Is there any Church doctrine about how to dress for Mass? Last Mass it looked as if most of the parish was going on picnic or to a ball game! Not Mass! One lady carrying the hosts had short-shorts on! How disrespectful! How do I bring this up to the priest?
No, there is no “Church doctrine” on how to dress for Mass. Dressing for Mass is not a doctrinal matter but a matter of local etiquette (in the absence of disciplinary mandates from the Church). Right now, there is only common sense, respect, and prudence – something that must be encouraged on the local level by the pastor. But, before you approach the pastor, I can only suggest you first take time to cool down. I sympathize with your upset, but not many priests today see dress standards at church as a hill they’re willing to die on – and an overwrought, angry appeal from you will only make a reluctant priest more so. Once you have mastered your own emotions over the issue, then see the links below for more information.