This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. We remember that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and transformed their lives. These frightened men who abandoned Jesus during His Passion became bold disciples who endured persecution, suffering, ridicule and other forms of trial as they preach His Good News. They clearly kept their focus on the Lord.
As we reflect on this great feast, we are reminded that during the last few weeks many of us had an opportunity to take a break from school or work and make time for leisure activities and consider travel plans. As we continue to make time for leisure activities and travel, we are strongly encouraged to keep our focus on the Lord. We are reminded that the time for Mass and prayer should be included in our plans.
When attending Mass, especially during the summer months, we are asked to exercise prudence and judgment in how we act and in what we wear. Each year our Church leaders strive to remind the faithful of the need to dress modestly at Mass since we are in the presence of the King of Kings. As mentioned previously, our Catechism states that “…modesty guides how we look at others and behave toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.” It also states that modesty “…inspires one’s choice in clothing.” Certain summer apparel which may be appropriate for an informal meal or a picnic may not be appropriate for Mass.
Recently in an article, “Dressing for Church”, written by Abbot Tryphon from Washington, the Abbot stated, “The church is our home, a place where we should feel comfortable, and at ease. It is also God’s house and is a temple set aside for worship of the Holy Trinity. Although times might have changed and we have become a very casual society, this attitude cannot be allowed to influence how we dress to worship God. Our way of dressing for the church should reflect our desire to offer our very best to Christ. Just as we want to act in ways that demonstrate the centrality of Christ in our lives, our dress should show forth the modesty that is befitting a Christian.”
He also stated, “Both men and women should avoid wearing clothing that can be distracting to other worshipers. Just as we want to keep our focus on the divine services, so too we must not be the cause of the distraction for our fellow Christians. Christ should be the focus of our worship, not our personal outfits. The Mass is not the place to show off the latest fashion, nor the results of the fitness center.”
As we reflect on these words of wisdom, we are invited to dress appropriately for Mass and keep our focus on the Lord as we enjoy this time of leisure.