Tag Archives: mysundaybest

Sunday Style: Feels Like Home?

Mr. Man and I attended Mass at yet another parish than the ones we have been to. I am happy to be able to accommodate his registered parish and his heavy travel schedule; don’t get me wrong. It still feels strange to not have found a parish I can call “mine” yet. I’ve never been a fan of church shopping, but here we are.

I remain a fan of shopping my closet for outfits, though, so here I am:

Sunday Style for May 21

Shirt and tank top: Target
Skirt and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: old, old gift
Headband (it’s on there): also Target, I think

We went to a wedding on Saturday afternoon, and I did my laundry before and after the wedding, so I was not in the mood to fuss around with clothes any more than strictly necessary. I like this outfit because it doesn’t need ironing and it “fixes” a tank top cut in a way I wouldn’t usually wear otherwise.

This week’s parish felt the most like the majority of parishes I’ve belonged to. I’m eager to just pick a parish already. Joining Mr. Man’s parish would be the simplest, but it has the fewest and least convenient Mass times. Fr. C’s parish is a good “backup” parish; I usually had a regular backup for times in the past when I couldn’t go to my usual parish at my usual time. This new parish has the most Mass times by far, but it’s the furthest drive. Then again, this is such a small city compared to Austin that very few things actually feel like they are far away.

I just want to have decided. The “deciding” part is no fun. I exchanged a few words with the groom at the wedding (initiated by him) about how dating is fun, sure, but no one wants to do it forever. Eventually, you want to settle down. I’m tired of dating parishes; I just want to lock it down.

Fr. E made several slick references to the Easter season’s continuing still. They felt genuine. I’ve found that plenty of people will talk a big game about how Easter goes on for 50 days, but they don’t do anything. I pray the Angelus and Night Prayer year-round, so the switch to the Regina Caeli and a ton of alleluias feels obvious in my life, but that doesn’t spill out into public and shared celebrations the way Lent (and even Christmas) does.

He went on to connect the gospel reading to the earlier scene in which Jesus receives a warning not to enter Samaria with his disciples. James and John, eager beavers, ask if Jesus will call down fire upon Samaria to destroy it. He declines and says he’ll find another way. At the moment, he meant that he would choose another travel route, but from the vantage point of the Resurrection, we discover that he also meant he’d find another way to bring down fire upon Samaria. His “other way” is demonstrated in the first reading, when Philip, Peter, and John visit Samaria once again, this time bringing down the fire of the Holy Spirit. That was an awesome connection.

He also explained that the two sacraments of communion (matrimony and holy orders, which I’ve also heard called the sacraments of service) explicitly contain a calling down of the Holy Spirit. In the new Rite of Celebrating Matrimony, the Litany of the Saints is optional; it’s required for ordinations. In each sacrament, the ones receiving it must lay down their lives for the sake of another.

To my great delight, I took enough notes during the homily that I have some extras that didn’t make it to this post! It’s been a while since I’ve experienced that. I like it. If I can summarize a homily in just one paragraph, I feel like something went wrong.

I’ll end with a quick PSA: Regardless of whether you live in one of the few U.S. dioceses that observes Ascension Thursday, the Original Novena starts this Friday. Join in!


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Mother’s Day Makes a Lot of Us Unhappy

Mr. Man and I squeaked into church a tiny bit late this week, but we made it! Mass feels kind of different from the back of the house. I wonder if people who say they don’t get anything out of Mass might find things different if they sat up front.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for May 4

No shoe shot; I didn’t do my toes!

All my clothes: Target
Necklace: holy medals
Headband: Goody, but also from Target
Earrings: You can’t see them in these photos, and I don’t remember anyway!

Two Sundays ago, it was unseasonably cold, so this week felt like full-on summer. I guess it’s nice that I now have a closet big enough to hold all my clothes at once; I didn’t have to drag this dress in from my “out of season” storage. On the one hand, it’s interesting to switch seasons from week to week. On the other hand, I don’t want to get used to having a ton of space and thereby accidentally fill up my closet with things I didn’t (and don’t) need.

On to church. We visited Fr. C’s parish again. My only experience of the parish so far is Mass on non-consecutive Sunday evenings, so I can’t decide whether I want to join it. (Mr. Man is already registered elsewhere.) I miss being part of a parish. I want to join one again. I just can’t figure out which one. Mr. Man’s parish is tiny, but Fr. C’s homilies rub me the wrong way. I’ve never been into parish shopping, but is it a bad sign that I’m feeling awkward everywhere so far?

Case in point: Fr. C’s homily was much too short, and he literally used the phrase “hell no.” It’s church! You’re a priest! You shouldn’t be using that kind of language at all, especially in church, and definitely not during the homily!

Fr. C spoke about his preference for smaller parishes to avoid megachurch scenarios, wherein pastors are less likely to be able to take Pope Francis’s advice that pastors, as shepherds, should “smell like their sheep.” He tied that back to the first reading’s description of the early church growing so large that the apostles couldn’t handle everything. He did not, however, make any reference to the existence of deacons to help with community work. That seemed like a missed opportunity.

It was also Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is guaranteed to be a tough day because there’s no way to satisfy everyone. Some women are mothers, but all of their children have died. Some women have many children and feel great about it; some have many children and are struggling. Some women can’t conceive. Some women won’t even try because they don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, and they’re not married despite wanting to be. Some children are in pain because their mothers have died; some never got along with their mothers anyway. Some people don’t want secular holidays anywhere near church. No matter what a church does or doesn’t do, someone will be unhappy.

Fr. C asked us to consider who we might be neglecting this Mother’s Day, whether that is a mother we know or anyone else. I kind of liked that idea, because it connected to the responsibility we all have as Christians to love and nurture the people God sends into our lives.

But I made that connection myself. There wasn’t much to learn, but there was Jesus, and he is always enough.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Stay Warm

If you listened to any of the weather chatter around the Kentucky Derby, you’ll know that it was cold and rainy right up until the big race. I was up extra early for non-Derby reasons, and it was even colder before the sun had properly risen. I don’t think I’ve ever had to bundle up in May before!

Sunday Style for May 6

Dress, sweater, and shoes: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Necklace: gift
Earrings: Renaissance festival

This is usually a winter outfit (and I guess it still is), but no one can say that winter in May is “just how the weather is here.” They said that the whole time I lived in Texas; I didn’t buy it there, and I’m not buying it here. I did appreciate the opportunity to leave my A/C off, though.

Fr. J said he would be giving a very short “Derby special” homily. I laughed, but since Ive heard the back story, I wish I hadn’t. Apparently, this parish normally cancels the Saturday vigil Mass entirely on Derby day. That makes no sense. The race is around 6:30 p.m. local time. Mass begins at 4:30. If you’re hosting a Derby party, why on Earth would you also try to go to Mass that day? If you’re going to one, you’ll get there before the race. Or just go to Mass on Sunday!

This rankles me the same way that canceling Mass on Easter Sunday evening does. If that time slot works for enough people all other weeks that you have a separate Mass, why would you cancel Mass at that time on the one day it matters most? Jesus is risen—no Mass for you. Why would you cancel Mass to accommodate a social event? That represents a serious failure to identify the real priority.

Before I got upset, I enjoyed the homily overall. Fr. J mentioned what I’ve heard elsewhere: that sheep are a metaphor for disciples because, left to their/our own devices, they/we are pretty dumb. Sheep are as slow to recognize danger as we are to resist sin. Sheep eat whatever they find, even if it makes them sick; we give in to temptation and do what is bad for us even when we know better.

Most of all, we can’t live eternally without Jesus, just as sheep can’t survive without a good shepherd. What a joy that we have the best shepherd of them all.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Such Good Stories

It was sunny and in the 70s when we went to Mass on Saturday evening. As I type this, it’s in the low 60s and getting colder. Endless summer was much easier to manage. Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for April 29

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: gift
Earrings: Renaissance festival

This week’s Gospel was the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, which is one of my favorite stories. If Holy Thursday is the first Mass, this is the second.

Fr. J started his homily with what was also a good story. He’s from India, where the sport of cricket is extremely popular. When he was first traveling to the U.S., one of the biggest cricket matches of the season was in progress back in India. It was roughly on the level of the Super Bowl. When he landed, he excitedly asked the priest picking him up at the airport if he knew the cricket score. The American priest looked confused and said, “Oh, sure, we can stop on the way.” Imagine the confusion when they pulled up to a Cricket Wireless cell phone shop!

The connection, Fr. J explained, was that he couldn’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t know what was going on with cricket. That would be like an American not knowing what the Super Bowl even is! Similarly, the disciples walking to Emmaus were astonished that Jesus asked why they were sad. Um, because they thought they found the Messiah, but he was crucified. Surely everyone leaving Jerusalem that day would have known about what happened to Jesus, even if they weren’t disciples. It was heartbreaking to think that this “stranger” had missed out on something so important to the disciples’ lives.

Fr. J went on further to say that no one knows where Emmaus was geographically, but the consensus is that it represents a spiritual location, that of walking away from God in a time of crisis. Only Scripture and the Eucharist (which equal the Mass) can open our eyes to see Jesus in our midst. If we ever find ourselves walking away from God, we should start walking towards the Mass.

It reminds me of the advice I’ve heard about how to manage spiritual dryness. Don’t take up anything new or give up anything you were doing. Keep going. When you’re down, you’re inclined to abandon your path because it’s “not working,” but God doesn’t work on our schedules. Those disciples thought their time with Jesus was over. It had really just begun.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Alleluia!

I’m a little late to the party, but it’s always a struggle to celebrate the whole Easter season, so let’s call this my tiny contribution, alleluia! I have a few Easter observances going, but I’ll save those for a future post. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been wearing to church.

Easter Vigil, April 15

Sunday Style for April 15: The outfit

I used to follow a fairly modest fashion blogger who posted her outfits like this.

Sunday Style for April 15: The accessories

Just the accessories.

Top and skirt: Target
Tank/shell: Old Navy
Shoes: Famous Footwear
Flower hair clip: random accessories shop
Cross necklace: gift
Tiny butterfly earrings: Claire’s

This was the first time in years that I completely forgot to take my selfies! I don’t have a trigger reminding me to take photos anymore; it used to be walking past the large mirror just inside my front door. The “left behind” photos above include all the items I wore even though I am not wearing them.

Mr. Man and I attended all the Triduum liturgies together, at his parish. It’s a tiny little parish. I knew the Easter Vigil wouldn’t have any receptions of new Catholics (yes, that was strange!), so it wouldn’t last very long. Therefore, I could wear less foot-friendly shoes. I could work in those, but I don’t usually think about wearing them for Mass. Maybe I will now.

I realize that purple was the liturgical color for Lent. It’s also my favorite color. My skirt still works for liturgical dressing because it’s gold, and gold is liturgically white, and white is the color for Easter.

Fr. T celebrated the Easter Vigil, but Deacon P gave the homily. The deacon has a very large role at this particular parish, so I was surprised and delighted that he also gave the homily. He is a champ!

He spoke about how the vigil’s journey through salvation history (by way of the extra Old Testament readings) emphasizes God’s care and protection for his children since the beginning of time. God promised a redeemer all along, and he finally sent one. Jesus’ resurrection appearances are so astonishing partly because they ask his disciples and us to believe. Mary Magdalene didn’t even recognize Jesus at first, but when he called her by name, she recognized him and believed. The other disciples who see him resurrected are those whose faith was open to the miracle of his return from the dead. Even now, in the Eucharist, the Church calls us to believe that Jesus is just as fully present as he was on that first Easter Sunday. Do we believe that we have been found worthy to see him and be in his Real Presence?

Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23

Sunday Style for April 23

Sweater, tights, and t-shirt: Target
Skirt and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: I forgot to wear any!

It got cold again here, so I pulled out a sweater again. Mr. Man likes this one. And yes, more purple. I like purple, and my red and white options (for Divine Mercy Sunday) were limited.

This weekend, we went to what is becoming our second parish. It has Mass on Sunday evenings, and that fit our schedule this time. Fr. C did not mention Divine Mercy Sunday at all, which made me sad (especially after so many references to mercy in the readings), but he did offer a practical parallel to Jesus. Among the reasons the disciples struggled to recognize and welcome Jesus in his resurrected body was that he looked so different. He looked similar enough for basic identification, but he still bore the wounds of his crucifixion. He was broken, but beautiful.

Fr. C told a story about visiting a fine china shop in Japan (not China, which was disconcerting) and seeing broken dishes for sale that were more expensive than intact dishes. The shopkeeper explained that the broken dishes were repaired with 14-karat gold, making them more valuable than the others that were never broken. If they hadn’t been broken, they never would have been made great. Similarly, we often have to go through brokenness, like the crucified Jesus, to reach glory, like Jesus resurrected.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Kentucky Catch-Up

In case you missed the news yesterday, I moved to Kentucky! Life in Louisville is still taking some adjusting, but one constant is that I’m still dressing up for church on Sundays. I’m even getting Mr. Man on board… kind of.

March 26

Sunday Style for March 26

Dress and shirt: Target
Earrings: craft fair
Necklace: gift
Shoes: Payless
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

My last summery Sunday in Austin featured a dress I dragged out from my “out of season” bin for the occasion. On Gaudete Sunday, we wear pink. Or coral. (I’m pretty sure Mr. Man did not wear pink.)

Deacon G (I think) gave a mostly unhelpful summary of the Gospel. As one of the snarky Catholics I follow on Twitter noted, “Year A” is also translated as “Year of the Really Long Gospels.” We had just heard the whole thing! We didn’t need to hear all the details again. A quick version might have been nice, but trust me, it was not quick.

Despite the unnecessary and unnecessarily long recap, our deacon did go on to say that the Gospel showed the journey of the man born blind from not knowing Jesus to “a confirmed faith in him.” It turns out that this deacon is from Maryland, like me; he told a story about seeing a blind woman being escorted into the courtyard at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg on a very sunny day. The deacon noticed the sunshine because he could see it, but the blind woman didn’t notice the sunny day until she could feel it. She knew the shining beauty she was missing. Unlike her, the Pharisees didn’t notice the Son of God at all because they didn’t know what they were missing.

Our closing hymn was “O God, Beyond All Praising,” which is my very favorite. It was a nice little goodbye from the parish with the best music of any I’ve belonged to.

April 2

Sunday Style for April 2: Me with Mr. Man

We are so happy to not be driving a moving truck anymore!

Sunday Style for April 2: Just Me

Dress, leggings, and belt: Target
Sweater and shoes: Old Navy
Earrings you can barely see: craft fair
Necklace you can barely see: holy medals

I picked this outfit because it packs well. I was technically moved in before we went to Mass on Sunday, but I’d predicted that I would be unable to choose an appropriate outfit in my post-move exhaustion, unwilling to do so, or both. I was mostly correct. The sweater was a little wrinkly, but fine. I did pull the belt out of my dresser drawer, so I guess it was part pre-packed outfit, part day-of outfit, and all awesome outfit.

We went to Mass at a parish other than Mr. Man’s usual one. I am so glad to still be living in a city where multiple parishes and multiple Mass times are an option. I don’t know how rural Catholics do it! I also took my homily notebook again. The people at that parish don’t know me from Adam, so for all they know, everyone in Austin takes notes during the homily.

Fr. C said that a long Gospel should get a short homily, which I guess makes sense. Then he proceeded to tell that maudlin “Footprints” story about Jesus carrying us in the toughest times of our lives. It has a good message, but I could have heard that story anywhere. And I was distracted by my memory of an irreverent “Footprints” parody, so that didn’t help. But Fr. C also told us to be Christ to each other and not to lose our faith in times of trial. Those were good lessons with zero schmaltz.

He also sang kind of a lot. After Communion, he burst into a beautiful a cappella rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” It didn’t sit quite right with me after “Footprints”; I wanted more Catholicity than generic Christianity. My disquiet was assuaged when he chanted the Salve Regina while recessing at the end of Mass. Chant is very Catholic, and a cappella is definitely in the spirit of Lent. That helped.

April 9

Sunday Style for April 9

I’m still figuring out the best location and pose. Also, isn’t the lace in my skirt cool?

Top: Target
Skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: My Daily Grace at Etsy
Earrings you probably can’t see: ancient gift

My outfit is definitely a repeat from a previous liturgically-red day. I would like you to know that Mr. Man chose to wear his outfit of his own free wil, and he asked me to remind him both that he should wear that outfit and that it was his idea. I just like it when he wears a tie.

Sadly, I forgot my homily notebook, so I had to take notes the old-fashioned away: on my phone, after Mass. We were back at Mr. Man’s parish, and I appreciated that the priest did not even try to apologize for the long Gospel. It only happens once a year; we can take it. Usually. Like a rookie, I thought my wedges would be fine for the long period of standing. They were not fine, but I had some suffering to offer up, so it evens out.

In the homily, Fr. Something-I-Can’t-Remember started by highlighting that the Gospel features two very different processions (to Jerusalem and to Calvary) under different circumstances (the beginning and the near-end of Christ’s passion) and to very different responses (cheers and jeers, basically). He also mentioned that this story reminds us that God is with us in our suffering, not just in our joys.

That last part stuck with me. Call me crazy, but I feel like we are more inclined to feel that God is with us (or to ask him to be with us) precisely when we are suffering. It’s much, much easier to forget that he’s with us when we’re joyful and things are going our way. How often do we thank God for a great day just because it’s great—not because we needed a win? How often do we pray for blessings on someone for their birthday—not just their day of death? I struggle with remembering to invite God to be part of the happy times in my life. Do you?


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Why Five Husbands?

I have no special guests this time, but I do have a special purple outfit. We seem to be back on our usual weather schedule, so summer it is.

Sunday Style for March 19

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: National Shrine gift shop
Earrings: I forgot, and you can’t see them anyway

I had a tiny bit more time than usual to consider this week’s outfit, so I went for an old standby. I like to wear this one even when it is not a purple season.

I was back at my regular parish this week, so I decided to try my idea from last week. A friend gave me a Christian Inspirations Journal a few birthdays ago, but I could never find the right use for it. After some recent difficult episodes in attempting to remember the homily, not fall asleep during it, or both, I thought it might be time to treat that like any other presentation I attend, and take notes. I have always found notetaking really useful for focusing my attention, but I’ve never thought to try it during Mass. I take notes at other churchy presentations and when I’m physically in the church for a non-Mass event, but homily notetaking always seemed weird.

Well, it still seems weird. Many things feel weird the first time, and this was no exception. I persevered, and I plan to do it again next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Msgr. Old Pastor preached the homily. He focused mostly on the Gospel, which felt a little odd because the Sundays of Lent do such a great job of getting all the readings to align. I’ve never given a homily, but it seems like that would make the homilist’s job a little easier. The theme is built right in.

He pointed out that the Jews hated the Samaritans so much that they would usually travel around Samaria instead of through it, taking an extra day or two just to prove their point. He didn’t explain why, though; I learned that from the Bible Timeline. The Samaritans were the descendants of Israelites (from the northern kingdom), who had intermarried with non-Israelites after the Babylonian exile. The southern Judeans had never intermarried, so they considered themselves purer and better than the Samaritans. That’s why the woman at the well has had five husbands. It’s not just a random large number; five other nations had mixed with the Israelites. I’m grateful to my Bible study for opening up Mass like that!

He did, however, note that the woman speaks to Jesus in a way that demonstrates her rapidly increasing faith. At first, she treats him like any strange man. Then she calls him her teacher, and then a prophet. Finally, she runs off to tell the people that he is the Messiah. As probably every priest who preached this weekend said, this is evangelization in a nutshell.

Msgr. Old Pastor’s parting words were to let God fill up the hole inside our hearts that longs for something more. We might try to fill it with other things, but only God belongs there. Curiously, the monsignor himself had some opportunities for that right during Mass. His lapel mic went out, so he had to preach his homily from the ambo. Since our church is built for amplified sound, he chanted the entire Eucharistic Prayer, in order to be as loud as naturally possible. He has an excellent voice, so it felt special and solemn. And we sang “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” during Communion, which is one of my very favorites.

Mass is always good when Jesus comes, but those little touches made this one extra nice for me.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

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