Modesty in Church


#1

I sponsored someone for Confirmation today; the people getting confirmed were in high school (15-16 years old) and I was SHOCKED at the kinds of clothes these kids were wearing. It doesn’t bother me so much when people wear jeans or flip flops to church, but the girls at the ceremony were wearing clothing that would have violated a public school dress code. About half of them were wearing dresses that hardly covered their butts with 4-5 inch heels! Seriously these girls were dressed like they were going out to a night club. I was so shocked and frankly quite sad…I was confirmed at the same church only 6 years ago and I don’t remember it being that way. I know that there was a dress code (for girls, skirts were supposed to be down to the knees) but only a minority of the girls followed it. Had I been the coordinator of the program, I would not have let some of these girls participate in the ceremony dressed the way they were. I wanted to invite the guy I’m dating to the ceremony but after seeing what I did I’m glad I didn’t, I would have been embarrassed. I’m hoping that this was an isolated incident, but has anyone else experienced stuff like this before?? What on earth could be wrong with their parents; my mom wouldn’t have let me wear the kind of stuff these girls were wearing ANYWHERE, let alone to a mass! Would it be appropriate for me to say something to the program coordinator?


#2

[quote="embear, post:1, topic:236394"]
I Would it be appropriate for me to say something to the program coordinator?

[/quote]

bring it on. we can set a dress code. we do not shop for the kids, we are not their parents. we have no authority to turn a kid away at the church door because the parents are not doing their job [edited]. sure, call me, I love these conversations that make me responsible for kids who have parents of their own. call the pastor while you are at it, he loves those calls, too. I do have an opinion on why parents let their kids dress this way but cannot come up with a charitable way to word it.


#3

Dear sister.

As far as I can see this is the fashion this year. I looked throu the H&M magazine yesterday and all the dresses were very short… like in the seventies. My mom had a miniskirt when she was engaged or newly married with my dad. With that she created scandal at a family party. But My mom was never a bad girl, and she had great legs.

Look what I am trying to say is… its not appropriate for church. But Its a *secondary *problem. So many among us are not angry nor sad when people just stand and look like robots in our churches, come only out of obligation and haven’t got a personal relationship with Jesus… but when they come in some improper outfit then we get all upset about that? I am not saying you are like that, but I think some people need to have charity and a sense for proportion in the things that scandalize them. Its not what comes into the mouth that makes unclean, but the things that come out of the heart. So its not the dress that makes a woman unclean but its the breaking of the commandments in her heart.
So what is it that you are upset at? That these girls probably don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, or that they follow an immodest fashion which makes you feel uncomfortable? Are you as burning for their salvation as for them wearing clothes that doesn’t disturb your eyes?


#4

While scrolling through the "new posts" part of the "Search" button, there were a number of different threads regarding the wearing of different kinds of clothing.

In my opinion, a lot of people just don't know how to dress.

And if criticized, they get defensive, and getting defensive when facing personal criticism is pretty normal.

Their role models are people they see on television. Short skirts and cleavage are the standard attire most of the time. There are now imitation knockoff programs of CSI in which the female characters wear six-inch heels, which is impossible in real life. But the kids imitate that. They think that short skirts, cleavage and absurd shoes are the "way" to dress.

If you visit a program like "What Not To Wear", they spend a lot of time trying to encourage women to dress with good taste.

A helpful adult can encourage young people to acquire some appropriate all-occasion clothing ... buying trendy stuff is very expensive, but some dressy all-purpose clothing is helpful and some non-judgemental guidance is usually appreciated. "See if you can find some business casual skirts and tops and a blazer" ... that kind of thing.


#5

The Vatican, and the Catholic Churches in Rome, enforce this dress code: dresses, skirts, pants should cover the knees. Tops, shirts, etc should cover the shoulders, the back, and cannot be low-cut in the front. In addition, the midriffs should be covered - no butts or belly area uncovered. No one is allowed to enter Vatican City, or the churches of Rome, unless they comply with the above-mentioned dress code. This is a good place to start, let's imitate what the Pope and the Vatican Curia enforce there. In addition, similar dress code applies to Catholic Shrines such as Knock (Ireland), and the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament (Hanceville, Alabama).


#6

When I was confirmed, back when wooly mammoths roamed the earth (LOL!) the candidates wore academic gowns, and skull caps. The girls wore white gowns with red skullcaps, and the boys wore red ones with white skullcaps. We rented them for $3. No "wardrobe malfunctions," no fashion competitions, we were dressed uniformly and looked wonderful. I think they should bring that back!


#7

Sadly, this happens in Churches throughout these United States. Poor parenting is to blame for the majority of it, while timid pastors deserve the rest of the blame. Why on earth do parents let their little girls dress like hoochie mama's?

My wife can't buy clothes at the local mall. She shops at WillowRidge, which is quite reasonable. :D


#8

[quote="odile53, post:6, topic:236394"]
When I was confirmed, back when wooly mammoths roamed the earth (LOL!) the candidates wore academic gowns, and skull caps. The girls wore white gowns with red skullcaps, and the boys wore red ones with white skullcaps. We rented them for $3. No "wardrobe malfunctions," no fashion competitions, we were dressed uniformly and looked wonderful. I think they should bring that back!

[/quote]

That's a wonderful idea! :thumbsup:


#9

Yes, my daughter was confirmed just last week and they all wore red academic robes. The Bishop mentioned that he would not have a picture taken with any of the kids unless they were wearing their robe. Smart man.

Not for the boys, but for those middle school girls. Doesn't anyone care? Oh, yeah, on another thread we talked about poll results of who follows Church teaching on birth control. Pretty much no one.

It's so sad.


#10

I think so too!

I don’t think pastors want to say too much, every season of teens have their weird clothes, but looking like a prostitute is not acceptable.

Our priest is careful not to affend anyone, but did say, he expected enough coverage to be modest. He said he would take them to TJ Maxx himself if they couldn’t get there. It didn’t have to be fancy, just not mini skirts and low cut blouses.


#11

:thumbsup: Perhaps they should’ve handed this out to the Confirmation candidates and their parents at their first meeting: saintpetersbasilica.org/Pics/SQR/DressCode-JG.jpg


#12

My son is being confirmed in a few weeks. We were emailed a dress code. It will at least get the parents thinking about how their children are dressing. The dress code was for the sponsors and children.


#13

It is the same at my church. Look around, these girls are dressing like their mothers.

There should be enforcement of the dress code.

I happen to know that at Bob Jones High School, girls are required to get (dress-on, in-person) approval for their prom dresses.

On the other hand there is no dancing. Probably a good thing.

Let’s hear it for Bob Jones!!!


#14

Setting written ground rules before the celebration happens with an agreement for compliance should solve the problem. I think it is absolutely scandalous to wear that kind of clothing, to church, to school, anywhere.


#15

[quote="PaulinVA, post:9, topic:236394"]
Yes, my daughter was confirmed just last week and they all wore red academic robes. The Bishop mentioned that he would not have a picture taken with any of the kids unless they were wearing their robe. Smart man.

[/quote]

Brilliant!!


#16

:shrug:…except that Bob Jones is one of the most rabid anti-Catholic establishments out there.


#17

I have seen the red robes and think it is a great idea - especially in places that are more shall we say - tropical where sometimes people are more weather guided than modesty guided. Also I think this is why parents AND sponsors need to be involved in the confirmation process. I am all for the if you don’t walk the walk you don’t walk the walk also.


#18

I like what I heard one pastor did, He keeps his Church freezing so women will have to cover up! :slight_smile:

-Jeanne


#19

I think GraceDK pretty much it it on the mark :thumbsup: A lot of teens don't have good guidance on how to dress appropriately and still flatter your shape. I sure didn't! It came with time.


#20

I went with my son and his sponsor to his confirmation retreat two weeks ago. At the end of the retreat, the coordinator for religious instruction for the parish came forward and instructed the boys and girls (aging from 12 to late teens) on what was expected in terms of dress.

She also was very clear that photography would not be allowed during the ceremony (trust me, you'd think some of these parents were paparazzi, they way they run around, flashes going off).

She also made it very clear that the Knights of Columbus would be there to politely enforce both the dress code and the no photography rule.

Maybe this parish is stricter than others, or just has had too many bad experiences with unruly or disruptive behavior. The other rules included:

A minimum of four hours of community/church service.
Proof (by signature) that each confirmant attended mass this coming Thursday, Friday and Easter Vigil.

In short, dress in appropriate, no confirmation. Parents taking pictures and disrupting the ceremony? They'll be asked to leave. Don't do your community service or come to the holiest days of the year? No confirmation.

The only thing I had to verify was if we could have the proof signed by our parish priest (our children attend parochial school in a different parish).

This might sound draconian to some, but my feeling is that if you are fully aware of the rules, and what is expected at such a solemn ceremony, then you should be able to control yourself for two hours.


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.