Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Serious Apron Day Thoughts

Today is a serious apron day. My house looks like a hurricane hit. Some of the chaos is going to stay because we are getting the outside of the house painted. They power washed it on Monday and will start painting tomorrow. The grill and all my plants have been brought inside. My potted plants from the deck are not “deer resistant” and I do not intend to offer a smorgasbord for the local wildlife. As it is, I have discovered that “deer resistant” does not mean bunny, woodchuck, and chipmunk resistant as well. Still, there are lots of little piles of clutter that need to be cleared and surfaces that need to be dusted. I also need to get my laundry out of the way so kids can get theirs done this evening. Four kids home means lots of folks vying for washing machine time. I’m a bit behind because just as we added two more people to the laundry queue, my old dryer died. Good news is that Lowes does next-day delivery. The replacement is now in place and up and running.

So why the apron? Putting on my apron is practical. Lots of pockets to put bits of clutter for redistribution as I go from room to room. It keeps my clothes clean as dishwater and sauces splash. It also reminds me that I am Mom on duty and I have a job to do. It focuses me on the tasks ahead. My youngest child is the very visual one. He pictures the perfect outfit for me as my very cuddly, soft, chenille bathrobe topped withmy favorite apron. It is the merger of Mom’s hugs and nurturing with Mom’s cooking and cleaning. I don’t think that is a very practical combo, but it does tell me that my clothes send a message to my family as well as to myself.

Which brings me to the topic of clothes for church. With the warmer weather, the attire at Mass has taken on a new look. Shorts, flip-flops, spaghetti straps and bare midriffs have all made their appearances. And don’t think it is just the kids who are pushing the envelope of appropriate Mass clothes. Lots of adults look like they just walked in from the beach and we are an inland community.

I’ve heard the argument that God doesn’t care what we wear, but just as my bathrobe and my apron send a message to my family, our Mass attire sends messages to God. Are these the messages you want to send?

  • You know, God, meeting You today in Mass just isn’t that big of a deal. Just because I would take great care in my appearance if I were meeting an important client or dignitary, doesn’t mean I need to show the same respect when I encounter You.
  • I’m physically here today but I am really focusing on all the fun in the sun I will have once I get this Mass thing over with.
  • I’m not really into all that modesty and chastity stuff. It’s my body and I’ll flaunt it if I want to.

Church clothes do not need to be expensive and they do not need to be formal. But if you don’t think Mass is important enough to make your appearance clean, modest, and respectful, why are you going to Mass?


Little Sister said...

I don't know how it is for you but at the Mass I attend, people come in 15 mins late, leave 10 min. early, and come dressed like they either just came from the dance club/beach or are going there straight after church.

I was hoping it's just a Los Angeles thing, but by your post, it's not. I try to dress up when I attend Mass, and am surprised by the things some people will wear. I have friend who wore a strapless dress and sat a few pews in front of me. From behind, it looked like she wasn't wearing anything at all because the dress had no straps.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that adolescents and young adults need to dress up, and so do some of the older folks as well.

Leticia said...

This is one of my pet peeves as well.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel remarked that the poor dress to the nines when going to church. I think he's right. Why don't middle class families dress up for Mass?
Not a priority for them, obviously.