National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Why Do Catholics ...?

How should I dress for Mass?

BY The Editors

December 30, 2012-January 12, 2013 Issue | Posted 12/21/12 at 12:42 PM


"Because I had decided ahead of time that I was going to look my best for Mass, I got up earlier to leave time to fix my hair and put on some makeup. … I found myself with a few extra moments before we left (a big change from the usual pre-Mass fire drill) and was able to look over the readings and prepare myself to receive the Eucharist," blogger Jennifer Fulwiler wrote recently at

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes about modesty, "Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. ... Modesty inspires a way of life that makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies" (2521-2524).

"At the Mass, the difference this new ensemble made was startling," Fulwiler continued. "In a surprising-but-not-surprising turn of events, I found that I paid more attention to God and less attention to myself now that I was dressed well. … Taking the extra time to choose my attire carefully reminded me of my dignity as a woman and a child of God; and, most powerfully, wearing my favorite pieces on Sunday hit home the message on both a conscious and a subconscious level that I would never find an occasion more special than this one."

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