Guest coming to Mass, should I bring up modesty?


Hi, scrupulous person here. A (non-Christian) friend of mine might come to holy Mass tomorrow with me (which is actually great!). Is it my responsibility to tell her to dress modestly, especially since not everyone attending usually adheres to the standards of Pope Pius the XI and another source (which is what I try to base my dressing decisions on, in the hope it is pleasing to God). I realize this probably sounds very Pharisaical and legalistic, point is I do not want the Lord to be offended and am unsure whether or not it is my place to say anything…thanks for any input!


From a personal perspective, I’d be more pleased that a friend would like to come to Mass with me, so I wouldn’t dream of mentioning how they dress… just as I wouldn’t question anybody else’s clothing who attended.


Is she an adult? Does she normally dress immodestly?


If you think you have to say something, say she should dress like she’s going to a business meeting. (And then make sure you dress up that far, too.)


No. If it was me, I was glad for a “usually, we wear xyz to mass, don´t wonder if you see women with headscarves, but feel free to choose whatever you want, great to have you ere”
I´ve done it this way at my baptizm and it was a good decision.


Does this woman usually dress appropriate for other events?

If so, you don’t have to say anything. If not, you probably should.

Most people know how to dress and act in church, you should have a handle on whether this individual is “most people”.


As long as she is not a distraction, don’t say a word. The Lord could care less IMO. It is the condition of our souls that matter.


No. It isn’t.

If you believe she will dress inappropriately and might be embarrassed to be dressed differently than others, you might ask her if she has concerns about what to wear or tell her “most women wear X” to church. If she doesn’t ask, or isn’t concerned, it’s not your business.


Yes and often yes, though it is considered normal by most people


Where I live everyone dresses modestly because it is so cold.


I think when we are instructed that generally speaking we should be subjugating fleshly desires it might be ironic that someone should be at Mass dressed inappropriately.
You could bring the subject up subtley by telling her maybe what you intend wearing and why, that should be enough. The rest is up to her.


No. Your friend is responsible for how they dress. And if they’re not dressed quite as modestly as you are, it’s nit the end of the world.


What do most women wear to church where you are? I wouldn’t bring it up at all if you expect that she’ll be dressed in line with what most women wear. Although I might mention, say, if people tend to be a bit dressier I’d mention that - I usually ask myself if I’m visiting somewhere, because I’ve been to some places where most women are wearing a good dress and men are in suits, and others where jeans are standard.


You said you are scrupulous

That might cloud your judgement . I would just be so thankful she is coming, tell her there is a bit of a dress code that means no cleavage , and leave it at that.

She will look around and judge how to dress in future ,

Be so thankful you have the opportunity to evangelise this soul

The Lord certainly won’t be offended. The lord will rejoice a lost soul is finding their way home


Just if you can before then casually bring up attire at Mass.


Is she a normal, socially aware adult? Most people who aren’t idiots know not to wear booty shorts to church. Even if they’re not churchgoers, it’s sort of common sense.


Many years ago, while I was in college, a Christian friend on our floor had another of our friends go home w her for the weekend. This friend was atheist, or at least agnostic.
She had nothing else to wear but jeans and a Tshirt, as this was how she dressed all the time. Very casual, laid back. My believing friend knew this, and invited her to church just the same. The atheist/ag friend accepted.
In order for her to feel comfortable, as much as possible anyway, my believing friend also wore jeans and a Tshirt, when she would normally wear a skirt or dress.
I have never forgotten this act of kindness. Let’s get them in the door, hearing the Gospel, then let the Holy Spirit work on their dress, if He chooses to do so.


The standards you brought up are not binding (ie you don’t have to follow those guidelines) so there’s no point in making her follow these rules.

Just tell her that people have to dress appropriately. Maybe it’s a cultural thing but it’s very common for us to tell each other how to dress. My Muslim cousins told me to make sure my knees were covered once for a Muslim wedding and I didn’t mind at all. Just be polite about it.

‘There’s no dress code officially but all of us are expected to dress appropriately’ should be fine imo. If she normally dresses decently, you don’t have to bring it up. If that’s too straightforward you can just casually bring up what you’re going to wear, which works easily if you guys are close. ‘should I wear this blue top or the red one? What are you going to wear’ yknow. Basic conversation


Tell her what you are doing, why you are dressing as you intend to dress - because you really understand yourself in an audience before your King. Tell her what she will see in the Mass, what every part of it is about, and how modesty is part of the role of the person in the King’s presence. In otherwords, go through the liturgy with her to tell her what she will see and how all are part of it in their presence there - a very formal ritual celebration with contemplation of the whole event - and the contemplation cannot be serious without the participants being suitable to the event, including in attire.
John Martin


I don’t think it’s your place to say anything about modest dress in this situation per se. But John_Martin has given you a great work around. Let her decide how to dress after you talk to her about the Mass and what it means to you.

Also, I always remind myself not to make assumptions about what would offend God. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

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