Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dress Codes for Church and Other Affairs
Y'all feel free to continue commentary on the Armchair Liturgist thread below. I did promise I'd post my responses, so here goes. Dress Code always come up in church circles, especially ministry ones. When I train lectors and Eucharistic ministers, I suggest they will want to dress about one step more formally than the usual population at the Mass. For our morning liturgies, that probably means jackets and/or ties for men, suits or blazers or dresses for women. I also impress upon people the need for transparency when they serve at liturgy: nothing that anyone would consider a distraction from the point. Sometimes I'll comment on specific clothing they or I might be wearing during the training session. As for a general approach with parishioners, my last Iowa pastor arranged dress-up days. Our school does this also for a few major feasts. My approach would be to begin "dress-up Sundays" and move quietly to a greater frequency. I think there's a fine line crossed in suggesting women who dress provocatively are to blame for tempting men. The problem of "looking" can be solved by turning one's gaze away. Then it becomes the problem of the other person. There is jamming equipment for cell phones: I've read about it a bit. I'd be in favor of installing such a device. Have to think about that when we renovate. Gum. Ick. For all the people who seem to be chewing it, I find more under pews and chairs. Carpet acoustics have done a lot to encourage talking. When your church is vast and echoey, people tend to talk less--a good reason for eschewing carpet. If people talk too much in churches, there are two reasonable long-range solutions: - Give the talkers a substantial gathering space or courtyard to chatter because that kind of thing going on after Mass in good. - Give the pray-ers a Blessed Sacrament chapel for reflection.

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