Um, this is not what I meant…

From American Papist

Dressing up to go to church has long been out of fashion in many denominations. Most Sunday services at church now resemble like casual Fridays at the office. The trend in dressing down will likely continue, but one congregation in Virginia may be taking the “come as you are” ethic just a bit too literally.

In church, you come as you are. That’s especially true inside the Whitetail Chapel in Ivor. Clothing is optional for everyone from the pastor to the congregation.

“I really don’t think God cares what you wear when you worship,” said Richard Foley, a member of the congregation. “The thing is worship.”

Churchgoers like Foley have no problem getting the word of God from a pastor in his birthday suit.

“Some of the biggest moments in Jesus’ life he was naked,” Pastor Allen Parker said. “When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong?”

And while this is tame, there is a video from the local TV station in Virginia:

While not a Catholic Church, (Thank God) this is a sure sign to me that there needs to be some limit in dressing down for church services. But where is the line. We explored this before in this link…so perhaps it’s a good time to revisit. What should one wear to church?

I think we should dress at least somewhat appropriate for mass. The larger question is that who becomes the arbiter for this? A golf shirt and a nice pair of pants is appropriate for men in my opinion,,,a button down shirt is even nicer. But some would say that anything less than a shirt and tie is awful. Women can wear a nice skirt or dress but certainly a nice pair of pants is fine as well. I would say we should think “business casual” while others favor a more formal style. I do sometimes wear jeans, but I don’t wear torn jeans or filthy clothes and even that would be inappropriate for some.

I may also say that it’s not our job to be the fashion police. And there are more than a few ministry professionals that could use some help from our good friend Peacebang, the esteemed Rev Victoria Weinstein who provides such fashionista advice and those who could use the most help are often the first to scream about others.

And whatever you do, do not wear your birthday suit to church, no matter how nice you think that may look. Some birthday suits in that video looked like they could use a little ironing.

0 thoughts on “Be Naked at Church?”
  1. I think it is important to dress appropriately for Mass. Modesty is the key. You wouldn’t go to a wedding or a job interview in Friday casuals neither would you go to a beach in formal attire. The priest always wears a cassock and chasuble for Mass irrespective of the weather. I look at it in a way that every place has attire that is appropriate to that context and the same goes for church too.

  2. Seems like drawing an arbitrary line is a bit crude. I see no problem with the naked service as long as none of the parishoners care, and they don’t seem to. In the larger scope of the decay of formal attire in the place of worship I dont see this reflecting that at all. I know it exists I just don’t find this at all a convincing argument.

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