Dress attire at Mass......


I had a discussion recently about the topic of “dressing in your sunday best” at mass on Sundays, and the discussion led into a disagreement of appropriate dress attire at all mass’s, whether is Wednesday or Sunday.

The discussion went something like this. My position was, that although Sunday is the day of obligation, the reason we dress up to mass is because we are in the house of God, and the celebration of the mass is just as important on Sunday as it is on Wednesday. If you wear your Sunday best only on Sunday’s, then its kind of hypocritcal to go in jeans on Wednesdays. (All that said, I’m only proving a point, since I go in “comfortable” clothing to church regardless of what day of the week it is, I just make sure I’m presentable).

The other persons position was, that although true, that every mass is important, Sunday being the day of obligation is the only day one is required to wear their Sunday best clothing. That the weekday masses, although no less important, are more casual (not usually having a band or choir, and lasting half the duration of a Sunday Mass) thus making it ok to dress Casually.

So, to summarize, I think that if you believe you must dress up on Sunday in your best clothing for Mass, then you should dress up in no less than your best whatever mass you go to.


I am an EMHC at my parish. I always dress nicely, because I want to be in an appropriate attire to be before my Lord and King, Jesus Christ. Even if I am not scheduled to serve at a particular Mass, I still want to be appropriately dressed for Him. I don’t care what the other people in the Congregation think. It is only to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that I need to answer to; and I believe in doing more, rather than less to please the Blessed Trinity.


since daily Mass goers are usually on their way to work, or school or to whatever activity is planned for the day, they should be dressed for that (as long as it is not a day at the beach).


I am one of those who go to mass after work.
I’m lucky, in that I work where shirt and tie is compulsory. I like wearing my sunday best.

Though, when I don’t work, I wear shirt and nice pants. Never jeans. NEVER shorts.
Shorts are the devil’s work.


If I am fortunate enough to be able to go to Mass at work, it’ll be in a scrub suit, as I am a nurse.


Indeed, I fear that my hairy legs would distract the priest, along with those around me.

I voted:
It’s ok to dress in comfortable clothing providing its presentable (without big logo’s)

I really don’t own anything that would be considered “dressy” with the exception of a pair of black dress pants and a few long-sleeved button-up shirts. I don’t always wear those though, seeing as sometimes I go to mass directly from school. I like to think that I dress modestly, so I’m fine with going to mass the way I usually do.


These discussions always bring back childhood memories of the weekly fashion parade at the church on Sundays in the 1950’s and 60’s. Shoes were shiny, hats were fancy, and cars in the parking lot were shiny. Better have at least an Olds or a Buick though, or at least, hopefully your Chevy wasn’t a Delray or a Biscayne. What nonsense. To whom this applies, at some point, you’re going to have to stop being Protestants who use Catholic vocabulary and start being real Catholics.


So if one puts an effort into dressing in one’s best for Sunday Holy Mass, that makes one a Protestant?

I’m sorry, I’m not following your reasoning here.


Dressing nicely is the standard in our family. My children get questions from other kids and some parents as to why they are dressed nicely. I helped with the Altar Servers and received many questions about the need to dress nicely even in the sanctuary. It seems to be lost on many adults and children that the little red light in the sanctuary means that God is present.


Sunday Mass: one’s best
Weekday Mass: Whatever one needs to wear for the day’s work after the dismissal. For me, usually business attire, but sometimes, if the rest of the day involves outdoor work, or ferrying elderly parents around to doctors, or whatever . . . jeans, modest shorts, etc. that’s OK. . . modest, clean, and ready to pursue one’s calling for that day.


By this statement, you are assuming that no dress standards exist, and they do, even though most Americans now adopt “comfortable” as their only dress criterion.If you’ve ever received an invitation to a dinner or a wedding that specifies “formal” or “semi-formal” or “casual” dress, then you know that there is a big difference. One would feel entirely out of place in “casual” dress at a “black tie” affair. And a formal evening wedding calls for entirely different dress than an afternoon christening - albeit both are conducted at a church.

Sunday Mass is different than weekday Mass, and requires different, more “dressed up” clothing. But that doesn’t necessarily means one’s *best *clothing. “Sunday best” is quite different from “black tie best”.

I think if Catholics decided to read an etiquette book occasionally, then we wouldn’t continually have these discussions.


Yes, you are correct in that no where am I aware of, are there are different dress standards for Sunday mass, as opposed to a weekday mass. Where can I find this?

So by your analogy above, the Sunday mass is like a wedding, but the weekday mass is more like dinner at a restaurant. Would I be correct?


Sorry, I don’t understand what your trying to say, except that maybe worrying about what you wear to church is somehow Protestant, I think.


To even think that their should be a dress standard for attendance of any Mass seems more like Calvinist thinking than Catholic. In the past, Catholic did dress up for Sunday Mass, but that was a time when people dressed up for anything, with men hardly ever leaving the house without a tie. It was just general culture, not a religious idea. I say, dress whatever way you like, as long as it’s decent, but don’t tell others to dress as you do. If I have to add to my laundry woes by changing into another suit of clothes every time I want to go to church, I won’t be going very often, only on Sundays.


I attend Mass daily so I usually wear what I wear to work, but I wear full length skirts most of the time and modest blouses. I believe full length skirts are by far more flattering than most, but my sisters tease me and call me Fräulein Maria. Hmm… lol…


I wasn’t aware that I gave that type of analogy. I was simply stating that there *are *standards of dress for different occasions. Simply because the general population today ignores them and wears whatever they want doesn’t mean the standards don’t exist.

Weekday Mass is during the workweek. Therefore, your daily “workclothes” are appropriate. There is no need to put on a jacket and tie, or even change into dress pants, unless that is what you wear to work. All Catholics should dress modestly, of course, but if part of your work uniform involves shorts (like a UPS deliveryman or a mailman) then I honestly see no problem in wearing that uniform to a weekday Mass.


Christ only hung on a cross for three hours for you and you’re worrying about another load of laundry?

At my parish, there is a dress code. Many people have “church clothes” that are put on for Holy Mass and taken off directly after. They don’t have to be washed every time for the two hours you are in them. Trust me, it doesn’t add to the laundry woes at all. If you think it does, I’ll put you in touch with the mother of 10 in my parish that attends daily Holy Mass with her family.

And honestly, I feel that attending Weekday Holy Mass does not mean a dress or a suit, but if the reason for not going is that you don’t want another load of laundry, perhaps you should remember why you are going.


Clean, neat, modest, reverent. In Bavaria in the wintertime, I honestly don’t know what people were wearing under heavy overcoats. On the other hand, summertime in warm climates, suit and tie would probably be the exception. I remember the double-take I got from a priest when wearing a black turtleneck sweater on a cool Sunday.


As a cultural aside, noticing the reference to overcoats, did many Bavarian churches have heat? I ask because I made a comment before about most of the Tyrolean churches I attended not having it and another poster familiar with the region thought I was crazy.


There is no double standard as far as Masses go: when assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, one should dress in one’s reasonable best. As many have pointed out, though, that means that most people at daily Mass who have other responsibilities during the day may find that dressing in a full “Sunday best” is impractical or impossible for what must be done just before or after Mass. My schedule doesn’t allow me to attend daily Mass too often, but when I anticipate the chance I try to make sure to dress better than normal that day, even though that doesn’t extend to my full Sunday suit.

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