Dressing for God

Dressing for God


When meeting God, how will you dress?  You will dress, I suppose, as I will dress, clean, polite, respectful when presenting with confidence our souls to an assuring father.  After all, you filled a lifetime in the pursuit of virtue, being granted, as you were, the freedom this nation allows toward the achievement of excellence.  If in the moment of this reading your soul is stained with sin, take yourself to confession, acknowledge the wrong you have done, ask the Father to forgive offenses to Him, promise to sin no more, then go on to glory, each day scrubbing yourself free of fault, each day polishing your soul to perfection.

Before your day of glory—I sincerely hope it is glory—dress your body as you would dress your soul, clean, polite, respectful to fellow man and to the Father.  After all, each man and woman is child of the Father, deserving of your respect and attention.  Be attentive, be careful; remember that before you stand men and women engaged in the business of life, in the polishing of soul.  Do nothing in your acts or suggestions that might dirty another’s soul.  Do everything that might inspire a person to cleanliness, to excellence.   If possible, be a good example; dress respectfully.  If not possible, become a good example.  The Father is patient.


Dressing for God, prayer
Dressing for God, Veiled in Prayer


And too, when you dress your body for the Father, present yourself as a prince or princess before a king, as before the emperor of the universe, not because He might obliterate you, but in gratitude for loving you, for bringing you to life through a universe beyond your understanding.  Be grateful, child, for being the child of the King.   Without the King your Father you would not be.  Whenever possible, show the Father gratitude in your Sunday-best, especially on a Sunday, His day, your day for respect and for gratitude.  The Father is, after all, deserving of all your respect, all your love, all your being, the moreso when at His home, the church in procession to the altar rail where you will kneel in worship and renew communion with the Father, beautiful, true, good.

I have seen, as I suppose have you, our Father’s other children approach the rail as if approaching the pig to slop, the bar to drink, or the tollbooth to punch a ticket and pass by.  Sometimes I have seen in pews napping beachgoers who rise and with a sandaled flip-flop, shuffle to the offer of a snack.  And I have seen ladies got-up for night in ba-boom sashay as if for an admiring audience.  We all see many things in the day and wish them different.  Not one of us is perfect, though each might be better in emulation of the good.


Dressing for God, responsorial
Dressing for God, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Responsorial.


And I have seen the bumper-sticker of tee-shirts that advertise unrequested opinions, opinions apart from the pursuit of holiness in the ceremony of Mass.  And I have seen panties poking from miniskirts, holey unholy jeans that announce fishnets and coarse hair, teacup dogs peeking from purses, rolling plastic water-bottles, gums stuck to shoes, all that might be found in the rocking concert hall or theatre of the Novus Ordo.  There is one fellow I see in daily and Sunday Mass, ju-jued, grooving slowly with toe-jam football, slumped, drowsy in back pews.  Sometimes he and I come together in a meeting of smiling eyes.  If he is devout, a bum or a saint, or if seeking asylum, I cannot say, though his seems a special case, not to be judged as one judges the fishnet miniskirt who makes an occasional appearance in promenade to the Father in Eucharist.

I cannot be certain, though I expect that every invention of cloth and fashion, bling and relic has found itself dressed upon the body of a soul when at Mass.  Two-thousand years of custom, trend, style, fad have passed into and outof the House of God.  The house church, the sacred cave, the basilica and the cathedral have each hosted the Catholic sacrament, the miracle of transubstantiation, the presence of the Father, God Himself.  For nearly two-thousand years we children have presented ourselves to the Father in our Sunday-best.  As I’ve no need of telling you, lately we’ve not been at our best nor in our best, we’ve been licentious and slovenly, persons more the by-blows of slaves than the princes and princesses of our King, the inheritors of His kingdom.


Dressing for God, praying
Dressing for God, Praying, Notre Dame Church, New York.


Why in this nation, the United States of America, we dress in farmer-drag, drag-show chic, and 60s-sentiment, we will get along to, but first a review of better, purer souls, our parents before and before, and before, persons who respected God the Father, themselves, and their brothers and sisters in Christ.


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Dressing for God, family
Dressing for God, Family at Mass. credit Fr. Richard Heilman


Dressing for God

Above, introduction for a pamphlet, Dressing for God: Attire Proper to the Mass.

Related, Confession of a Sonneteer – The Studio Books

and, Confession, Book III, Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs.

For more on church architecture, history, manner you might visit The Beautiful Home articles.

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