“Casual Friday” has become a staple of American office culture. But what about “Casual Sunday”?
For decades, houses of worship have been consecrated by tidy congregations in their very best dress. Trim suits and ties pulled straight enough to choke the fidgety young parishioner were the norm, anything less being sure to draw the scorn of the flock.
But the culture has changed, and with it the Church. For some preachers and priests, word of this “new day” is written not in any holy book, but rather on the T-shirts young worshippers now wear to Sunday Mass.
Not everyone has taken so heartily to leisure wear in “God’s house.” One couple, says Deacon Greg Kandra, wanted to dress their dog in a tuxedo. The canine was slated to walk down the aisle as a member of the wedding party. (Their request was denied.)
But that tale ranks on the more modest end of the spectrum.
“I had a friend, a priest, who while offering communion to a woman in a low cut shirt … dropped the Host down the front of her shirt,” Deacon Kandra recalls, half-laughing.
“She didn’t want to grab at ‘the body of Christ,’ but she eventually did. He certainly wasn’t going to get it.”
Then there was the woman in the Hooters shirt.
The deacon was distributing the Holy Communion to some of his 3,000-member-strong parish in Forest Hill, N.Y., when he was faced with a young woman in a shirt bearing the restaurant’s distinctive logo. He kept quiet as they came face-to-face, but later sent out a series of gentle reminders to the congregation.
Among them, this bulletin announced, “BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT CANCELLED… Modest church-going attire will do nicely. We will notify you if the situation changes.”