Are you wearing your scapular? I have observed an interesting trend among my Catholic friends, though good and holy, who did not observe the Vatican dress-code at their own weddings. One of them was so bold as to say, before she walked down the aisle, that she knew she was breaking the rules. These are not luke-warm, cafeteria Catholics either, mind you. For instance, bare arms, dress from behind showing their back, even some with spaghettis straps and low-cut fronts. The most interesting part- every one of these friends (this is no hyperbole either) pray Mary’s rosary, but fail to wear Her scapular. Fascinating, no? The Church very much has a strict dress code, it has nothing to do with “purity of intention” while wearing something. Do you really think men are considering your intentions as they are forced to try and keep custody of the eyes while immodesty is before them? If this were the case, it would be easy to enter Saint Peter’s Basilica, but what occurs before admittance?
Vatican security makes sure you are following the dress code before entering Saint Peter’s; similar to when you want to go on a roller-coaster as a child, and you have to be a certain height to enjoy the ride. If you have bare arms or your skirt is above the knees, no matter how long you have been waiting in-line, you will be turned away. Padre Pio used to kick women out of his confessional for this reason, and men for wearing short sleeve shirts. How are you dressing for Mass on a daily basis? Why should the guidelines be observed only in the Vatican but not in front of every Church tabernacle, Mass or wedding for that matter? I also noticed something else, a very good friend of mine who has been like a brother to me, just entered into the sacrament of matrimony with none other than the Traditional Latin Mass. His bride was stunning; and you know what else? His bride was modest. Through these different thoughts and reflections, I noticed that modesty and the Traditional Latin Mass are tied directly to the scapular. Those who attend the latter and observe the former, are typically found praying the rosary AND wearing the scapular. I cannot express enough how important is it to do both. I have said this before, but it is worth repeating, words of a friend to myself some years ago:
How many people claim to love Mary, but fail to wear Her scapular?
Before I introduce my favorite Etsy shop to you, I want to share some “food for thought” found in our Catechism and proper dress code for daily and Sunday Mass. If you think this is me being uncharitable, how do you think Our Poor Lord feels? Are you showing Him the proper respect owed to a King? On the contrary, it is actually an act of “un-charity” (if that is a word) toward Him. The Mass IS for Christ!
Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about dressing properly for Mass:
To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanour (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest – CCC 1387
Clement of Alexandria c. 195 AD says: Let a woman wear a plain and becoming dress, but softer than what is suitable for a man. Yet, it should not be immodest or entirely steeped in luxury. And let the garments be suited to age, person, figure, nature, and pursuits.”
Do Not Wear The Following:
- Any dress or skirt that does not completely cover the knees when sitting or standing
- Skimpy shorts, in fact, shorts of any kind
- Dresses and tops that are tight-fitting, provocative, low-cut, bare midriff or sleeveless
- Dresses or tops with spaghetti straps, with plunging necklines, that expose the bare shoulders or bare-back, or that are see-through
- Dresses or skirts with high slits
- Flashy clothing
- Any outfits with large logos or distracting messages
- Flip flops, sneakers or beach sandals
- Modest tops, dresses or skirts.
- Any pants should be avoided for traditional Catholic ladies; and if YOU MUST, wear dress pants, NOT jeans.
- Chapel veils – covering of the hair for women in the presence of the Eucharist is done out of respect for Our Lord.
According to Catholic Christian tradition (found in 1st Corinthians 11) the head covering requirement falls equally upon both men and women. According to the custom, men are to take their hats off during religious ceremonies, while women are to put a covering on. This is for two reasons. The first is just like the manner of dress described above — which is to excuse one’s self. Saint Paul points out to us that a woman’s glory is the beauty of mankind, and that is manifested in her hair. Women go to great lengths to make their hair beautiful, regardless of the style or trend, and that’s a good thing. But during the mass, the focus is to always be on the Eucharist, and as a sign of modesty and respect, the woman excuses her beautiful hair (by covering it) to call more attention to the greater beauty of God’s presence in the Eucharist.
This post is in honor of Our Lady’s First Saturday devotion. Since the scapular promise is connected to this devotion, I think it only fitting that I share it today. Having hand-sewn our own scapulars, in Carmel, they pale in comparison to the ones I am about to show you. The owner, of MantleOfMary Etsy Shop, is a personal friend of mine and I cannot recommend these scapulars enough. If you do not believe me, see for yourself!
This is just the first, out of four pages worth, of custom scapulars. The sewing is the most superb I have yet to see. From the durability of the straps to the great attention to detail; the quality is simply excellent. Nothing is wanting! If you do not have a scapular or are in need of a new one, this shop is the perfect way to start.