Is it OK to attend Mass right after physical labor? Say with washed hands but no shower or change of clothes? Let’s say the clothes aren’t so dirty to transfer to pews.
If it’s the only time you can attend, of course you can “come as you are.” God cares more about the state of your soul than that of your clothes/body.
When I go to weekday Mass in the city where I work, it is often the noontime Mass. It is such an inspiration of faith to see workers, both white collar and blue collar, those who are manager and those that do physical labor take time out from their workday to worship Our Lord and receive the Eucharist.
I am curious, why you think the scenario you described would be a problem at all?
A few years back I had to do night time cleaning on Fridays.
Friday night our parish offers an hour of Adoration followed by Mass. I had to attend in jeans. I felt that it ‘wasn’t quite right’ but I knew that the IMPORTANT thing was that I was making a point of being there (when I could have been getting an early start on work) rather than dressing, what for me is, appropriately.
I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the manner of dress is important when we come before God. In the Tabernacle and on the altar, after consecration, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe, is actually present.
I believe that if we dress one way for, say, a job interview, then we should dress even better when we come before our Lord.
But, of course, sometimes the best we can do is adjusted according to our situation at a particular time.
I would say that it isn’t ideal, but if it is what you need to do and you are comfortable with it, then do it.
I’ve found that the rules are different for Sunday and weekday masses. Many people go directly to weekday masses from work, or to work - so you wear what you wear that day. Sunday masses people put in a little more work.for what they wear.
Well I went today in my construction cargos and sweaty the shirt. I did not feel underdressed compared to the rest of the people there. Thanks!
Summer in Texas means you sweat at 0700 going from the house to the car, and it’s even worse in the afternoon. Sometimes I go to daily Mass or Adoration in the middle of doing housework or minor home renovation projects. I’ve even gone after a light workout at the gym (not too sweaty or stinky). I would shower and change clothes, however, if I had been gardening or hanging sheetrock.
Can I just add that I don’t understand why most people (esp Americans) seem to be so afraid of their natural body scent?
The power of marketing.
This is intended as a serious answer, though I hope that we Americans are able to have a chuckle at ourselves.
It’s worth remembering that not everyone owns a car, too. I’ve shown up even at sunday masses sweaty, because I have to walk a couple of miles in the heat to get there. The other option is for me to not go to mass on sunday.
That is absolutely okay. God wants you there whatever you are wearing.
It’s OK. One thing I do once in a while is to bicycle to Sunday Mass. It’s a 17 mile ride one way and I don’t ride at a leisurely pace.
I do take the time to get there a big early so I can cool down, wipe my face, comb my hair and put on a pair of coveralls to cover my shorts and riding jersey.
St. Benedict considered work a sacred activity, and the Benedictine tradition is one that very much seeks to combine and balance prayer and work - ora et labora is a motto that has been widely adopted throughout the centuries. Monks are always switching between work and prayer in a seamless way during the day.
Physical work sounds a fine preparation for mass to me
God bless +
I work as a farm hand in Louisiana. It’s rice fields so it is extremely humid so I sweat. I go to the noon time Mass. I wash up my face and change my shirt to something cleaner and nicer. I wouldn’t go in work clothes unless I had zero time.