Pastor's Corner 080413

posted Jul 24, 2013, 12:03 PM by Music Director

                    We are now in the so-called “dog days of summer.” Do you know why they are called this?  Hint:  it has nothing to do with temperature!  Therefore, as a timely reminder I’d like to re-run a previous column regarding dress for summer worship:

               Some people believe in a strictly enforced code.  Others feel that there shouldn’t be a code at all; that “God doesn’t care what I look like; He’s just glad I’m here.”  This may or may NOT be true (see Matthew 22:  11-12).  Nevertheless, why do we go to great lengths to look our best on certain occasions and not others?  Isn’t our outward appearance a reflection of our inner attitudes?

               So it’s not a question of God “caring” what we look like. God’s love is a constant given.  The real question is whether or not we care about what we look like in God’s presence and each other’s.  This is why Christians have always been encouraged to truly “dress up” when we gather for worship.  It expresses our recognition that what we are gathering for is something special, something important and meaningful.  That’s the purpose behind liturgical dress for priests and other ministers of the Altar.

               This does not necessarily mean “formal” dress, however.  Casual dress in summer is fine; but that means “dress casual,” not “going-to-the-beach” casual!  With a little common sense we can dress casually and still reflect an attitude of reverence.  NEVER wear swimsuits, short-shorts, tank or halter tops, flip-flops or other flimsy footwear to church.  Clean T-shirts in summer are acceptable, providing they are not embellished with crude graphics.  Sneakers are ok as long as they are clean.

               If you are a minister at Mass (Lector, Eucharistic, Usher, Greeter, Altar Server, Cantor/Choir), making a presentation or receiving any recognition (e.g. RCIA) you should make an extra effort to dress well in recognition of the importance of your ministry as well as acting as an example to others:  dresses or slacks for the ladies, slacks and a buttoned shirt (polo or oxford style) for men (ties & jackets are optional), and good shoes (no athletic footwear) are the norm; no shorts, t-shirts or athletic footwear of any kind in addition to the prohibited items mentioned above.

               Let’s not forget that proper dress also includes good grooming habits.  At the very least, face and hands should be clean, teeth brushed, and hair brushed or combed.  Remember:  it is not a question of God caring about us, but of us caring about God, each other, and what we are gathering to do!

               Enjoy the rest of the summer, and God bless you all!


Let’s go Phillies!

In His Love,

Fr. Mike