May 20, 2007

Gang Colors at Holy Mass

It used to be that the only person in the Church during Holy Mass who gave serious thought to what color they had on was the Priest. The Priest still does but now he is joined in color by some of his parishioners.

Pentecost is next Sunday and you will be hardpressed to find a similar day in the Liturgical Year where gang colors will be on parade.

You will more then likely have the rainbow group representing those misguided Catholics who think GLBT individuals are oppressed in the Church because they can't practice their sexuality the way THEY want to without the "big bad" Church objecting. This gang uses Pentecost as a day to be really disruptive and wear rainbow colored sashes and pins and stand around like a group of pouting children when they are told they can't receive Communion dressed like that because they just made a public statement by their attire that they are not in Communion with the Church.

You will have the purple sash or headscarf group. Folks who think women are wronged by the Church because they can't be ordained. Rather then just wear a ladylike mantilla or go someplace else, they will show up and sit right up front. They growl and stamp their feet when they are told they can't receive Communion because they are so obviously making a statement that they disagree with the Church's teachings as handed down by Jesus Christ.

You have the folks who think they need to wear flame colors so they can be like the Holy Spirit coming down with tongues of fire. I don't know about you, but I'm not arrogant enough to think that the clothes I have on are enough to put me on the same plane as The Paraclete.

I've yet to see someone dressed like Ephesians 6:10-18 at Pentecost but if people think they can dress their kids in Halloween costumes and bring them to Mass like that in October the day will probably come.

Back in my clubbing days, people with certain colors on that signified alliance with a gang and the potential for possible disruption or violence were not allowed in to the club.

Do we need bouncers at the doors of our Churches? Why do folks think that the Mass is about them?

We can barely get people to dress respectfully for Mass, but tell them they can look ridiculous to make a political statement and change the focus of Holy Mass to their selfish selves they are all for it.

This year in the United States, Pentecost Sunday is in the middle of, what is for many, a 3-day holiday weekend for Memorial Day on Monday. This means, a lot of people will be traveling. It usually means that people tend to show up for Mass this Sunday dressed in their summer worst.

Here's my modest proposal: Please make an effort to dress up this Sunday if you normally don't. Ties, suits, dresses, skirts, blouses. Dress modestly and appropriately. Let's try and counter what has become the annual ritual of idiocy with reverence and taste.

32 Comments:

Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Well said!

Personally, I was going to set my hair on fire during the Gospel reading in an enactment of that day. But now I'll rethink that because I'm a little worried that if I do that, it'll make the Mass about me and all I want to do is call attention to the plight of hairless people everywhere. I don't want my message misinterpreted.

OK, seriously...you're so right.

About the red thing though: I have attended several parishes that ask people to wear red on Pentecost. I don't think that people actually think they are "like the Holy Spirit coming down like tongues of fire."

If you attend a Charismatic Mass on Pentecost, you will see a LOT of red clothing.

May 20, 2007 3:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I don't think the people should be dressing like the priest-even if it is just matching his vestment color.

Please don't set your hair on fire for whatever reason! :-)

May 20, 2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Cathy,

I don't think the intention is to "dress like the priest", and actually I think actually having the correct liturgical colors might inspire a certain amount of reverence, but then I would say that the same use of those colors should be used throughout the liturgical year, not just Pentecost.

There is of course a faction that seeks to be like the priest in order to bring him "down to our level", and of course you know how I feel about THAT kind of nonsense!

I actually don't mind if people wear red on Pentecost. After all, they wear pink or white or whatever ribbons for political causes, or certain colors on certain days for other causes...why not wear red to celebrate the birthday of the Church, the day the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Church just has he overshadowed the Blessed Mother at the Annunciation?

We are born out of the side of Christ and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and of course, with any birth comes a great deal of blood (just as Jesus and the holy martyrs who followed Him to the death gave their blood....Jesus so that we might live, the martyrs so that the Church might live).

I say wear red on Pentecost, not in imitation of the priest or any other superficial reason, but as a reminder of the blood shed on our behalf and the fire of the Holy Spirit that should be kindled within us as long as we claim to be disciples of Christ.

May 20, 2007 7:02 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

But Adooooorooooo, my mommy would never have bought me my cute purple and pink dress, when I was eight, if it hadn't been good for Lent and Advent!

Seriously, it's more important to dress up than to wear red; but it's nice for the priest to see a lot of red and realize that we've done as requested by him and we do know what day it is. Also, it's the only touch of pageantry we usually get.

No doves descending from the Holy Ghost Hole. No petals raining down upon us. No water squirting contests. No King Arthur holding feasts where you can't say grace and eat until a guest shows up with a wonder. No ladies dancing at Whitsun, in fact.

We are deprived, Adoro, and something must be done. If red is the best we can get, then so be it.

May 20, 2007 7:23 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

maureen,
We ARE deprived! And I agree...we need to dress up to be in the presence of God.

So I am NOT advocating trashy clothing in lieu of dressing up. I will always give precedence to wearing "Sunday Best" over the color red if the two cannot be worn at the same time.

I actuallly have only one dressy red article of clothing, a red dress that I'm not certain fits anymore, and if it does it's a bit low cut so actually requres another article of clothing to "close the gap" if you know what I mean.

So I will likely just wear a nice skirt with a black blouse and maybe just refresh the color in my hair so my hair is really really red next Sunday.

:-)

So, Cathy, no I won't really set my hair on fire. I paid too much for the hilights to destroy them so quickly, and I don't feel like spending time in the burn unit.
:-)

May 20, 2007 8:26 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

I have just ordered a chapel veil that I plan to start wearing to daily Mass. How's that?

May 20, 2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Why only Daily Mass? Why not Sunday Mass?

I have a white and a black one...I usually wear the black one because it blends in better.

May 20, 2007 10:00 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Cathy - This IS a huge dilema for me now! I don't know what to wear next Sunday! All my suits are red. Why are you doing fashion posts now anyway?

Adoro - I thought you were blonde.

May 20, 2007 10:45 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Terry ~ nope, actually I have naturally dark hair and currently have red highlights, so for all practical purposes, I look like a redhead. ;-)

If you're thinking of the picture I posted about the singing, I'm the girl with teh closed eyes on the far right.

May 21, 2007 6:20 AM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

Sadly, I won't be wearing red as everything I have that is red has a Christmas theme to it. Since I will be out in the woods of Northern Wisconsin this weekend, I probably won't see any gang colors, but I will see plenty of shorts, flip-flops and beach attire.

May 21, 2007 7:07 AM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Why only Daily Mass? Why not Sunday Mass?

Because I'm in the Cathedral Choir, and this particular veil stands out too much. I'll wear it to Sunday Mass during our summer hiatus, and probably get one of those little black doily-like veils for choir duty.

May 21, 2007 9:20 AM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

Adoro,
Re: setting your hair on fire....
LOL.

Anita,
Is it a rainbow veil? 'Cause THAT would stand out.
;)

Cathy,
I agree with some of the other commenters. I have no problem with people wearing purple on Ash Wed., red on Pentecost, etc.
It's a small part of the fun of Catholicism, to me.
I DOOOOO have a problem with people wearing sports jerseys, etc.
But if you are dressed nicely in a red shirt and khaki skirt, I am just thrilled if the skirt ain't mini. :)
Great, great post.
We don't have rainbow people, because they would flat-out not be allowed in.
No political statements at Mass, please.
I keep hoping some will show up, and I can see the drama unfold, alas, they stay away like they're vampires and we're a garlic patch on the sun.

May 21, 2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I'm still going to be a stubborn puss about the color thing. What is this? A Reagan press conference where we all need to be red so we can be noticed?

I may not be such a stinker about this if I did not feel like there is WAY too much blurring of the lines between priestly action and attire and the laity action and attire at Holy Mass going on these days. All of this feeding into the laitization of the priest and "ordination" of the laity movement so pervasive in the last 40 years.

The laity's adoption of the orans position and the handwaving that mirrors the priest's gestures is one of my big pet-peeves. Don't get me started on hand-holding during the Our Father.

So, some of us agree to disagree but you know I still love you, right?

Terry: You snooze you lose! You have not done a fashion post in so long I felt someone had to step up!

May 21, 2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ma: I'm more then happy to send some of our local gang crew to Cantius if you want to see "it" unfold before your eyes. In fact, you can keep 'em if you want too!

J/K, I would not wish that disgrace on any parish.

May 21, 2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

Cathy,
Heh - only if you promised to come for the fireworks.
Oh, it would be goooood.
;)

May 21, 2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger Sanctus Belle said...

Adoro said "Personally, I was going to set my hair on fire during the Gospel reading in an enactment of that day."

Hilarious!

I hope no Mass crashers show up at my small town parish on Pentacost Sunday.

I know I need to be better at dressing up and I'm trying to improve, thanks for the reminder!

May 21, 2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ma Beck and Cathy versus The Sashers! LOL! Probably, cut that movement off at the -----!

May 21, 2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Chrism Cathy of Alex!

I'm going to have to quit my volunteer project (and my new naturalist hobby) just to keep up with you. Now not only are you locally famous (here and by your N. MN "Fishing Holes", you are WORLD FAMOUS when the World's Most Famous Catholic Blogger, "Father Z" monitors your output.

Jeepers, Creepers!

Congratulations on a great post!

But the link that Father Z posted on his comment on your post was incorrect. They have Pentecost as June 4. I wonder where Father Z found that? I sent him an email questioning an additional site.

May 21, 2007 5:23 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Speaking from the vantage point of geezer-hood, officially, that day, I always thought that red stood for "martyrdom" in the liturgical colors and wearing red on Pentecost signified our willingness to undergo martyrdom for the Faith after we have been anointed and presented with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

May 21, 2007 5:31 PM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

Ray,
I think (though I might be wrong) red is used on Pentecost to actually symbolize fire, not martyrdom, though Pentecost should certainly remind us to be prepared for martyrdom.
(Of course, it's also used on feasts of martyrs, but also on feasts of the Holy Cross, the Precious Blood, etc.)
I sure do love red vestments!
:)

May 21, 2007 6:17 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: I thought YOU were the most World Famous Catholic Blogger?

May 21, 2007 6:20 PM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Not to brag, but I usually wear a suit to mass. It's probably too cute, but I try to coordinate the color of my tie to the liturgical color. (Gotta get a purple tie!)

I'll be wearing the red one next week.

May 21, 2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Cathy said: " So, some of us agree to disagree but you know I still love you, right?"


I don't think you love me anymore.

That does it. Now I'm going to have to pout and wear rainbow. That'll show you!

May 21, 2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous o.h. said...

Now I'm beset by anxiety. I've been wearing a modest headscarf (silk, not a bandana) to the Latin Mass--I don't own a mantilla, and am just more comfortable with my headscarf--which is orange. Now I'm hearing a headscarf is likely to be taken as a political statement? Or is that only if it's orange? Will it be thought to be a flame-colored attempt to match the vestments?

May 21, 2007 8:58 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

o.h. A headscarf in general is fine. I meant to suggest that those gals in the purple coverings at Pentecost that are using the color to make a "statement" are in the wrong.

Adoro: Yeah, right. I have an easier time believing you'll set your hair on fire.

Paul: That IS too cute, you know? :-)

May 22, 2007 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would really love to see congregations going back to the idea of "Sunday best" for weekly Mass! At Mass last Sunday, our choir director wore a brown sleeveless top with a cleavage bordering on indecent (IMO, anyway). Thank God our choir sings from the loft at the rear of the church. Unfortunately, I'm the organist and whenever I had to look in the mirror there she was! (I'm a woman, BTW). So yes, I strongly support the idea of classic, MODEST dress in the Presence of Our Lord.

Pat

May 22, 2007 6:43 PM  
Blogger Kasia said...

Chiming in late, but...

My pastor (who's very orthodox, although not averse to the Charismatic movement) asked us to wear red on Pentecost. The only red outfit I have is a sort of warm clay-red, but it's an extremely modest suit. So I'll wear it (and I just might catch on fire, as it's near 90 today in Detroit and it's a long-sleeved, ankle-length-skirted suit).

Call me crazy (or neophyte), but I don't see wearing red at Pentecost (or purple at Advent, etc) as anywhere near even the same ballpark as the Rainbow Sash/purple headscarf-type things. Not even the same sport, honestly. Though I guess it depends on one's motivations for wearing the liturgical color. (And I agree that if the outfit is inappropriate for Mass, it shouldn't be worn irrespective of the day.)

However, my guess is that the majority of people who wear red on Pentecost are not trying to make some sort of dissident statement, or blur the lines between the clergy and the laity. Most of 'em are probably the same folks who wear red, white and blue on Independence Day, red and green at Christmas parties, and so forth. They're probably mostly just trying to get into the spirit of the thing. If they're going to get all dolled up for a Fourth of July bbq, I don't think their putting in a similar effort for Pentecost is disrespectful or unreasonable.

Or am I missing something?

May 24, 2007 10:32 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

kasia: You are absolutely right that the intention of the color is the main problem, as I see it. However, I remain a stinky-poo and I refuse to waiver on my aversion to laity wearing colors for the feast.

Let it be known that I don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day (I'm not Irish but I don't like it even if I was) or Red and Green at Christmas. Call it lack of conformity or call me a big party pooper. Because to me it is making the Mass a big festival party by doing the cutesy thing and picking your outfit based upon its color.

Hey, here's an idea! On Gaudete Sunday the laity wear the pepto-bismo color and the priest gets to wear yellow. :-) No, it doesn't make any kind of sense but I don't think anyone should be worried about color at Mass except the priest. And, the priest wears his according to the calender as prescribed.

Here I stand, like Mount Rushmore, refusing to be swayed by the wind. Even Adoro threatening to set her beautiful hair on fire didn't work!

May 24, 2007 11:02 AM  
Blogger Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

"The laity's adoption of the orans position and the handwaving that mirrors the priest's gestures is one of my big pet-peeves."

Along with holding hands...

is this in the rubrics? No.

You will notice a correlation between those who refuse to follow the rubrics (e.g. profound bow at et incarnatus est) and those who do things the rubrics by inference forbid. It is astonishing that so many will not follow the rules as written, but do things that are not written (and hence not authorized) on their own authority.

May 24, 2007 4:51 PM  
Blogger Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Honestly, I was just glad to get everyone to church with actual CLOTHES on today! It was kind of crazy this morning with the rush of getting everyone out of the house after getting my sister from college yesterday and having to put all of the seats back in the van this morning. I had forgotten about pentecost until I saw the red decorations on the altar (BAD Catholic mama) Then these three elderly women in the pew in front of us were talking and one of them said, "Oh! It looks so pretty on the altar!" and the next one (with a red blazer on) said, "Yes it does, it's pentecost, that's why I'm wearing this!" It was so cute, I didn't care whether it was proper to wear red or not, all I could think of was how great it was that my three year old kept asking about Jesus and why he died all during Mass instead of, "when will we get to go HOOOOOOOME????" I thought that maybe the Holy Spirit was working in him in some kind of funny way today because he's never really cared much for any kind of religious instruction and now, all of the sudden, he has a need to know all things Jesus! Pray for us! I love you all and I love the great conversations in the comments box!

May 27, 2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger bearing said...

Love the "gang colors" analogy. Sheesh.

May 28, 2007 10:33 AM  
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