Respect, proper dress & veils?

My wife (a Baptist/Methodist converted to Catholocism 15 years ago) is looking for a deeper, richer experience in the Litergies of the Word and Eucharist at Mass. She’d like to begin, in our parish, a program to help people take the Mass more seriously and come there more respectfully and more prepared.

Is there anything you can suggest that can help us begin a program to help educate people into proper dress, etc. She’s even thinking of having our two daughters wear head veils to begin to set an example - get people to ask why, etc.

Any ideas for us on how we can begin to get people to be more respectful?

I think this is a great idea! I just want to caution you that many people could take the opportunity to give their opinions of headcoverings. It is a sensitive issue here because there are a few who believe that women are required to wear headcoverings, even in all public places, and a few hate them, and everything in between. However, your thread is not about this at all.

This thread is about how to have a grassroots effort (possibly by example) of how to teach modesty and respect. It could include headcoverings but does not have to. I’m sure all of us can come together to help you out with this!

First she should talk to the priest for suggestions. There are many groups that help with this kind of thing in parishes.
One I know of is familia. I would not suggest that she have your daughters wear chapel veils since sometimes that is taken to the extreme. People run instead of follow the example because they feel that you are to holy.
Sometimes attending daily Mass and always dressing up for Mass yourselves sets a great example. No words needed.

[quote=mwfields]My wife (a Baptist/Methodist converted to Catholocism 15 years ago) is looking for a deeper, richer experience in the Litergies of the Word and Eucharist at Mass. She’d like to begin, in our parish, a program to help people take the Mass more seriously and come there more respectfully and more prepared.

Is there anything you can suggest that can help us begin a program to help educate people into proper dress, etc. She’s even thinking of having our two daughters wear head veils to begin to set an example - get people to ask why, etc.

Any ideas for us on how we can begin to get people to be more respectful?
[/quote]

I think its a great idea, but you will probably get a mixed reaction. I wouldn’t let that stop me.

I’ve seen a few parishes where pastors post “modest dressing required” rules in the foyer to be read before entering the church.

A parish in our diocese has a dress code for women. The ushers have wrap around skirts and button down, long sleeves shirts for offenders.

There is an apostolate that grew out of Regnum Christi called Pure Fashion. They help you put on a modest fashion show. I hear really good things about them.

I think you have to get your pastor to back you up on this.

I bought the book Dressing With Dignity. I think I dress modestly, but the book is challenging me to dress more feminine and with greater care. I’m trying to wear skirts out. Maybe you could offer some for sale after Mass.

I like the idea of Chapel veils, but I wouldn’t wear one because I feel it would be distracting in a parish where it is not the custom. I also don’t want to call attention to myself at Mass. It seems like it would set you apart. However, I know that some women feel very convicted on this point.

**I’ve seen modesty rules posted in some churches as well. It may also help to speak with your priest, maybe he could mention to the congregation about modesty and dressing appropriately when coming to visit with God.

My priest had mentioned this several times, and I felt really guilty (I barely make it to church on time and wear my “uniform” because I am just getting off of work on Sundays), but I totally agreed with him on this subject.

He was speaking on the subject of being invited to a wedding and a guest being thrown out because he did not wear the proper wedding attire. Sorry don’t remember when or the proper verse.**

[quote=mwfields] She’s even thinking of having our two daughters wear head veils to begin to set an example…how we can begin to get people to be more respectful?
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May I say with all due respect that, in my parish at least, wearing head veils would not be seen as “a model of respectful dress”, but as “you are hopelessly outdated” and your children would probably feel extremely conspicuous among their peers.

Head veils, to me, are associated with pre-Vatican II and makes a statement about traditionalism, not respectful dress. If traditionalism us your goal, fine, but if you are truly trying to encourage respectful dress, veils aren’t the way to go.

I agree there is a need for more respect for the church and we can model that by wearing respectful attire, not arriving late to Mass, not leaving early, and paying attention to (participating in) the Mass.

Just remember, though, everyone is not in the same place on their spiritual journey, and some people may not dress or act at Mass the way we would like because it is just not as important to them yet.

[quote=mwfields]She’d like to begin, in our parish, a program to help people take the Mass more seriously and come there more respectfully and more prepared.
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But as people grow in holiness, they change and they become more respectful of the church. I think your wife’s program should focus on: not only how can we encourage respectful dress, but how can we encourage spiritual growth and holiness in our parish? Work on adult faith formation and spiritual growth, and respectful dress and attitude toward Mass will follow.

She’s even thinking of having our two daughters wear head veils to begin to set an example - get people to ask why, etc.

I would be careful about using your children to make a point. My own parents did that when I was younger and it never turns out well. If you wife wants to wear a veil, she is free. If the children, after seeing her do it, then want to, then let them.

[quote=cheese_sdc]I would be careful about using your children to make a point. My own parents did that when I was younger and it never turns out well. If you wife wants to wear a veil, she is free. If the children, after seeing her do it, then want to, then let them.
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I agree fully with this, but also to let the girls know that this is not a costume for fun. There is a reason why they are wearing them.

Also, with little girls stick with hats or chapel caps. They become less of a distraction during Holy Mass.

(from one who wears a chapel cap)

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