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  #61  
Old Oct 4, '11, 12:14 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
Good idea. Why not?!
This would be a good idea for those to keep it uniform or for those who feel they cannot afford to purchase any kind of nice, untattered clothing. Although, if there is a certain lector/cantor dress code at the church which do not supply robes/albs, then maybe borrowing or saving up for one "Sunday outfit" that you could buy at a discount store or thrift shop could possibly work. I've worn the same uniform every Sunday, as well as wear the same outfit for cantoring weddings, etc. especially after giving birth or when I was pregnant. As long as it's clean, why should anyone care about wearing the same outfit once a week? I wouldn't care.

I have to say, even though I still wear my nice clothing as a cantor, I do not mind it when I have to wear a choir robe when I cantor. The only problem I have is when the choir robe is a "loud" color, like a bright red. It brings too much attention to the cantor since he/she is up front. I know that happens because I've been told from people in the congregation that their eyes kept looking at me during the mass, no matter how still I sat, since the color of the robe was so bright. I prefer darker colors like a dark blue or even a black choir robe. A cream-colored one is also neutral enough.
  #62  
Old Oct 5, '11, 3:35 pm
FatHead FatHead is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by Sarabande View Post
I have to say, even though I still wear my nice clothing as a cantor, I do not mind it when I have to wear a choir robe when I cantor. The only problem I have is when the choir robe is a "loud" color, like a bright red. It brings too much attention to the cantor since he/she is up front. I know that happens because I've been told from people in the congregation that their eyes kept looking at me during the mass, no matter how still I sat, since the color of the robe was so bright. I prefer darker colors like a dark blue or even a black choir robe. A cream-colored one is also neutral enough.
choir robes seem so protestant though. couldnt you wear an alb or something? (guys could be in cassocks and surplices too).
  #63  
Old Oct 5, '11, 7:21 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by FatHead View Post
choir robes seem so protestant though. couldnt you wear an alb or something? (guys could be in cassocks and surplices too).
I don't think it's "Protestant", especially if the cantor is coming from the choir, which happens a lot, especially in one cathedral I worked at and at a number of cathedrals where I've attended mass. Many choirs at Catholic churches use choir robes, so it makes sense that the cantor would wear one as well, unless, of course, the cantor is a seminarian or deacon. I've seen organists wear the cassocks, but that I've actually heard people refer to it as "too Protestant", but personally I think the wearing of cassocks or choir robes are fairly neutral to me in terms of lay people wearing them. You also have to realize that as a cantor, you really don't have a choice if the pastor or the music director is telling you to wear something. Most of the time, cantors really don't have much power. haha! (We usually don't have a say in the music either, although we tend to be blamed constantly for it, when it's really either the priest or the music director/organist.) So, even if I did feel that it was too Protestant to wear a choir robe, I couldn't just go and wear an alb, especially if the rule was I had to wear the choir robe.

That said, where I have my main cantor job, there are no robes or albs for me to wear, which I think is fine as well. I always try to wear neutral-colored, modest clothing so as to not bring too much attention to myself and that includes with how I sing. (ie. I sing in a more sacred, subdued way with my classical training, even though I can and do sing like a trained opera singer for my outside opera gigs) I think most of the time, I've done my duty with that, based on what I often been told which is always wonderfully humbling and helps me always stay focused on the prayer. I'm sure you can't please everyone as I know some people don't like classically-trained singers and some have assumed the worst in us, but I know I'm doing my job well and without ego.

Quite honestly, my preference would be to sing from the choir loft, with the exception of the psalm and gospel acclamation. Because, really, I rarely, if ever look at the cantor for direction as to when to come in to sing a hymn or the parts of the mass. I don't even look at them for the responsorial psalm or gospel acclamation. The organist should be able to lead them with how he/she does the introduction before the congregation comes in. I know that many people who aren't musicians do the same. The instrumentalist really is more important with leading the music, in my personal opinion, although a good, well-trained cantor and/or choir can add the vocal prayer to it. But that is all for another thread.
  #64  
Old Oct 5, '11, 8:42 pm
FatHead FatHead is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by Sarabande View Post
I don't think it's "Protestant", especially if the cantor is coming from the choir, which happens a lot, especially in one cathedral I worked at and at a number of cathedrals where I've attended mass. Many choirs at Catholic churches use choir robes, so it makes sense that the cantor would wear one as well, unless, of course, the cantor is a seminarian or deacon. I've seen organists wear the cassocks, but that I've actually heard people refer to it as "too Protestant", but personally I think the wearing of cassocks or choir robes are fairly neutral to me in terms of lay people wearing them. You also have to realize that as a cantor, you really don't have a choice if the pastor or the music director is telling you to wear something. Most of the time, cantors really don't have much power. haha! (We usually don't have a say in the music either, although we tend to be blamed constantly for it, when it's really either the priest or the music director/organist.) So, even if I did feel that it was too Protestant to wear a choir robe, I couldn't just go and wear an alb, especially if the rule was I had to wear the choir robe.

That said, where I have my main cantor job, there are no robes or albs for me to wear, which I think is fine as well. I always try to wear neutral-colored, modest clothing so as to not bring too much attention to myself and that includes with how I sing. (ie. I sing in a more sacred, subdued way with my classical training, even though I can and do sing like a trained opera singer for my outside opera gigs) I think most of the time, I've done my duty with that, based on what I often been told which is always wonderfully humbling and helps me always stay focused on the prayer. I'm sure you can't please everyone as I know some people don't like classically-trained singers and some have assumed the worst in us, but I know I'm doing my job well and without ego.

Quite honestly, my preference would be to sing from the choir loft, with the exception of the psalm and gospel acclamation. Because, really, I rarely, if ever look at the cantor for direction as to when to come in to sing a hymn or the parts of the mass. I don't even look at them for the responsorial psalm or gospel acclamation. The organist should be able to lead them with how he/she does the introduction before the congregation comes in. I know that many people who aren't musicians do the same. The instrumentalist really is more important with leading the music, in my personal opinion, although a good, well-trained cantor and/or choir can add the vocal prayer to it. But that is all for another thread.
i agree with everythiing you said, especially singing from the loft. i guess we'll just dissagree on the choir robes but you are right, almost nothing is really the cantor's fault, even though (s)he is usually blamed for it.
  #65  
Old Oct 5, '11, 8:51 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by FatHead View Post
i agree with everythiing you said, especially singing from the loft. i guess we'll just dissagree on the choir robes but you are right, almost nothing is really the cantor's fault, even though (s)he is usually blamed for it.
That's ok. It would be quite boring if everyone agreed with every subject.
  #66  
Old Oct 6, '11, 12:14 am
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by Dies_Irae View Post
What's wrong with a cassock and surplice?

The prescribed dress for ministers in the mass, per the GIRM #119, is alb with cincture and amice (unless the alb is cut to not need them), save where local legislation allows otherwise.

So, if "vesting," they should be vested in alb.

If a properly instituted Lector, and not a lay reader, they are required to wear the alb. It's part of the expectations of being a member of that instituted order. Lay readers should be vested likewise.

The "legislation" involved is at the local bishop's discretion, in accord with Tradition, canon law, tradition, and the approved norms of the national councils. If he promulgates a dress code, one exists.

But, note tradition with the small "t" - in the US, it includes cassocks and surplices for lay ministers who are male, but not for those who are female. (Female lay readers go back to before V II... it was the only liturgical ministry open to women aside from the schola/choir.)

The cassock is explicitly male clerical clothing - the uniform of the parish clergy both major (bishop/priest/deacon) and minor (subdeacon/lector/acolyte/porter). For lay servers, it is hoped to draw them to the clerical life... but for lay readers, it's usually not seen that way.
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  #67  
Old Oct 6, '11, 5:30 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
Female lay readers go back to before V II... it was the only liturgical ministry open to women aside from the schola/choir.
What role would they have had as readers? No lay people read at Mass before Vat. II.
  #68  
Old Oct 6, '11, 7:51 am
FatHead FatHead is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
What role would they have had as readers? No lay people read at Mass before Vat. II.
yeah thats what i thought
  #69  
Old Oct 7, '11, 12:12 am
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InspiritCarol InspiritCarol is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

Does anyone find it really funny that this thread was re-energized pending this week's gospel reading?
Gospel Mt 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
"Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."
I brainstorm weekly with the local ministers about our common readings. The Lutheran minister posed this insightful question:
Why didn't the guy have a wedding garment on?

I would submit that the reason was because the man thought he was entitled to be there and need show no respect for his host or the import of the event.
As Catholics, we can interpret this passage in a very literal sense (ccc 112).

Is my presence and appearance at Mass telling God He should thank me and appreciate me for being there? It should be the opposite, no?

Do we *charitably* help our brothers to understand the importance of this - and if so, how?

In the case of my church, just bringing it up in a couple of meetings and having it appear on agendas etc. seems to have gotten the message across.

I suppose the bottom line is that it is between us and God and sooo I must --- reluctantly --- agree with puzzleannie... this is and should be a matter for the priest.
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Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux!
(May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!)
  #70  
Old Oct 10, '11, 9:58 pm
FirstCalled FirstCalled is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspiritCarol View Post
At the Lector Training session last night, the topic of a dress code for lectors was broached. We definitely need one, especially for the youth mass. The woman who is in charge of coordinating the youth is very much against the idea; though, of course she didnt show up to the meeting. Now Im the one catching all the flack because I volunteered to help put some basic guidelines together.

I was just wondering if there are other churches out there with similar issues. If so how do you handle it?

Are we being too judgmental and constrictive in expecting Lectors to dress nicely for Mass?
Our youth minister also doesn't believe in a dress code. Jesus said "Come as you are to worship." Although I don't believe he ever said that lol, as a matter of fact, we just heard the gospel where the wedding guest was not in his proper garments and was thrown out. Recently we were together a few hours before mass with the priest and she wanted my bro to be lector. I looked at him and jeans and said he wasn't dressed for it. She said "nonsense" and asked the priest, priest looked him up and down and said "no." She was silent after that.
  #71  
Old Oct 11, '11, 5:23 am
garn9173 garn9173 is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

I would say in this day and age, business casual would be more than acceptable, but I guess it just depends on the person, if he/she wants to go the business formal route, then that's okay as well. Just as long as their attire doesn't distract one from listening to the Word of the Lord, then i'm good with whatever.
  #72  
Old Oct 11, '11, 6:49 am
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MissRose73 MissRose73 is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

What works best for a typical business casual or professional office that errs more on conservative, neat, and modest should be fine for readers of both genders. I would say no jeans unless the person owns no decent pants/trousers of other types at all.

I've not done reading but I've been an EMHC, and made sure my clothing was appropriate, neat, clean and modest. Most readers abide by those simple guidelines but I've seen people go up wearing worn out jeans, tight/revealing clothes, etc and have had uncharitable thoughts at times as to how dare they not give a decent effort.
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  #73  
Old Oct 11, '11, 7:04 am
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InspiritCarol View Post
Does anyone find it really funny that this thread was re-energized pending this week's gospel reading?
Gospel Mt 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
"Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."
I brainstorm weekly with the local ministers about our common readings. The Lutheran minister posed this insightful question:
Why didn't the guy have a wedding garment on?

I would submit that the reason was because the man thought he was entitled to be there and need show no respect for his host or the import of the event.
As Catholics, we can interpret this passage in a very literal sense (ccc 112).

As Christians, we "Put on Christ" and we "Clothe ourselves with righteousness". That is the wedding garment - how much we act like Christ toward our fellow man. You can't treat people like garbage and expect to come into the wedding feast at the end of time.

We can interpret the passage literally, but it is imporant to remember that it was a parable for Jews who were caught up in external appearances and thought that how they dressed and what they ate made them holy in the eyes of God. I really don't think Jesus meant it as a literal reference to how one dresses but as an allegory as to how one behaves.


-Tim-
  #74  
Old Oct 11, '11, 3:15 pm
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InspiritCarol InspiritCarol is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
As Christians, we "Put on Christ" and we "Clothe ourselves with righteousness". That is the wedding garment - how much we act like Christ toward our fellow man. You can't treat people like garbage and expect to come into the wedding feast at the end of time.

We can interpret the passage literally, but it is imporant to remember that it was a parable for Jews who were caught up in external appearances and thought that how they dressed and what they ate made them holy in the eyes of God. I really don't think Jesus meant it as a literal reference to how one dresses but as an allegory as to how one behaves.


-Tim-
Yes. Read ccc 112-115 , scripture is literal, allegorical, anagogical and moral all at once.
Just so, Mass can represent all these as well.
Would you not find the lector a bit hypocritical if they were reading this passage in attire that seems to disregard/disrespect the level of expectation set by their fellow congregants?

IOW, in Hawaii, we attended a Mass where everyone wore flip-flops and shorts; the lector wore a jacket over his Hawaiian shirt. Even in the most casual setting, there was a sense of purpose; a role and responsibility that is understood of the various ministers that equates to a slap in the face to the congregants when any aspect of that role is not taken seriously.

I have encountered "formal attire" Mass in many regions of the world. I honestly can't say which I prefer or which is better. Different strokes for different folks, right? BUT it becomes about "how one behaves" if that mode of dress is so distracting as to make it about "them" and not Christ; just as the improperly dressed wedding guest did.
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Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux!
(May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!)
  #75  
Old Mar 19, '12, 6:30 am
Greads Greads is offline
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Default Re: Dress code for lectors?

Besides what our parish may say about dress, there's also a personal responsibility that boils down to plain ol common sense and respect. If there's a cardinal rule, it should be to never dress in ways that draw attention to us. Short skirts, sleeveless blouses, wild ties and ridiculous colors to name a few. The instant our listeners eye these distractions, their attention immediately diverts away from the word of God were proclaiming, and all is lost.

Dress codes also apply beyond the days were assigned to read. To deck ourselves out in our Sunday best when were reading and then show up the following Sunday in our tennis sweats sends a mixed message. We are being watched by our fellow parishioners every Sunday whether were reading or not; and in many way besides just our attire: the way we sit and kneel, our attentiveness to the homily, reverence during the Eucharist Prayer, enthusiasm when we sing and other visible signs of our spirituality. We are never off duty.

At a mass I recently attended in a small Ohio town, four middle-aged men in blazers and ties were serving on the altar. What a refreshing sight it was. Talk about raising the bar and keeping it that way. They sure had my vote.

George Miller, www.lectorresources.com
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