Is it irreverent to serve the Mass in my underwear?


#1

[NOT A TROLL THREAD]

Let me get this straight, No I did not serve Mass with nothing but my underwear on....

I serve Mass in a cassock and surplice and I make it a goal to get black pants, black socks, and black shoes.
Well today I had gotten all of that, but my pants didn't fit. I had got the wrong ones.

Well I didn't want to wear the cassock with jeans. That would look totally tacky.

So what I did is that I went to the altar server changing room, took off my pants, put the cassock over me and put on my long socks and shoes... then put on the surplice.

Nothing was out of the ordinary, everything looked fine.

But was it irreverant (Or even sinful) to wear no pants under the cassock?

Thank you.

(BTW, The cassock belongs to me and me alone*, so no one is going to wear it after me)*


#2

As long as your lack of pants could not be seen by anyone else, no I don't think it should be an issue.

I'm sure many a priest or deacon in hot climates has done the same or worse :eek:


#3

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:324992"]
[NOT A TROLL THREAD]

Let me get this straight, No I did not serve Mass with nothing but my underwear on....

I serve Mass in a cassock and surplice and I make it a goal to get black pants, black socks, and black shoes.
Well today I had gotten all of that, but my pants didn't fit. I had got the wrong ones.

Well I didn't want to wear the cassock with jeans. That would look totally tacky.

So what I did is that I went to the altar server changing room, took off my pants, put the cassock over me and put on my long socks and shoes... then put on the surplice.

Nothing was out of the ordinary, everything looked fine.

But was it irreverant (Or even sinful) to wear no pants under the cassock?

Thank you.

(BTW, The cassock belongs to me and me alone*, so no one is going to wear it after me)*

I'm sure you are just fine. You were covered, because a cassock is an article of clothing, so you are fine.

I know that my priests routinely wear short shorts under their cassocks (because they are wearing them all the time) and underwear isn't far off from that.

[/quote]


#4

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:324992"]
[NOT A TROLL THREAD]

Let me get this straight, No I did not serve Mass with nothing but my underwear on....

I serve Mass in a cassock and surplice and I make it a goal to get black pants, black socks, and black shoes.
Well today I had gotten all of that, but my pants didn't fit. I had got the wrong ones.

Well I didn't want to wear the cassock with jeans. That would look totally tacky.

So what I did is that I went to the altar server changing room, took off my pants, put the cassock over me and put on my long socks and shoes... then put on the surplice.

Nothing was out of the ordinary, everything looked fine.

But was it irreverant (Or even sinful) to wear no pants under the cassock?

Thank you.

(BTW, The cassock belongs to me and me alone*, so no one is going to wear it after me)*

Sorry, but isn't the cassock supposed to BE the "pants" of a cleric, i.e. your underwear is expected to be right under the cassock and not under trousers?

[/quote]


#5

[quote="porthos11, post:4, topic:324992"]
Sorry, but isn't the cassock supposed to BE the "pants" of a cleric, i.e. your underwear is expected to be right under the cassock and not under trousers?

[/quote]

For a cleric, often yes.


#6

If you’re in a colder climate you’d want to wear trousers and probably more besides under your cassock.


#7

If no one could tell, I suppose it's fine.


#8

We have temps in the 100s int he summer – and no air conditioning in our church. Our priest is from Ireland, and first served in Northern California on the coast where its cold and damp most of the year. So he is not acclimated to our summers, and he is rather fragile health in any case.

So he wears shorts (cut-off jeans) and flip-flops or sandals under his cassock when the temps go up to 114 and beyond. He is also known to stop off at the vesting room on the way out and ditch his cassock and stole before continuing outside to shake hands. I’m sure the rest of us in shorts, sandals and sleeveless shirts would be a scandal to many on CAF, but we do what we need to do to survive the heat. And as the parish generally poor and rural, we aren’t much on fancy dress. With water shortages, we can’t even promise our clothing is going to be “clean” much less pressed.


#9

Interesting. I am surprised that a priest wouldn’t wear at least a khaki short (rather than cutoff denim), but :shrug:.


#10

[quote="WingsOfEagles, post:9, topic:324992"]
Interesting. I am surprised that a priest wouldn't wear at least a khaki short (rather than cutoff denim), but :shrug:.

[/quote]

Our priest donates most of his small income to the food pantry and other charitable needs. He lives and dresses as poor as his poorest parishioners, though he never says much about this. Nice clothing, regular haircuts -- he just doesn't indulge and without our population, it makes him much more approachable. Besides, the cassock covers all, doesn't it?

Most of the time, we only see our priest in jeans. The bishop visits once every few years, and I think the priest pulls out his one pair of rather threadbare black slacks for that occasion. I honestly can't remember as its been a while since we had a bishop visit.


#11

[quote="LilyM, post:6, topic:324992"]
If you're in a colder climate you'd want to wear trousers and probably more besides under your cassock.

[/quote]

Sure, but that's incidental. I was under the impression that a cassock, by its nature was really the street clothes by itself of the cleric (of which servers are extensions) and that cold notwithstanding, pants underneath would actually be redundant?

I'm not making any claims, just requesting confirmation that this is indeed the case and therefore it was really fine, by virtue of the nature of the cassock itself, for the server to simply wear it over his undergarments?


#12

I’d rather see jeans sticking out than bare legs.


#13

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:324992"]
[NOT A TROLL THREAD]

Let me get this straight, No I did not serve Mass with nothing but my underwear on....

I serve Mass in a cassock and surplice and I make it a goal to get black pants, black socks, and black shoes.
Well today I had gotten all of that, but my pants didn't fit. I had got the wrong ones.

Well I didn't want to wear the cassock with jeans. That would look totally tacky.

So what I did is that I went to the altar server changing room, took off my pants, put the cassock over me and put on my long socks and shoes... then put on the surplice.

Nothing was out of the ordinary, everything looked fine.

But was it irreverant (Or even sinful) to wear no pants under the cassock?

Thank you.

(BTW, The cassock belongs to me and me alone*, so no one is going to wear it after me)*

As an old Altar Boy myself, I can tell you the practice is far from uncommon,** AND** more than a few Priests did the same, especially in the rather hot and humid New Orleans summers of my youth.:thumbsup:

[/quote]


#14

[quote="LilyM, post:2, topic:324992"]
As long as your lack of pants could not be seen by anyone else, no I don't think it should be an issue.

I'm sure many a priest or deacon in hot climates has done the same or worse :eek:

[/quote]

I have seen priests on EWTN Daily Mass who did Mass with only their vestments on, specially in summer in Alabama where it could get hot and then they had to come into that chapel where there were hot TV lights.:shrug:


#15

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:12, topic:324992"]
I'd rather see jeans sticking out than bare legs.

[/quote]

I had long black socks which covered up the skin.


#16

I would also rather see jeans than bare skin, but as I said I have seen some priests on EWTN with apparently nothing under their vestments. This one EWTN priest was wearing sandals on bare feet when he genuflected as he entered the chapel.


#17

As an Altar Boy, I wouldn't. If you have the traditional, button down the front, black and white robe set, I assume your buttons will gap when you sit sometimes. I have found that occasionally a button or two will come unsnapped when kneeling. Also, because it will be skintight, you run the risk of your robes being pretty revealing. I would at least wear sliders or shorts of some kind.


#18

[quote="JD27076, post:15, topic:324992"]
I had long black socks which covered up the skin.

[/quote]

Even so, normally, you only see the socks peeking out between the shoes and the pants when the person sits or kneels, and otherwise you see pants and shoes only. So to see shoes and then a long stretch of socks would look odd to me, like you were wearing stockings or capris (both girls clothes). Furthermore, most cassocks I've seen come well above the ankles when the person wearing them is sitting. I wouldn't be surprised to see the top of your socks and your legs above them in such a case. Of course, I'll take you at your word that nothing was visible, but jeans would just make more sense and raise no questions or curiosity. I'm certainly no expert in what is supposed to be worn under the cassock by the laity, but I would say that when you are in a pinch again, and you have to make the best out of 2 less than ideal choices, casual clothes are better than faking clothes.


#19

[quote="ThyKingdomCome, post:18, topic:324992"]
Even so, normally, you only see the socks peeking out between the shoes and the pants when the person sits or kneels, and otherwise you see pants and shoes only. So to see shoes and then a long stretch of socks would look odd to me, like you were wearing stockings or capris (both girls clothes). Furthermore, most cassocks I've seen come well above the ankles when the person wearing them is sitting. I wouldn't be surprised to see the top of your socks and your legs above them in such a case. Of course, I'll take you at your word that nothing was visible, but jeans would just make more sense and raise no questions or curiosity. I'm certainly no expert in what is supposed to be worn under the cassock by the laity, but I would say that when you are in a pinch again, and you have to make the best out of 2 less than ideal choices, casual clothes are better than faking clothes.

[/quote]

I disagree. Just having socks showing is perfectly natural, and I doubt anyone would take notice.


#20

My husband was raised in Benedictine parishes in our area and went on to serve as organist and choir director in many Benedictine staffed parishes. He tells this story...true story.

On Palm Sunday the parish gathered in front of the rectory for the Blessing of Palms. As the choir sang the Hosanna Filio David the pastor and servers approached in solemn procession. Father wore a cope of gold lame from France nearly 200 years old and only used for very special occasions. The young associate pastor, remembering that due to the humid, rainy weather, he had left the palms on the rectory porch ascended the five steps, bent down, picked up the long box of palms...and caught the hem of his habit on one corner of the box. He came down the steps with the hem raised to waist height with only socks, shoes and boxers on under said habit...also due to rainy, humid weather.

The pastor turning to see where the palms might be, noticed the dazzling white boxers and spread the venerated cope like Batman and flew up the steps to see to it that the "situation was covered." The choir now in the fifth singing of the Antiphon, sans a few members who had succumbed to giggles...

He adds that both these priests were orthodox and very reverent! So yes...underwear under cassock OR habit and surplice and even stole is valid, licit and under certain circumstances rather humorous too!


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