MANILA, Philippines–You have the right to bare arms and legs in this increasingly hot and humid weather—just don’t do so while attending Holy Mass.
So reminded an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday, adding that “even if we are now in the summer season, propriety requires churchgoers to be decently clothed.”
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Public Affairs Committee, reminded the faithful that the rising temperature was no excuse to wear skimpy attire in church.
“The required clothing for attending Masses and other church services does not go with the changing season,” he said, citing clothes with plunging necklines, spaghetti-strap dresses, skimpy shorts and sportswear like sando, cycling shorts, caps and hats as inappropriate for church.
More electric fans, please
Should the heat be unbearable, Secillano suggested that churchgoers settle for light-colored clothes or those made of thin material.
He also proposed that churches install more electric fans to provide relief from the warm temperature.
“The whole point of the matter is simply not to wear your summer attire for church services. It is about respect,” the CBCP official said, adding that “appropriate clothing is an expression of respect not only [for] a holy place like the church, but most especially for God.”
Every year, at the onset of the dry season, Church officials in the Philippines remind the faithful to forgo comfortable but revealing clothes when attending church services, a habit they said was picked up from the West.
As more churchgoers attend Mass in skimpy outfits, some churches in Metro Manila have strictly imposed a dress code that prohibits the faithful from going to church in revealing attire.