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Our Sunday Best

April 17, AD2013 9 Comments


Each and every Sunday morning is a zoo around my house. Trying to get 12 people ready and out the door to Mass is quite the adventure.  We normally try to have all clothes and shoes set out Saturday evening before bedtime but there are many days that we fail at getting everything ready.  On those Sundays, when we have neglected to prepare the night before, we end up rushing around the house searching for missing shoes, ironing wrinkled dresses or shirts, and in general getting ourselves riled up over other silly trivial things.  As we are getting in the car I am yelling, “Who has the diaper bag?” “Why aren’t you buckled up yet?” and sometimes “Will everyone just stop it!”

I always feel badly these Sunday mornings because I know that by the time we are in the car and headed to Mass I am no longer in the right frame of mind to sit quietly with our Lord.  I have to do some serious praying on the way to Mass and then even more while in the church before I feel ready to participate in the greatest banquet this side of heaven.  Still, even with the chaos, I feel it is so important that we always wear our “Sunday best” to Mass that I am willing to endure the insanity that comes with getting so many people ready.

You might be asking yourself why I go to the trouble of getting everyone in their best clothes if it takes so much effort.  You might be wondering why we just don’t go in jeans or whatever clothes we have on hand.  The reason is simple.  We dress our best for Mass because we know that we are going to be in Christ’s presence, we are going to witness the moment that heaven meets earth, and we are going to the greatest feast we can ever go to!  How can we not dress our best to meet Christ in the Holy Eucharist?

I have often been told that it is better that someone is there at Mass wearing whatever they have dressed in than to not be there at all.  I agree… somewhat.  If you have no other choice in what you arrive at Mass wearing then this is one thing.  Money may prevent you from buying something other than the clothes you have on hand, you might be coming from work and can’t change, you might have been out at the ball field with your child and came straight to Mass.  The situations can be as varied as the people who are sitting in the pews. However, if you have a choice of what to wear and you decide that you just don’t need to dress for Christ, well, I have to disagree with your decision.  It is well known that God doesn’t judge us by our outward appearances but by what is in our hearts, but doesn’t He still deserve your very best?

I suppose I think of it this way: let’s say I was going to meet someone of importance (the Pope, the Queen of England, our President, a perspective boss, etc.) I would make sure I was dressed appropriately, wearing my very best clothes.  I might even go out and buy a new outfit just for the occasion if I was able.  I truly believe that most people would feel this way too.  We wouldn’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt, a skirt that is so short it borders on indecency, a spaghetti strapped tank top that showed cleavage, or clothes that are just plain dirty.   No, we would take the time to prepare ourselves so that those we are meeting understand we know that our encounter is important.  Why don’t we do this for Christ?

We are so rushed that many times we just think “as long as I’m there, that’s good enough.”  I see so many people take this attitude with Mass and yet are able to take the time to dress up for a wedding, their child’s kindergarten graduation, or a night out with their spouse or friends.  Why the difference?  Is it that the source and summit of our faith is not worth the extra effort or is it that we’ve forgotten just what we are celebrating when we participate in Mass?   Is it that we know that God will love us regardless or are we just lazy?  Some may not have anything else to wear and that is acceptable because God truly does want us to be there regardless of our clothes, however, when we are going to meet the King of Kings, shouldn’t we be dressed to do so? Is good enough, enough?

I have read that as we grow towards virtue and holiness that our outward appearances should reflect this growth as well.  While God sees our hearts we should also show Him that we want our outside to reflect the great changes that are occurring inside.  We should want to honor Him not only in what we say and do but also in what we wear and how we present ourselves.  We are encouraged to set aside time to read the bible, to pray, to reflect, to give to others… likewise, shouldn’t we be encouraged to set aside enough time to prepare ourselves both outwardly and spiritually to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist?

If you currently don’t dress in your “Sunday best” to meet the Lord at the Mass I challenge you to dress up for a month of Sundays.  Instead of just grabbing whatever you can put thought into what you would wear if you were to meet the Pope, a job interviewer, the Queen and then think about what you are planning to wear when you meet the King of Kings.  Is it the same?  Why or why not?

*the author recognizes that one’s “Sunday best” may be vastly different from another’s idea of “Sunday best”.  The importance here is the idea what we are consciously choosing to dress appropriately and modestly in what we deem is our best for Mass.

© 2013. Michelle Fritz. All Rights Reserved.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Michelle is a cradle Catholic, married to her high school sweetheart Mike for the last 24 years. She is an ecletic homeschooling mom of 11 children. In addition to her children on earth she is a mother to 13 saints in heaven. She is active in the prolife community and is dedicated to protecting all children, both born and unborn. Michelle is a regular writer at Catholic Sistas, a website dedicated to sharing the truths of our faith through personal stories and article that stress adherence to the teachings of the Church. She loves Apologetics and learning all she can about our beautiful Catholic faith.

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  • PalinIn16

    I always wear my best suit on Sunday mornings,,, The one god gave me,,, my birtday suit and I hang out relaxing in that which MY god has given me,,, My health, my mind and a clear conscience knowing that I am a good person,,

    • kjvbiblestudent

      You are not good, no-one is good. You may ask, “What, why do you say that, that’s judgemental?”

      I say that because if you truly believe that you are a good person, you will go straight to Hell. You must acknowledge that you are a sinner.

      Romans 3:10-23 – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
      There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
      They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
      Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
      Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
      Their feet are swift to shed blood:
      Destruction and misery are in their ways:
      And the way of peace have they not known:
      There is no fear of God before their eyes.
      Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
      Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
      But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
      Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
      For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

      If you have never realised you are a sinner, you are going to Hell. Jesus didn’t come to save self-righteous people.

      Matthew 9:12-13 – “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
      But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

      But, sinners deserve to go to Hell.

      Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

      You need to first realise that you are a sinner before you can get saved from Hell; because that is why Jesus Christ died, he died because sinners can’t save themselves. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice for sin because He is the Son of God, and He is God manifest in the flesh, meaning He never sinned, and the reason we die is because of sin, but Jesus never sinned, so God could accept His blood sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was crucified and His blood was shed on the cross, God punished His own Son, pouring out His wrath on Him because He knew that you could never,ever pay for your own sins. Only what Jesus Christ did on the cross, (having God’s wrath poured out on Him, dying and being the sacrifice for sin) can save you, not anything you do. That’s why people go to Hell for eternity, because people can’t be righteous enough to be forgiven by God. Understand this, your good works will NEVER, EVER, save you from eternal damnation. Only what Jesus did can save you.

      On the cross, Jesus gave up the ghost, meaning He was the one who decided when He died. He was then buried and after 3 days He rose again, conquering sin and death.

      You need to let go of your self-righteousness because it won’t get you anywhere but Hell. Repent and believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

      Romans 10:9-13 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
      For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
      For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
      For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
      For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

      IF you believe the Gospel, call on God the Father to save you, confessing that you know that you are not good enough to get to Heaven and you want the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse you from your sins and that you believe that His crucifixion where His blood was shed for your sins; His burial and His resurrection on the third day are enough to save you.

      The gospel in some verses is here.

      1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
      By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
      For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
      And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

      Don’t go to mass, it will never save you, don’t confess your sins to anyone but God, don’t give Mystery Babylon, the Roman Catholic Church anything, just flee that system if you are in it. If you get saved, you need to cut all ties with that wicked, corrupt system and read the perfect word of God in English, the King James Bible. God will save you if you truly believe on Jesus Christ.

      I’ll leave you with this:

      John 3:16-18 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
      He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

  • Bean

    Well, the Bible never says to born-again, spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christians; to meet in buildings.

    Acts 7:48 – “Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,”

    God doesn’t live in buildings, Christians can worship God at home, anywhere.

    John 4:21-24 – “21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

    22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

    23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

    When you finally read the true English Bible for yourself you’ll realise that the tradition of Sunday Best, eucharist and all that stuff is nowhere in the Bible. You can’t even find that in your own bibles, but somehow there’s a tradition to go to mass and partake in the eucharist, a perverted “sacrament”.

    Show me in the Bible where it says to wear your Sunday Best to a Christian please.

  • Robbe Sebesta

    Wonderful story Michelle….I completely agree!

  • St Donatus

    I agree with you completely. Not only do we show respect to God and the Mass, but we help others realize the importance of what we are about to witness in the transformation of bread to the body of Christ, and the honor of receiving that gift from God.

    Back when everyone dressed in their best for Mass, there was Catholics were much more devout. Dressing in our best is a small way of taking part in the new evangelization.

  • Siegfried Paul

    I thought, it seems unjust that the man who married a wife, Luke, 14:20, , is not excused at the great supper: whereas the king, who makes a marriage for his son, Matthew, , punishes those whose heart does not feel a unique joy. I thought at the moment: if only God can unite a man and a woman, it is totally impossible that this union should be valued more highly in the case of the son of a king. I commented on this impossibility in Germany: someone had recommended my commenting, critizing my style though.

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  • Marija

    Thank you, Michelle, for this very good commentary. I agree with everything you wrote.

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