Casual Sunday Mass Times

Should parishes offer a casual dress Mass (in parishes large enough to already have multiple Mass times on Sunday.)

I have continually seen threads on CAF with people debating on the proper clothing for attending Mass. Some say “Dress your best.” which typecasts less fancily dressed people as either very irreverent or very poor. Others say “God does not judge clothing and people shouldn’t either.” Most agree people should not wear dirty, shabby, or immodest clothes.

Well what if parishes set up one Mass time for people that prefer formal wear, and a different time for those who prefer casual wear? There would be inevitable arguments about which group got the best time slot, but at least there would be less glancing around and judging at each Mass.

I think having everyone together helps the more elegant and expensive people tone it down a bit, and helps the more casual people not to show up in a tube top and Daisy Dukes. And of course, people who just dress simply, neatly, and modestly wouldn’t know which one they should go to. Plus there may be people whose jobs required attendance at the formal Mass and also required that they wore more casual clothes, so they might just stop going. And tourists wouldn’t know which Mass was which, and would feel uncomfortable.

But mostly, I think separating people out would incline people toward less moderation. I like moderation. :slight_smile:


Can’t agree because:

  1. There are so few of us at my local parish (1/4 full at a busy mass).

  2. Our priest has two churches to minister to, has to take his turn being on 24 hour call, has a load of diocesan work and has to cover if another priest is away for any reason. We don’t have any Deacons.

  3. The volunteer roster is so stretched we are down to one reader per mass.

  4. People have different ideas on what is best and casual.

  5. Some people can’t afford fancy clothes.

  6. How can a universal church justify segregation?:eek:

Just what we need – one more added division in a parish

aren’t they all casual dress anymore? :smiley: I guess it depends on what you mean by “casual”. Are you assuming people will judge others by their clothing as far as being “rich” or “poor”? I see people walk in with suits on, etc and at the same time others with jean shorts and t-shirts. That doesn’t stop them now. I don’t understand encouraging people to dress down. All that’s doing is encouraging those who wish to dress their best for the Mass …not to!?? :confused: Keep in mind, yes there are folks who simply can not afford expensive things, but you do not have to have a lot of money to look respectable and respectful. I’ve found blazers and suits at thrift stores that look great. Some of those people that normally roll in wearing shabby clothes immediately pop out their smartphones after Mass to catch up on FB and other things. I really don’t think they care to be honest. If they can afford the latest I-phone, they can afford a couple nicer outfits than they typically wear to church. But that’s just from my observations so its probably just my perception.

We should be more concerned about what’s in our hearts and our reasons for attending Mass. Once that is figured out, the focus on respectful clothing will go away as it won’t be an issue.

I personally don’t care all that much what people wear as far as if they have jeans on or t-shirt. But for example, I see young teen girls walk in to Mass with shorts that barely cover themselves …that is a choice! And the parents are to blame. That I have an issue with. That’s called disrespectful. At some point we have to set an example for children that just because you don’t have a lot of money, doesn’t mean you have no dignity and show no respect.

Formal wear? I’m sorry, but I am picturing in my mind a mass with rows of men in tuxes and woman in evening gowns now. :smiley:

There will always be glancing around even among the formal wearers or the casual wearers. I suppose those who do it should just learn to not do it. But then, maybe they aren’t aware they are judging others, so I doubt it would help. :wink:

The immodesty part is definitely not a money thing, in most cases. People were very immodest at a private university campus church I used to attend, at a university that charged $40K for tuition. These folks had the money to pay for expensive tuition, and pay for clothes that were immodest and expensive looking at the same time. I also remember the woman who attended Holy Mass in a miniskirt so short, she was risking showing her panties to everyone around. After Mass, she strolled to her luxury car that looked like it was worth maybe $70-80K.

I wish they had a Mass with immodesty banned. I don’t care if people’s clothes are cheap or expensive, but I find it troubling that people dress immodestly for Mass.

On second thought, it’s probably not a good idea to have “modest” and “immodest” Masses. All Masses should be modest. :stuck_out_tongue:

This topic is so frequently raised that I am left wondering if there is anyone left still capable of focusing on Christ for one hour instead of what others are wearing!:shrug:

Modesty is the closest thing to a “dress code” that we have in Church history and tradition. The idea that we should refuse admittance to Mass on the bases of good clothes and less than good clothes is appalling. :frowning: Will the parish form a dress code committee and have ushers at the entrance judging everyones “type” of clothing? :eek: :rolleyes:

I don’t think I have ever seen anyone in formal wear at any church I have ever attended, besides maybe a wedding. At the weddings I have attended at churches, the dress code was more informal or semi-formal.
I would say most men I see at church wear typical business casual clothes: dress pants and a button up shirt. The most formal I have ever seen a man dress at church would be informal/business attire which would be a suit and tie.

I am guessing the formal attire mass wouldn’t have very many people in it. I don’t see myself dressing up in an evening gown every Sunday.

I personally would be resistant to this concept. I understand what you are saying about trying to relieve some of the judgement that can and does occur, however I think that it would only serve to further distinguish one group of people from another, and not in a good way.

Part of the beauty and oneness of the Mass is the fact that we are all at the table together, regardless of any socioeconomic distinctions. This has been the case since the very beginning (excluding of course some rather patchy times in the past), as it is put in the CCC:

1348 *All gather together. * Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose “Amen” manifests their participation. (1140, 1548)


1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body—the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body.233 The Eucharist fulfills this call: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:”234 (1118, 1267, 790, 1064)

I fear that having a separate Mass based on what can be a very outward sign of social status, would promote disunity and further prideful thoughts among those that would already be disposed to such dangers.

Besides, anyone that is sitting in the pew and not focusing on worship and prayer but on what the person next to them is wearing and subsequently making a judgement about that person’s motives or faith, may need to make an examination of conscience.

BTW I am not saying that it is either appropriate or reverent for a person to show up to Mass in immodest clothing, just that we don’t always know why a person would be doing so.

Obviously not all. :thumbsup:

Our preferences are inconsequential when at Mass. The thinking that what “I prefer” matters is the root of most of our liturgical problems today. Take music for example, the question isn’t do you prefer chant and polyphony or guitars and hymns. The question is which styles of music are appropriate at Mass. Preferences don’t matter. Propriety does. The same is true of dress. The question isn’t “how do you prefer to dress for Mass,” rather we need to ask “how should we be dressing for Mass.”

It’s not a matter of fancy dress but neat and socially acceptable dress. I live near a church, not RC, where all the women come with dresses, at least down to their knees and hats. The men are all in suits or pants and jackets. These are not wealthy people but they make sure they have Sunday best clothing. As you may have guessed, these are people of color. They still have respect for God’s House.
What is the purpose of having dressed down Sunday? From what I have seen, most masses are dress down. At least they come. I agree with what Michelle Arnold keeps writing. You should be paying attention to the mass and your own sins and stop judging what others are doing at mass. If it bothers, you sit in the first few pews and you won’t have to see anyone else.

What you described still isn’t* formal wear*. What you described is informal/business wear. If we had different Mass/Church times would these people be allowed in the formal attire Mass? I think not.

I say no because Mass isn’t about us, it is about worshiping God, and we are to do so in reverence because he more than deserves it. Therefore, you should always seek ty dress up in your Sunday best for God. I commend those who go as far as to wear suits.

Since I belong to the Melkite Church, I guess I should dress according to the Byzantine Empire standard of “nice” clothing. The men did not wear collared shirts and ties. :wink:

No, because you don’t go to church/Mass to “show off” anything. The main focus should be on Jesus Christ. If you lose focus on Him to another man or woman and what they are wearing, that is a problem. You are there to pray and worship God, not to judge others, IMHO.

I would like to add that I feel casual clothing at church could lead people, or more specifically children, to believe that church isn’t importantor that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I voted “no” because if certain clothing isn’t okay to wear to Mass then it isn’t okay at any Mass. If it is okay then my opinion of it is of no importance. At our parish the style of dress and income level seems to have no correlation.

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