Well, looking around the pews on any given Sunday, I get the impression that’s what some people seem to think.
While I think every man should dress up for mass, I’m not about to prescribe exactly what you should wear. It’s not my place to recommend a three piece suit, a certain color of pants, or wingtip shoes. While I won’t tell you what to wear, I will suggest three basic rules on how to dress for mass.
1. Your outfit should take effort – When choosing what to wear for mass, don’t go for what is most comfortable and easy. In fact, make it a little uncomfortable. For example, if you have been wearing Crocs to mass, try wearing some nice leather shoes instead. If you have been wearing a polo shirt, try a dress shirt. If you have been wearing a tie, try adding a sport coat. In other words, put forth some effort and make a small sacrifice.
2. Your attire should be above average – We all live in different places, and our culture has much to do with what constitutes respectful dress. A ranch hand in rural Montana or poor migrant worker is not held to the same standards as a wealthy Wall Street executive. No matter where we live, though, we should all have “Sunday best”—clothes we wear that are nicer than what we wear every day. If you’re wearing the same thing to mass that you do when going to the movies, there is a problem.
3. Do it for love – Most importantly, love should be our motivation. The moment we start doing things for reasons other than love, we are wasting our time. I have heard a lot of people say, “God looks on the heart. He sees that I love him even if I don’t dress up.” WRONG. Love always manifests itself outwardly through acts of self-giving.Love is not a feeling, it is a choice to sacrifice yourself or something you value for someone else. As I said earlier, dressing up is a very small sacrifice. Tell Jesus you love him and respect him by making a sacrifice of effort when choosing your attire or grooming for mass. The more you don’t feel like dressing up, the more valuable your sacrifice of time and attention will mean to Jesus