Written by Andy Aguirre

Summer time is one of my favorite times of the year; I enjoy doing outdoor activities, like going to the beach, going hiking and playing soccer at the park.  I wear a t-shirt and shorts to those activities; I dress comfortable for the occasion. However, I understand that wearing shorts and flip flops are not appropriate to some places that we go to like Mass.  I want to share a story on why dressing appropriate to Mass is important to me.

On a Sunday afternoon four years ago, I decided to go to mass at a different time than usual. It was really hot that day, the temperature was around 110 degrees and I wanted to feel comfortable at Mass, therefore, I decided to wear shorts and flip flops like I was going to the beach. In my mind I knew that I was not supposed to dress like that to Mass because I have to respect the house of God, but temptation got the best of me. Right before I left the house to go to Mass, I checked the parish bulletin to confirm the Mass start time. It was then I felt that God was speaking to me.

In the bottom of the bulletin it read “Please Dress Appropriate when attending Mass”. After reading this in the bulletin I changed my attire and I put on appropriate clothes. I also realized that every church has an air conditioning system. It left me thinking that there was an important reason why we should dress appropriate to mass other than to show respect in the house of God, but I just could not figure it out.

A week later I attended a baptism ceremony. There were a lot of people in attendance and it was a beautiful ceremony, but I did not feel peace in my heart.  I was feeling anxious and I was a little bit disturbed.  I noticed that some ladies there who were not dressed appropriate to be in church. They were wearing short tight dresses and revealing tops. They looked as if they were going to a night club. I understand that on special occasions we want look our best, but we need to understand “what ” looks best on us especially when going to a church. To dress inappropriately affects other people who are attending the church ceremony even if you don’t know them. 

When you dress revealing you draw attention yourself. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the way they were dressed was a bible verse, in Matthew 5:28 Jesus Said “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. It is real easy for somebody to look at a women or a man in lust when they are dressed too revealing and at church is the last place where you want to commit a sin. Jesus’ standards are so high, “that He considers lust to be adultery”. The way I see it if I was to look at a women in lust other than my wife, it would be the same thing as cheating on my wife. There are many temptations to sin and we might not know it but people could be lusting if they see us reveal our body. If we don’t dress in moderate fashion to Mass or to any religious event we could be helping somebody lust. After the Baptism ceremony I realized why it is important to dress appropriate to Mass.

Click here to see a video and more on proper attire for Mass.

Andy Aguirre

Attended first retreat in November 2010. A regular guy proclaiming the Word of God, he is known in the community as "Andy the Catholic" and serves on the RCIA and Adult Confirmation team Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church in San Fernando, CA.