multifunctional -- a school, an assembly room, as well as an edifice in which prayer occurred.  And standards of dress vary; most American non-Orthodox synagogues permit a liberality of dress styles that the Orthodox [and Israelis] find insufficiently dignified and respectful of the concept that one is in the presence of holiness.  But there's no doubt of the ferventness and concentration of an Orthodox congregation, regardless of overall decorum or what one is wearing!

IMO, good grooming is never amiss.  If one takes time over one's appearance for a job interview, how much so when approaching the Greatest Employer of them all?

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:smokey: 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 church), Marie Killilea wrote of a missionary priest who was visiting the US, giving presentations about African missions. When he showed a film of tribes attending Mass, he explained something about a sort of cloth that both men and women wore about the waist... and they were wearing little else. (Women had bare breasts.)

One of those attending was irate, and said, "Father! You let those women go to Mass without hats!" :)

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