Are people dressing immodestly during Mass?

WOW! I wish this parish existed in my city :frowning: You are very lucky to have such a wonderful parish near you!

The only time I’ve ever seen a sign with dress requirements was at St. Peter’s in Rome :cool:

Wow, I can’t believe someone came in wearing a swimsuit and flip flops with nothing else on :eek:

Reading this thread has definitely made me think more about how I should dress for Mass. During the academic year, many university students who attend Mass do wear sweatshirts and jeans. I was one of them (especially before I became Catholic), but I’m going to do my very best to dress up from now on, regardless of what other people are doing.

Hmmm… You’ve got a point on the simplicity… but for me, I usually dress up to go for Mass. There is a difference between dressing up and being dressy. Being in the work force with a job role that requires me to meet a lot of people, I make sure that I put on my best as a sign of respect towards the other person to signify that I take him/her seriously enough to take the effort to dress up.

If I can give another person that much respect and take that much trouble to “impress” the other person, how can I do less for God who warrants much much much more?

When I attend a function or a dinner or a special occasion, I dress up for it. The Mass is the most important and the most special occasion that I am attending. Hence, I feel I should dress up for it, though usually in a work dress, business suit or something appropriate for work.

Frankly I thought I’d heard it all, but a swimsuit and flip-flops is way over the top.

However, in defending some of the young people (not that the behavior’s acceptable!)…it seems it’s just another sign of our society’s “anything goes” and lack of boundaries in formative years. Let me tell you, I see it all the time. I have 3 kids and it’s a real uphill battle to combat what they see / hear at school, etc. We have no TV (let them watch decent movies, etc.), live in a rural place, and they go to a Catholic school…but it’s amazing what they come home with verbally and their “new” ideas! I think the main difference is when I grew up there was a sense that so many things I had no choice about. Now the kids are KING and feel empowered at a young age to decide things for themselves…and are given a million choices about everything. So why not what they wear at Mass.? so to speak.

One day a friend of my son’s was over and I remember him saying to me “But I don’t want to eat what you’re having for dinner.” I said “Sorry, that’s what is here to eat.” He just looked at me completely perplexed…then over again “BUt I don’t want that.” It went on like this several times, and he was puzzled that I would get up and make him something else.:eek:

I’ve never seen anyone go to church in a swimsuit yet, but I’ve definitely seen inappropriate dress on more than one occasion. I do remember some time ago, an “altar girl” who was wearing shorts that just barely covered her rear. My boyfriend and I could hardly believe it!

That being said, I’m not going to start defending this young girls’ dress or anything, but as a woman, I’m finding it VERY difficult to find clothing that isn’t too tight or too short. Ah, and summer is just around the corner…

…woops. About my picky eater story, I did not get up and make him a special dinner. :wink:

This thread makes me think of Our Lady of Fatima and her words of warning about modern fashions and how God feels about the way we dress. There is definitely something spiritual about our clothes, just like there is something spiritual about the music we choose to listen to. We and those around us are influenced spiritually by our clothing and music.

Romans 12 talks about not conforming to the standards of this world…

Simplicity is beautiful. Modesty doesn’t have to be fancy to be beautiful.

There is also a Catholic woman who, within the past few years, has written a book about modest dressing.

I live in Texas and as the weather gets hotter, it gets worse. I do my best to follow the St. Padre Pio guidelines (skirt past the knee, sleeves past the elbow and no cleavage). I agree that with the current styles available this is difficult. I have resorted to wearing some of the more stylish low cut tops with a tank top underneath. The bad thing is that I have to wear the tank top backwards to make it high enough to be decent! (If you want to try this I recommend the “tagless” ones. I got some in Walmart for $4-5.)

I struggle with my 7 yo dd who wants to wear jeans to church b/c she sees so many others doing it, including the Deacon serving the mass.

Something I have noticed, and this might be peculiar to my parish, is that parents will have the little girls nicely dressed in Sunday best and the parents will be in jeans and a tshirt. We have a small parish and I see this very often.

I entirely agree with you here. I have had to move during Mass because my fantasies got out of control. I know of three other men who also had to move. I have seen women in “comfort pants” so clingy that I clearly distinguish their intimate body parts. This is immodest and disruptive during the liturgy.

More on this later.

On numerous occasions I have seen drop dead gorgeous women wearing halter tops to church. On one occasion in particular, there was a girl so beautiful that she could have been Miss America in a halter top. Practically every male eye in the church was trained on her. I noticed the poor young priests eyes being drawn to her, but he would quickly look away.

My ex-husband said that there was no point in him going to church that morning, because he wasn’t able to go to communion after seeing her. (He was a weak- willed person to begin with.)

This young woman, who was probably about 23, had to know the effect she was creating. I just don’t understand why she did it. If she had been dressed modestly, she would have been noticed. Dressing the way she was dressed caused some men to sin that morning. What was the point of her going to church?

I guess that was the point, as twisted as that is.

I don’t know how he could have caught up with her – maybe summoned an usher to the altar and told him/her to corral that person after mass – but the priest should have talked to her after church. She may not realize that she is partially responsible for those sins, in the sense that she was leading them into temptation. Of course, the men are responsible for not turning away. What a mess! Lord help us all.

God bless,

Yes they are and its also here in FLORIDA I have lived here since 1990 and I have seen most of the people since then come to mass on Sat Mass in shorts, tee shirts and flip flops as well as that unusual group of older women wanting to look young (30) dress like the hookers on OBT in Orlando , Now for Sunday and special holy days would you think they would dress any different ? NO and its the same for week day mass as well . What ever happened to self respect and the respect for the real presence at mass most done even genuflect when entering the pew or at the altar rail to recieve communion… Is this a sign of the times or of our corporate damnation ??

Here in Maryland, I usually attend the Saturday vigil mass. In the summer it gets fairly hot. I do wear shorts but they are a modest length (knee length) and a knit top. In the winter I wear a knit top and knit pants.

My dad and I went to Mass at another parish. At the tail end of his homily, the pastor noted that he saw three men wearing shorts. He told them that he would forgive them this one time, but, next week, they needed to come in long pants.

Now, it has been 107 down here most of this week. But, you can wear pants made of a lighter fabric. I have been wearing crop pants and sleeveless tops to work and Mass.

I have come to a tentative conclusion on this: I truly believe that some women (young women and girls) are not aware that they are dressing immodestly. On a regular basis, I have seen women come to daily Mass dressed immodestly. Therefore, if a daily communicant and regular Mass attender comes to church dressed immodestly, she must be unaware.

A friend of mine told me that she used to wear shorts to church and after gazing at the statue of Mary realized she was dressed immodestly. A regular Mass attender, regular communicant, prays the rosary every day: even she was unaware. Therefore, I conclude that the other women are unaware. The whole US Church need a teaching on proper church attire.


Too bad they don’t make crop pants/peddle pushers/capri pants for men/boys. I broke the rule that my son had to wear pants and not shorts after I was continually wearing capris for Mass. It didn’t seem right that I could wear something shorter than pants, yet he couldn’t.

I also don’t make him wear a collared shirt. Many times he is serving, and with the alb, the collared shirt makes him so hot that once he came very close to passing out. Now when he is scheduled to serve, he never wears a collared shirt. If he doesn’t wear a collared shirt, he wears a religious t-shirt. He has a couple, they all have a bible quote and are Catholic in some way. Two he received during Confirmation class.

There have been so many threads on this subject, there’s probably nothing new to add. I will say, however, as a woman, it’s very difficult for me to understand how women could be unaware of immodest dress. Immodesty erupts in our consciences and good manners; to me it is inherent within us. I had an aged nun in high school who was well known for her wisdom…she had anecdotes and quotes she would say over and over during the school year and one of them REALLY stuck with me. It was, **“The outward appearance is indicative of the inward disposition.” ** I believe, on a personal level, that this is true.

I don’t know about men, but I believe for women, your “dress” depicts your personality. Do we not buy the colors and styles that we personally like? As women, do we not spend a lot of time picking out the “perfect” outfit for each occassion or event we attend. Are we not aware of how others will “judge” our appearance for a dance, for a wedding, for a graduation? Any place where others are present? Are we dressing to show something off? Or, are we dressing with dignity that befits our gender?

I do not judge others, but I will never stop getting dressed up for Mass. I am meeting my King and sitting in HIS presence. I know many say, “Jesus doesn’t care what I wear - the important thing is that I am here at Mass”…to me that is patting yourself on the back for doing the very minimal of things. Immodesty is a separate issue, but if I go to Mass in my yard clothes, in my jeans or shorts or sweats and tennies, to me that perpetuates that loss of the sense of the Sacred that has effected so many of our churches and liturgies. It is about respect and awe for the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ on our altars. If I were meeting with the president, you know I would dress with special care and concern for the event.

There is a legend I once heard about a seer who had frequent apparitions of our Blessed Mother. I don’t remember who, or the details, but the point of this thread is illustrated by this simple story.

The seer had been sick in bed for several days when she was visited by Mary, who told her, “get up and wash your face, comb your hair and put on your best dress. You will soon have a special visitor.” You can guess the end of the story…the priest walks in with Holy Communion for her. Point well taken??

Not intentional? I thought showing off the behind was the whole point! :smiley:

***Do any of you have teenagers at home, to point out how you are dressed? I bought a shirt, I thought it was very pretty…guess the ligthing was different in the dressing room at the store…I put it on for church this weekend (my dh had to work so he wasn’t there)…and my dd blurted out, oh my gosh, you can’t be wearing that…your shirt is see-through!

:o Sad the parent is told this by the child, isn’t it? :stuck_out_tongue: But, seriously, had I known it was see through, I wouldn’t have bought it. (I didn’t look in the mirror with it on, and my dd came into the bedroom) I had just put it on…sheesh!

But, MOST of the time, I don’t put something on for mass that would be deemed inappropriate. I dress very modestly, I believe. I think that somewhere along the lines, someone mixed up modesty to mean frumpy or something. There are very classy, attractive clothes out there, that are modest. One doesn’t have to be hanging out to feel they are wearing the ‘in’ look. :o

Now, on occasion I look up from prayer at the communion line, and I notice a young girl, wearing very short shorts. I honestly think this is the style for many teens. My dd does not wear them, and I wouldn’t buy them if she did want to wear them, but I think that many teens just think this is the style, and the parents go along with it. I try not to judge…who knows what’s in someone’s head? But, when I see women in their 20’s…30’s…my age…and they are wearing plunging necklines…it kinda makes me wonder what they were thinking.

They need my kids at their houses inspecting them before they leave! :D***

simplicity doesnt mean immodest or to wear what you would spend your day in visiting a park.

if you had an important job interview you would dress nice wouldnt you? a pair of slacks maybe a tie.
a simple dress or a nice feminine suit.

when you dress nicer to go to an italian restaurant than you do when you go to church maybe its time to rethink your sunday wardrobe. yes?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit