Jun 3, 2016
It was the 15th of August- the feast of The Assumption of our Lady and our Independence Day. I was attending Mass in a renowned church and as I sat in the pew, lo and behold! All I saw was a bare back stare back! A young girl, barely 18 had worn - brace yourselves - a halter-neck top for Mass.
Some independence, huh? I had the fortune of glimpsing at her bare back all Mass long!! My only thoughts were as to where were the girl’s parents as she dressed up and started for church. I was at Mass next Sunday. As a girl entered and knelt, the ladies on either side of her looked at each other and smiled.
The old lady sitting in the row behind her was continuously looking at the kneeling girl. It was then that I realised why they were reacting the way they were. Suddenly I saw it- her pink undergarments peeked out of her pair of jeans. As amused as I was, the older ladies surely weren’t. On a more serious note, I couldn’t help but think over it even as the girl tried in vain to awkwardly tug at her t-shirt. What if some men were sitting behind her? Older men would probably choose to overlook it, pretend they didn’t see; young kids would giggle and young men would try not to look maybe. But one thing is for sure- it would attract and distract everyone. Does one need this at church or any other place of worship for that matter, is the question.
Fashion is all good and looking pretty certainly isn’t a crime, but it is secondary at Mass. Everyone’s wardrobe contains casual wear and occasional wear. People never confuse one for the other. People never turn up at weddings or parties looking like they dressed for a picnic, or for an interview, dressed for a wedding. There are theme parties and more often than not, people stick to the theme. When we stick to a code made by only man, why then do we throw all caution to the winds when it comes to dressing for church? Perhaps the prophet Mohammad foresaw these cons and prevented women from entering mosques with men.
What people have forgotten is that there is a time and place for everything, especially when dressing for church. We need to keep in mind that the Christmas or Easter celebration is not just that- a celebration. It is Holy Mass. Young people, especially girls, get new dresses fit to be worn to parties and discotheques, not for Mass. Or have we forgotten the distinction between the two? It is a growing trend nowadays even for brides to wear revealing wedding gowns to their nuptial Mass for the Sacrament of Matrimony. It makes me wonder if it’s all part of foreplay!! And her maids just follow her footsteps. Everything just gets skimpier by the day with strapless, backless and mindless dressing. Revealing clothes are not in the least appropriate for Mass. With all our education if we cannot seem to know this fact, then which way are we progressing?
Parents play a significant role in moulding their children’s dress sense, telling them what is decent and appropriate for Mass. Adolescents are old enough to think for themselves and surely don’t need guidance in this. So next time at the holy Mass, can we all expect people to remember the time and the place?
Hanita Pinto - from archives: