Monday, April 8, 2013

Fashion 101

There’s a lot of change happening these days in worship; not only in style and music but also in how people dress for worship. Have you noticed?

Lots of folks were raised to wear their “Sunday best” when they went to church. Still holds true for many churches and worshippers. I remember when the ushers at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian in New York City wore tuxedos with tails and white gloves. I recall once overhearing an older Sardis saint remind a young usher to button his suit jacket when he was taking up the offering. And women were told never to wear slacks to church. All that has changed hasn’t it?

We are making a change in attire for our ushers, greeters and preachers at our 9am worship service. Those working on designing a more contemporary worship service have recommended making the service less formal. So we will be encouraging our ushers and greeters not to wear suits and ties, and I will follow suit, or I should say, follow their lead, too. No tie for me at 9. Not really sure what I will don each week–probably a sport jacket, but no tie.

At the 11am service I'm making a change in the other direction. I will still wear my clergy robe but will wear a clerical collar, which is what I wore when I first came to the land of grits. The original thought behind wearing a simple clergy robe was to not call attention to yourself and have folks critique your fashion IQ each week. Still makes sense to me.

Do you think God has a dress code for worship? Does God have fashion police or in his case, fashion angels? Does it matter what you wear to worship? 

The answer is a resounding YES.

In Colossians 3, we find instructions to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience….and above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” That’s a pretty simple dress code.

So it does matter what you wear to worship, but it has nothing to do with designer labels, silk ties, flip flops or blue jeans. Love is your biggest fashion statement. 

It’s what we all need to wear to worship.


  1. Alma Jo LangstonApril 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Works for me...

    The commentary, interpretation for Colossians 3 is well-spoken, very wise, and presents a Christian opportunity, to "clothe yourselves with love...," a timeless message.

  2. Still sounds like we are dictating a dress code for worship. "Open and inviting" carries an implication of accepting each as they enter into worship as they are and not as they "should" be. It is good to see the church relax when gathered for we are family, but would we be open to those whose appearance challenges our norms?

  3. You should bring your best self to church. It offends me to see people come to church like they are dressed for yard work or a picnic . . . the messsage I get from that is that church is just incidental to other really more important things going on in their life and they are not going to make any effort to put forth their best self. Change is not always for the better.

  4. I couldn't agree more! It's the heart of the worshiper that matters not what they are wearing. We should all come with a heart of love and acceptance and not be judgmental of one's attire.

  5. Although I dress a little more casually than I did growing up, I don't ever see my self wearing jeans to church. I think it has to do with showing respect for being in God's house, bringing your best self both physically and emotionally!

  6. Thus we can see the differing views the leadership of our church is challenged to please and lead on this topic and many others. We will never all have the same opinion (thank goodness). I just hope we will respect and support each other and wear our loving hearts as we move forward as one church. I am appreciative of all of the listening and prayers that has gone into this decision.

  7. We used to wear our tuxedos to the service at White Memorial in Raleigh. It was prom weekend and we had them until Monday so why not?