Monday, August 12, 2013

A monsignor got it all wrong about dressing modestly...

...for Mass!

Msgr. Arnel F. Lagarejos, Oeconomus of the Diocese of Antipolo, Parish Priest at Our Lady of Light Parish. And that is a screen cap of his post on his Facebook account.

Now here is the entire text that Msgr. Lagarejos quoted, albeit out of context:

[1]The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons."

[2] And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, `I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'
[3] And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me him whom I name to you."
[4] Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?"
[5] And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.
[6]When they came, he looked on Eli'ab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him."

[7] But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
[8] Then Jesse called Abin'adab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."
[9] Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."
[10] And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these."
[11] And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and fetch him; for we will not sit down till he comes here."
[12] And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he."
[13] Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 

The passage talks about the choosing of the new king of Israel.  The Lord instructed Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse, who we know as David.  And his instruction to choosing David was what the monsignor cited.

QUESTION: Was the Lord even talking about dressing up for worship?

Plain and simple the answer is NO.

The Lord reminded Samuel that he chose David not because of his looks but because of his heart, something which in not in Saul anymore, that is why the Lord chose David to be the new anointed king.

When you read some of the comments in the monsignor's post, they were even talking about what is in the heart is more important.

Goodness me!

Well of course, they'd draw a conclusion from that simply because the monsignor was implying that!

Which leads me to ask:  Are we are even talking about what is in the heart?!

Remember people.  FOCUS.

Topic is about properly dressing for Mass.

Who what was the talk about what is in the heart?

So sinners are not allowed to go to the Lord at Mass???

While he did quote something from the Bible, I think the monsignor does not even want to talk about what St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 about headcoverings for women while worshiping and how to dress modesty as stated in 1 Timothy 2:9.

Yeah I think he forgot about those.

He stuck to the Old Testament quotation that is obviously taken WAAAAYYY out of context.

Oooh!  He forgot about the rigid rules about garments in Leviticus.

Take a look at the poster once again.

The poster does not even say it is a requirement.  It is a catechesis to teach people to dress properly.

I have lamented about this in my numerous posts in the past as it became one of those usual parish announcements in the parish billboard that get flooded.  I always thought that for an effective catechism to work, printed materials are not enough.  We need someone to do the actual TALKING for the posters.  Posting them just aint enough.

You know what sets us apart from the other denominations and sects like the Iglesia ni Manalo?

They know when to dress properly.  The members are "forced" of course, but they have been properly taught as told to me by my INM friends and they know the biblical texts and even surprisingly practical reasons why they should dress properly when worshiping.  After the 70s, there is no such thing as a Sunday's best anymore.

Dear monsignor, was the Church forcing the issue of properly dressing up for Mass?

Or all this talk about proper decorum boils down to this: ETIQUETTE.

Is it a rare commodity these days?

Here is photo from Orbis Catholicus Secundus.  It is a sign in a chapel in Rome.  This is just a simple sign but it says a lot.  Imagine the RCAM poster even has illustrations on what is proper and what is not.

What bothers me is the monsignor would definitely be sending the wrong signal by publicly posting his opposition to the simple reminder to dress modestly when going to church.  It is a different story if he just refuses to post it.

He publicly criticized the catechetical poster by quoting a Biblical text OUT OF CONTEXT.

What does he expect to get out of it?

More people of good heart to come to church?  I think people of good heart, KNOW how to dress properly and how to act decently when at church.

PS:  Dear monsignor, the Lord once told a parable about a guy who went to the wedding feast, not dress properly for the occasion, but was caught by the king for not wearing the proper wedding dress.  The King ordered:  "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Mt. 22 : 1 - 14)

Quite interesting that Christ used the imagery of a man not properly dressed for an important event getting a violent treatment because of it.

Just saying.

By the way, the king in the parable did not look at the heart of the wedding guest.

Just saying.


  1. ayayayay! father naman.. NAMAN! i had the same thinking way back. and then i realized my mistake.

    1. Let's all go nude because Jesus died nude,therefore the Mass is the renewal of the Sacrifice on Mt. Calvary! Let do this for God Knows what's.....YOU KNOW. *Sarcasm*

  2. Our Lady of Fatima says our Lord is very very offended by certain fashions. Lucia of Fatima said that it would please our Lady very much to start a modesty league in America and back then one was started. You can go to to find the Marylike Modesty Handbook of the Purity Crusade of Mary Immaculate. The Bible teaches us to dress modestly and not cause our brother to stumble etc.. The Vatican loves us so much that they won't let you go to Saint Peter's Basilica dressed immodestly and have extended those rules to the entire Vatican City. Tor correct sinners, instruct the ignorant and counsel the doubtful is a work of love and mercy (do it in patience and kindness always-for most people don't know what TRUE modesty is). I want to add if man judges by appearances that shouldn't we all the more dress modestly, for man can't see in the heart and man will think wrongly if we are dressed to offend our Lord.