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Why I dislike casual dress religious services

Original Article

Posted By: tisHimself, 6/19/2019 8:00:31 AM

With the arrival of summer, clergy at our synagogue have declared the beginning of "casual Shabbat." Until autumn, we are invited to attend services in casual attire, or coats and tie if we prefer. This is not uncommon at liberal congregations. Just come, they say. I find the practice distasteful. Here's why: First, we dress formally, in coat and tie, out of respect.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: drive 6/19/2019 8:03:15 AM (No. 101280)
When I visited Vatican in 72 there was a sign in St. Peter's saying no shorts or bare sleeves and women's heads had to be covered. Wonder if that's changed.
3 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: jalo1951 6/19/2019 8:27:12 AM (No. 101301)
Went to the Vatican in the late 70's and there were no such restrictions. Anyway, as kids we had school clothes, play clothes and church clothes. I don't believe that God cares what you wear. He wants to know what is in your heart and soul not the clothes on your back. However, I must admit that when we put on our church clothes we did feel and act differently. On Saturday night we girls would "polish" our black shoes with vaseline and tuck our lacy white socks into them for Sunday morning. It was a sign of respect. We behaved differently than if we had been in shorts, tank tops and flip flops.
8 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: bpl40 6/19/2019 8:29:15 AM (No. 101303)
When my company dress code went casual, our VP used to still show up in a buttoned down shirt and pin stripes. His point - casual dress, casual attitude. We earn our living here. I agree.
20 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Ketchuplover 6/19/2019 8:34:23 AM (No. 101310)
I still like the Thees and the Thous and the Thys and the Thines in a worship service/hymns. Yes, I know it was the informal vernacular of a day long past, but it has taken on the aura of respect. A church service should retain its dignity and its "separateness" from the rest of the worldly chaos. It's a refuge from the world...not an extension of the world.
16 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Iconoclast 6/19/2019 8:36:00 AM (No. 101312)
At our Church there is a mix, but most folks are casually Just dressed, some more so than others. One parishioner ( who is a physician BTW) and his family often look like they’re headed for a day at the beach, which I find distasteful. You are visiting the House of the Lord, make an effort to look neat and respectful. It does matter IMHO.
22 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Highlander 6/19/2019 8:46:41 AM (No. 101320)
There’s not a church in my community that doesn’t have slobs in the congregation. Needless to say, it greatly diminishes the spirit of worship and reverence for the Lord.
7 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Texpub 6/19/2019 8:49:48 AM (No. 101321)
No one ever uses the word "modesty" anymore. I guess it's not a PC kind of word. People should understand that no matter what clothing they choose to wear to Church, they should choose to dress modestly.
17 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: StormCnter 6/19/2019 8:53:57 AM (No. 101324)
I'm Southern Baptist raised and I don't even dare wear slacks to a church function (service or otherwise). I would sense my long-dead grandmother frowning in disapproval, so I avoid that by wearing a dress. I'm with the earlier poster. A place of worship is a house of God. Enter it with reverence and respect.
20 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: Sanddollar 6/19/2019 9:00:42 AM (No. 101331)
About ten years ago when our local newspaper had a fashion reporter, he wrote that we now lack a sense of "occasion." Many people don't own dress clothes. They dress casually for work so they think that is perfectly fine for going to a worship service. I agree that modesty is out the window and I never hear ministers talk about dressing modestly. It seems the hotter it gets, the less clothes people wear. My church is air-conditioned. Most people have air-conditioned cars. I don't understand why people need to wear shorts to church. I also don't like coming to church in clothes for your sports team. We are worshiping the Lord, not your favorite team.
14 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: MattMusson 6/19/2019 9:15:29 AM (No. 101344)
The church down the street used to have a sign out front "Casual Worship" To me, that is an oxymoron.
6 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Strike3 6/19/2019 9:17:47 AM (No. 101348)
Wear your coat and tie if you like Elliott. It's 90 degrees in South Florida and I will wear what is comfortable. Communication is between the attendant and God, the clergy is just the messenger and all churches have gone astray as far as I'm concerned. No man can know what God is thinking.
5 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: zephyrgirl 6/19/2019 9:22:46 AM (No. 101354)
As long as people are neat and clean, I don't really care how they're dressed. What really bugs me in church these days is the "happy-clappy" music and the "handshake of peace." I can do without both.
22 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: Strike3 6/19/2019 9:42:52 AM (No. 101375)
Somewhat related but extremely humorous observation. I was recently involved in a family sit-down with a funeral director regarding planning and pricing. When the topic of a clergyman came up, she continued: Catholic Priest $250, Presbyterian Minister $250, Methodist Minister $250, Rabbi $500. I had to choke myself to keep from laughing.
4 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: Metalman2 6/19/2019 10:25:14 AM (No. 101407)
I disagree with the author. I say come as you are, come as you can afford, just come. In today's world a man may not even own a jacket and tie. Should he buy one just for worship? Can a feeling of respect for the Lord be greater or lesser dependent on the clothes you wear? I help organize what we call "The Corner Church" here in a small town in Michigan. The Corner Church meets in a bar and invites those, particularly un-churched, to attend. Some Sundays there are 60 people there and I would be surprised if any have ever even owned a tie. But, their faith is growing.
3 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: thethirdruffian 6/19/2019 10:27:00 AM (No. 101410)
#13 I guess you get what you pay for. In seriousness, a typical synagogue does not "pass the plate" or strictly rely on donations. It has a formal structure of fees and dues and a good Rabbi is a professional and paid accordingly. It probably gets to roughly the same place financially, but is just a different way of doing things. And, yes, generous accommodations are made for those who cannot pay. If you can pay, you are expected to carry your weight. I've never seen a Jewish person (who is actually in need and not a schnorrer) turned away or refused service.
3 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: DVC 6/19/2019 10:31:49 AM (No. 101416)
I came close to wearing a suit this Easter, even though they say 'causal dress'. I should have, it just doesn't seem respectful on special occasions not to dress your best.
1 person likes this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: hershey 6/19/2019 10:40:52 AM (No. 101430)
Ah yes....I was brought up in a beautiful church, matter of fact I was the first one ever baptized in the new Sanctuary...Every Sunday the minister wore a suit and tie, as a matter of fact, I don't remember ever seeing him without a tie ever, , anywhere..beautiful choir, in robes, solem and joyful hymns...then he retired...replaced by a 'new' minister...started with guitars and drums and 'modern' music...finally, he came one Sunday to preach wearing golf shorts carrying a golf wasn't long after that, the church split....his comment was to me, 'if you don't like it, leave'...1/2 the church did...sad times...
7 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: SabraJet 6/19/2019 10:55:25 AM (No. 101441)
I love my church but the casual thing has gone way to far. Our pastor dresses in a golf shirt and seems to think that the "unchurched" who visit will feel more comfortable. I find that new people tend to over dress, and that many want to have that as a day to dress better. I say better because I don't think a man need where a tie or dress Jacket, but a shirt not a t-shirt and No jeans. Women look a heck of lot better out of jeans and into nice slacks or skirts or dresses. Although strange, young women wear dresses now, but no one over 40! And my reason for all this is because Grandma was right, if you dress well you behave better. And-just my opinion, you are going into the presents of Almighty God, into the House of Worship set aside for that-you should dress your best-you would for a job interview or to meet someone important-which you are.
7 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: Faithfully 6/19/2019 10:56:40 AM (No. 101446)
It is all over now. Ten years ago my sons and I were meeting with the hospital department head to discuss what to do with my terminal husband. Although at the time we we living in reduced circumstances due to husbands prolonged illness, we presented ourselves in our best clothes. The v.i.p., whom we had never met, bounced into the room in capris pants, sleeveless top and sandals. She looked like she was going to deal with us then whisk off to a bbq. That meeting was so serious and important to us but seemingly, by her appearance, not so much to her.
7 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: earlybird 6/19/2019 11:00:30 AM (No. 101450)
There is casual and there is “casual”…. Quite a difference between nice slacks and a sport shirt (not gaudy) for men and muscle shirts, cargo shorts and thongs. There are lovely women's looks that include pants. Dressy. Not shorts, not jeans, not logo tee shirts, not tank tops, the list goes on. Unfortunately if these distinctions are not taught when young, they rarely govern conduct later. Case in point: Michelle Obama and her daughters
10 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: chumley 6/19/2019 11:20:59 AM (No. 101465)
There is an old church next door to my house. I was talking to an old guy a few years ago who had been a parishioner for 50 years. He had nothing but bad to say about the other people who went there; what they wore, what they brought to pot lucks, how they criticized the other parishoners, etc. That church is almost dead. Less than a dozen at services now and those are old people coming out of habit. Everyone else has died or just quit going.
0 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: LadyHen 6/19/2019 11:33:08 AM (No. 101474)
I grew up wearing dresses to Sunday morning service and still do. Just me. My husband wears a nice shirt and slacks but not the suit and tie our fathers wore. I am just happy the young people come to service... and that all their tats are covered and the skirts are long enough their undies don't show.
2 people like this.

Reply 23 - Posted by: felixcat 6/19/2019 11:35:22 AM (No. 101476)
I grew up in South Florida in the 1970s - attended church in my church clothes. I presume that South Florida houses of worship still have air conditioning in them like they did when I was a kid. Everything is causal these days when it should not be. Professionally dressed women wearing no hose with their pumps - unless you are Melania Trump - don't do it.
2 people like this.

Reply 24 - Posted by: SALady 6/19/2019 11:41:27 AM (No. 101483)
#2, you are mixing up the Vatican grounds and St. Peter's basilica. When I was there in the late 1980's, there were no clothing requirements for the Vatican grounds. But it was clearly posted exactly what #1 said for the church building. And I saw guards actually pointing it out to people who tried to get by. As a good Southern Baptist girl, I appreciated that rule too. How we dress is definitely one of the ways we show respect to people (and God)!!!!
6 people like this.

Reply 25 - Posted by: InvestiGator 6/19/2019 12:07:58 PM (No. 101495)
Many evangelistic churches accommodate seekers by removing perceived barriers to attendance. Attire is one of them. Can’t spread the Word if you can’t get people through the door. There are all types of congregations. What matters is theologically sound scripture -based teaching, not what one wears while worshipping. If someone prefers formal dress, no worries, there are plenty of traditional churches to attend.
0 people like this.

Reply 26 - Posted by: Urgent Fury 6/19/2019 12:13:29 PM (No. 101503)
I don't care how people dress, but I don't want to hear any music written after about 1870.
4 people like this.

Reply 27 - Posted by: ncva 6/19/2019 12:29:06 PM (No. 101514)
A few years ago, I relented and began wearing dress pants to church, but still wear mostly dresses. To me it's a sign of respect and reverence. I understand that more casual attire tends to make the service more inviting to seekers, but I still think people should have an attitude of respect. One gentleman at my large Southern Baptist church wears gym shorts, a T-shirt and flip flops. I admit I struggle with judging his attire because at least he is there and worshipping, but still I wonder why he wants to look like he just rolled out of bed. Along the same lines, I don't agree with bringing in food or drinks to the worship service. There's a time and a place for everything, and the sanctuary is not the place to sip on Starbucks or munch on a breakfast biscuit.
1 person likes this.

Reply 28 - Posted by: preciosodrogas 6/19/2019 12:50:46 PM (No. 101528)
I was taught worship services required appropriate dress which meant an effort to do your best. Spreading the gospel was out of church as those who need to hear the gospel were not in church the people in church already knew God. Spreading the gospel did not have the same dress requirement other than again as to what was appropriate. That is, if you are going to a BBQ for spread the gospel don't show up in a suit and tie. Thus the parental units required suit and ties for church and beach clothes for the beach. In basic training same thing - dress uniforms for worship services. It doesn't hurt and I found, probably from my early training, dress clothes for service is uplifting.
2 people like this.

Reply 29 - Posted by: ZeldaFitzg 6/19/2019 1:19:45 PM (No. 101555)
When our sons were growing up, I insisted that they wear suit and tie or occasionally blazer and tie to Sunday worship. They were the only boys their age who did. (I had the devil of a time finding thin soled dress shoes for them, but I always did.) I insisted upon this so that as adults they would feel and look comfortable in dress clothes. It paid off; my older son's jobs either required that he wear a *real* suit and tie every day, or at least a real suit and tie when going out to make work with client corporations. These days, his job setting has changed, and he chooses to wear button-down shirt, jacket, slacks, and dress shoes in his office. Our younger son wears a button-down shirt, tie, and jacket every day in his job. Today, alas, both wear jackets collared shirts to church, but not the ties, unless it's a funeral or a formal wedding. My husband does the same. I still would rather see the coats and ties. Today in our church, I see shorts worn very often, even by women and men. Sneakers and jeans are apparently dress up attire. The adults keep the length of the shorts only a bit above the knee, but the girls' shorts can get amazingly brief. The pendulum has swung to the extreme other end of the spectrum, and this is what I object to. (Some of our older L-dotters may remember when some thought wearing shorts was sin. This was widely discussed when I was a child, and some deacons in our church would not let their daughters wear them.) On a slightly different but similar topic, our congregation has outgrown the lovely chapel with stained glass, and the church has built a high ceilinged "Great Hall," which doubles as a basketball and volleyball court for the youth. The floor is marked, and retractable basketball goals are pulled up high above the floor. The chairs are padded and of high quality, but I just can't feel comfortable with this change. At least the chapel is still used for small weddings and funerals.
1 person likes this.

Reply 30 - Posted by: Chuzzles 6/19/2019 1:19:52 PM (No. 101556)
When you attend church you are coming before God. One should wear the best attire that they can out of respect. If the best you have available is a shirt and pants, as long as they are clean, and you are clean, I think that respect is being shown. But to be casual for simply being casual, I kinda have a problem with that.
2 people like this.

Reply 31 - Posted by: ZeldaFitzg 6/19/2019 1:24:00 PM (No. 101558)
P.S. The basketball court / church sanctuary has a recessed stage at one end.
1 person likes this.

Reply 32 - Posted by: tom7 6/19/2019 3:57:30 PM (No. 101709)
This reminds me of the advice in Screwtape Letters: to look around the congregation for things to be irritated by - great distraction from communicating with God.
1 person likes this.

Reply 33 - Posted by: kristen 6/19/2019 4:06:33 PM (No. 101717)
Dressing formally for church shows respect.
1 person likes this.

Reply 34 - Posted by: Bur Oak 6/19/2019 5:01:05 PM (No. 101751)
Tradition must be upheld, no matter what! If dressing up makes you feel more spiritual, then dress up. I believe the most important thing about dress and worship is not to judge your brothers or sisters clothing when worshiping.
1 person likes this.

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Posted by Imright 6/20/2019 11:14:11 AM Post Reply
The next stop on the Obama's European jet-set tour will be George Clooney's mansion on Lake Como. Former president Barack and first lady Michelle, as well as their daughters Malia and Sasha, are to be the Hollywood actor's latest guests at his luxurious home in Laglio.The governor of Laglio has decreed that fines of 500 euros ($565) will be in place for any vessel or vehicle approaching within 300ft of the Villa Oleandra, which is usually accessible to the public unlike typical A-list properties.The Obamas will reportedly take their private jet to Milan from Provence
Three reasons Trump-Russia hasn't turned into Watergate 23 replies
Posted by Pluperfect 6/19/2019 5:07:32 AM Post Reply
Why haven't efforts to impeach President Trump gained Watergate-style momentum? The lack of energy has created a sense of bafflement and disappointment among some of the president's most determined adversaries. But there are some simple reasons for it. Here are three: 1.) The facts are different. In Watergate, the underlying crime was a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters, perpetrated by burglars paid by President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign. The scandal proceeded from there. In Trump-Russia, the underlying crime was the hacking of the DNC's and John Podesta's emails — a crime committed by Russians in Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted a number of Russians and Russian entities
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