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Many of the traveling orders of preachers, and most of the brothers, had cowled or hooded outer robes

partly this was for travel, as the more mundane full cloaks were cumbersome, AND they concealed the fact that this was a person in holy orders….which meant a possibility of scandal, or a increased possibility of being robbed….

Lay persons throughout the middle ages wore hoods. a hood is a short capelet over the shoulders, with attached hood. with or without a liripipe (long tail off the back of the hood) in depictions it can look like an attached hood to a tunic, if you dont see color differences.

the only lay people i am aware of who wore attached hooded tunics or clerical like robes, were members of tertiary orders, who WERE in fact wearing a type of vestment.

please note: there were some hooded tunics worn by civilians in some periods as rainwear/etc, but usually they were leather or short. and didnt look like the clerical robes

If you were to look at photos taken at baseball and football games from yesteryear, you would see men wearing coats, ties, and hats ( not baseball hats ) to the games. People would dress up to travel by air, and train. Society today in general is extremely casual, and, so are our societal attitudes. The rise of the non-denominational protestant churches with their “come as you are, if you don’t like ‘churchy’ churches, we are your church, and God doesn’t look at you on the outside but on the inside” mentality, has probably infiltrated all denominations, including the Catholic church. The question is, has the modern day casual mentality also led to a modern day casual attitude towards God? I imagine it has.

Yes, I agree. It is amazing to me too to see people at baseball games wearing ties over 50 years ago. It is amazing how much we’ve changed.

I doubt that many of us Catholics could be similarly assessed based on our behavior in Church

I’ve often thought that if pilgrims can’t get into St. Peter’s Basilica with certain revealing clothing items, then those same items should be frowned upon in our churches here in the US.

Think of Mass as an appointment with the risen Lord

Here here. It needs to be said now and again. For those who may be inclined to take offense to this gentle guidance, let me add two considerations:

1) If you believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist, what does the manner of your attire say about your belief? While Jesus most certainly accepts us as we are, he also commands our conscience.

2) We are fond of saying that clothing doesn’t matter or that we care only about what is inside our hearts or minds, but often our actions in secular society contradict this excuse for dressing down during the liturgy. Do you attend carefully to your grooming and attire for a date or important career proceed this link now function? If you are fastidious in preparation for a night on the town then in your heart you really do sense the value, inward and outward, that clothes create.

Dear Monsignor, Happy to read your article. However, I was most gratified to read your “Final thought”.. I felt that it was the central thought of your article, and the most important point to be considered when deciding how to dress up for Church attendance. Imagine a person visiting the King of Kings Who is to have a conversation with him, and the person shows up dressed like he doesn’t care…. Would we do the same to a person who we consider important? As an example: In India, if one attends the funeral service of a relative or even a neighbor – a stranger, one wears appropriate clothing – generally a black/white or plain outfit, certainly no fashions on display. This we do as a sign of respect for the deceased and for the grieving relatives. So we do choose what we wear out of respect for others, even strangers, but we won’t give similar treatment for He who we call our God. So what does that say about us… Actually, there is a deeper question to consider: Is it possible that our way of dressing to attend Church is a reflection of our inner beliefs about God’s presence in the Church? If we truly believed that we were going to enter the presence of God Himself, would we be so casual about our dress (and our behaviour in Church as well)? Our professed beliefs do not seem to match our actions. Sometimes, I consider the way Muslims worship on a Friday at their mosque. The call to prayer that comes from the mosque is open, loud and unabashed. The Muslim men line up outside the mosque on prayer mats with their heads covered, all wearing respectful attire. The prayer is made with the eyes closed and with all accompanying gestures, in full public view and no one is ashamed of his demonstrated religious behaviour. I think to myself…these people really believe in and are proud of their faith, it is clear from their actions.

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