DRESS and DEMEANOR CODE
For Ministers of Assumption Parish
“This code addresses modest dress and appropriate dress and demeanor for Mass and other Church-related activities.”
The ministers of our Catholic faith serve God and His people. The role of the minister is vital to our liturgy. It requires commitment and responsibility as role models. Modest and presentable dress should be seen on God’s altar by the assembly. In other words, dress in a manner which ultimately glorifies Him.
Those attending Mass have a right not to be drawn away from the Mass. The ministers’ role, in fact, is to assist in drawing people to the Mass by being well prepared for their roles and to be properly dressed. Therefore, ministers have a very serious moral obligation of helping others to focus on the Mass and not onto themselves because of their dress or their actions.
Appropriate reverence and gestures should be maintained. Bodily demeanor (gestures and dress) are part of the elements for worthy reception of the Eucharist and that such acts “ought to convey respect, solemnity, and joy of the moment when Christ becomes our guest” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1387). The Eucharist is a most holy occasion and thus should be treated in the reverent, holy manner—in body, mind, spirit, and dress.
Dress and demeanor guidelines are as follows:
Ministers shall prepare inwardly and portray their outward preparation in appearance by appropriate and modest dress in respect for our Lord and His Presence in the Holy Mass.
Therefore, men and boys coming as ministers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass shall come dressed properly. Garments that are overly casual, sleeveless, tight fitting, or otherwise immodest or provocative are not considered appropriate.
Women and girls shall come reverently and modestly dressed with skirts, dresses, loose fitting and appropriate pants suits or similar attire. Apparel worn by women and girls must not be overly casual, tight fitting, or otherwise immodest or provocative.
Inappropriate dress, even though modest, should be avoided. For example, garish beachwear may be modest, but is inappropriate at Mass. Flip-flops are another example of inappropriate dress.
Finally, appropriate demeanor is expressed through the reverence the minister displays during worship. Making responses in word and song, bowing in reverence to the altar when approaching the sanctuary, fasting properly before receiving the Eucharist, and avoiding the use of gum or mouth candies during Mass are some examples of the appropriate gestures and actions for ministers. Always come to Mass prepared inwardly and externally to serve, even when not scheduled, in case your service is needed. If asked to serve, but are not properly prepared inwardly or externally, including having on proper attire, discern whether or not to serve. Also, silence cell phones. Ministers serve as role models in pointing others to glorify God.
In general, ministers should wear:
No jeans, sweatpants or yoga pants
No shirts exposing the navel
No tight-fitting clothes
No t-shirts (collared shirts only)
No sleeveless shirts
No dress or skirt with a hem any higher than at or just above the knee
No spaghetti-strap tops or tank tops or tube tops
No style of dress exposing bare shoulders or bare back
No style of dress exposing cleavage
Approved by the Liturgy Committee of the Assumption of the B.V.M. on March 8, 2013.