(This is the fourth in a series of posts called Why the Latin Mass? I’ve been asked by several people why I like the Traditional Latin Mass—why people will drive a hundred miles to get to one, or spend a lot of time and money bringing it to their area. I’m trying to answer that from my perspective in this series.)
I’m not exactly what you’d call a clothes-horse. Since I work from home, most days my only fashion decision is whether to bother putting on shoes with my jeans and t-shirt, or stick with slippers. If I couldn’t ask my wife whether my clothes match, I’d have to buy Garanimals. I own one suit and about half a dozen ties—most of which were gifts, and at least one of them was last in style about the time Miami Vice went off the air.
So I don’t want to sound like a clothes snob, and I wouldn’t want anyone to let a lack of dressy clothes to stop them from coming to the Latin Mass, but I’m glad people make an effort to dress nice. The men run the gamut from nice jeans and a collared shirt to three-piece suits. The women wear dresses or nice slacks, and many choose to wear veils. Kids tend to dress like their parents. Some people have to dress more casually for weekday Mass because they’re on their lunch breaks and have to come in their work clothes even if they’re in construction, but they still do their best. No one wears T-shirts with distracting slogans, or jeans or pants tight enough to get the people behind them thinking really inappropriate thoughts.
In general, people look like they’re wearing their “Sunday best,” whatever that is for them. For me, that adds a touch of reverence and respect, and helps set a mood of what we’re doing here is important.
When I was a kid, we had our “church shoes” that we only wore to church, and woe betide the child who got his church shoes dirty! It was just one of those little things that said going to Mass was special, that it deserved something extra, so I’m glad to see people wearing their “church shoes” again.
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