Sunday, August 5, 2012

When You Dress for Mass...

Here are some wise words from Fr. Eric Andersen (Sacred Heart/ St Louis Parish, Gervais, OR) regarding attire for Mass. This is an excerpt from a homily he gave on July 29, 2012.

…[W]hen you dress for Mass, it should not resemble the way you dress to go to a football game, or to a bar, or to the beach. We should dress for Mass setting ourselves apart as a sacred gift to God. This is what I have told our girls and young ladies who are servers for Mass. I have told them that they need to dress appropriately even if they are not serving at Mass. And I have told them that they should dress modestly even when they are not at church, meaning no bare shoulders, no low necklines, and no short skirts. Skirts should cover a lady’s knees. The idea is that we don’t draw attention to yourselves. Our teens need to hear this from their parents and they need to hear it from their priests. Nobody else will tell our young girls this message. Adult women need to set the example for our young ladies. Mothers and fathers need to teach their daughters that Mass is not about getting a date, but that it is a date with God.

This is what I have told the boys and young men who are servers and acolytes: dress like gentlemen. Dads need to help me out on this and set the example for their sons. I told the boys to be clean and well groomed. I have told them that they need to wear collared shirts, tucked in, and to wear a tie if they have one. Long pants. No shorts. Wear proper shoes and keep them shined. Church clothes should be reserved for Church. They are less expensive than jeans, t-shirts, and athletic shoes.

I am speaking to you about this because I love you. As your spiritual father I need to tell you these things. That is what a father does. Each of you are so precious in the eyes of God. Each of you has such beautiful gifts to offer to God. Come to church as a child of God, humble, pure, and holy.
Let us empty ourselves and be generous to God. Let us give Him our absolute best. Let us offer Him something faithful and beautiful and pure. He will give us far more in return than we can even imagine. The liturgy is not about us, it is about God. Let us decrease as He increases before us and among us and out into the world. All for the glory of God. 

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