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Dressing for the Pope

April 17, 2008 - Heather Ziegler
Watching the extensive coverage of Pope Benedict's visit to the United States has been fascinating, especially for this Catholic. It's an amazing swell of respect and pride shown for this church leader as he visits our country. No matter what your religious beliefs or if you have none at all, that's your business. However, no one can deny the effect the Pope has on his faithful when he makes a trip to their country. As I watched the various events -- such as today's Mass celebration at the baseball stadium in D.C., I could not help but notice that most all of those in attendance were dressed in their Sunday best. Remember when we called our church clothes "our Sunday best"? Well, I do and I rather enjoyed dressing up on Sunday morning. It was a form of respect our parents instilled in us. I will admit that I have slacked off on the real dressy part, but I do show respect and not wear shorts or some of the revealing dresses and tops I have seen women wear in church these days. Some men also come to church in shorts and flip flops! I don't care if you call me old school or any other name, but why can't church be the one place where we dress respectful of the Lord whose house we are entering? Some pastors address it in the church bulletin but I think reverence and decorum starts on the altar and must be reiterated from the pastor's pulpit. You can argue that the Lord doesn't care what we wear to church as long as we show up. Is that the same argument used by people who allow their babies to scream all through Mass? Sorry, there are boundaries of decency and respect that need to be met and there are cry rooms where babies can be babies and their parents still hear Mass without disturbing the priest and the rest of the congregation. Respect is the one word that needs to make a comeback in our society.


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