Tag Archives: sundaystyle

Sunday Style: Are You Rich Soil for the Word?

We returned to Mr. Man’s parish this past weekend. This week’s homily didn’t shoot straight to my heart like last week’s, but Jesus game, so Mass was good. Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for July 15

Dress: Marshall’s, from forever ago
Shirt: Target
Shoes: same sandals from Target I’ve been wearing constantly this summer
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: gift

I originally bought these sandals because they were (a) cute, (b) available in the store in my size, which is a rare occurrence since I have large feet in proportion with my height, and (c) not flip-flops. My friend Sabrina posted an Instagram photo of herself trying on some shoes several years ago now, captioning it with a comment that being an adult means less wearing of flip-flops and more wearing of real shoes. I took that to heart, so my $5 Old Navy flip-flops became inside shoes only.

Upon reflection, I’m not sure she really meant to make a jab at flip-flops. I think she was just (or also?) acknowledging that cheap shoes are best for younger feet! My grocery store job requires special shoes. Mine happen to have memory foam and be designed for food service work (i.e. standing for several hours nonstop). I can really feel the difference when I come home and change to much less supportive shoes.

It’s particularly significant because I have to wear shoes or slippers all the time (including around the house) due to chronic knee problems. I should probably put in some time in the coming months to buy better shoes.

This is supposed to be about church, though, not about adulting. Deacon P gave the homily at Mr. Man’s parish. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, his attempt to make the readings “relevant” did not pierce me the way Fr. J’s did, but I appreciated his comments on Scripture. That is to say, in discussing the parable of the sower, he reminded us not to take the Word of God for granted. We hear it proclaimed every Sunday, but do we provide God with rich soil for the seeds of his Word? Do we barely let him onto the path of our lives, or do we fill up our hearts with so many other concerns that they’re like thorns choking him out?


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: Just What I Needed

I’m still adjusting to my random work schedule, but this past weekend (and the coming one!), it allowed me to go back to Mr. Man’s parish. It was comforting to be back in a familiar parish, but I also felt awkward because I have been obviously absent for so long. It’s a tiny parish, the kind where you might actually notice someone’s not showing up. It is a welcoming parish nonetheless.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for July 9

Dress: Old Navy
Shirt: Target
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: I don’t even remember, and you can’t see them, so we’ll call that a wash

A friend of mine once compared this dress to fireworks. I can’t deny that such a comment and a recent national holiday were on my mind when I picked this dress for this Sunday. I also chose it because I knew it’d be comfortable for the picnic/party Mr. Man and I attended after Mass. (And it was!)

Among my homily pet peeves are attempts to make everything “relevant” or near-accusations of the emotions I must be feeling. Thanks be to God, I don’t feel broken all that often, so a homily directed at the broken, for example, specifically doesn’t reach me. Fr. J managed to subvert that annoyance by finding a perhaps perfectly broad audience for his homily: those who have labored and are burdened. I can relate to those feelings a lot, and I was physically tired from a long work week and a packed day of chores. So yes, this time, I was feeling burdened, and I could relate.

He said that our world is filled with stressors: real, perceived, our own creation (“time-saving” gadgets that go awry, like my dishwasher when I ran it full of dirty dishes and empty of detergent), and those forced upon us. However, Jesus beckons us to come to him when we are burdened. If we’re sad, he’ll be sad with us. If we just want to rest, he’ll rest with us. If we’re angry, we can let him have it. He can take it. He was crucified; he can handle some yelling and fist-shaking. Living with God doesn’t need to be another stressor. It should be a place of rest.

When was the last time a homily spoke just the words you needed to hear?


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: Just Like Old Times

These past few weeks and weekends have been challenging, so I’m back to a Sunday Style two-fer.

June 24 (vigil)

Sunday Style for June 24

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Target
Jewelry: Charming Charlie

Flipping through my photos as I write this post, I’m realizing that I wore this exact same set of necklace and earrings last week. Oh, well; it looked good both times.

I let Mr. Man pick our parish for this weekend. I needed to attend a late vigil Mass to accommodate my work schedule. (Always remember that you can shop and eat out on weekends because other people work then.) We had two options, but one was in Spanish. He picked the Spanish one!

I’ve been to Mass in Spanish before, and I understand some Spanish, so I was fine with that. He is still learning, so we met in the middle. I paid attention to the Spanish the same way I would if he hadn’t been there, and I found the correct sections in the bilingual missalette to help him supplement what he was hearing. It helped immensely that the Mass was the same format we’re used to in English. I knew what the words were in English at a given point, so I knew what Spanish words to look for. It was an adventure.

I wasn’t quite confident enough in my Spanish writing skills to take my homily notes in Spanish, though, so I took them in English. In retrospect, taking English notes from spoken Spanish was probably just as difficult as taking Spanish notes from spoken Spanish would have been. Every time I wrote something down, I switched to mentally processing in English, which meant I wasn’t paying any attention to what the priest was saying because that was in Spanish. That’s why I took notes in Spanish when I took my Spanish classes in college. Code switching is tough!

The priest focused on Jesus’ admonition that the disciples not be afraid. “No temas” is that command in Spanish; he said that a lot, which confused Mr. Man. He kept hearing “no te más,” which is nonsense. As the priest said, we should fear losing the intimate relationship between God and our souls more than we fear any earthly pain. We should behave like children of God, even as people try to cause us to stumble like the mutterers did to Jeremiah, and instead worry about eternal condemnation.

He also told a brief story. I couldn’t decipher whether it was about him and his own father or a random Story Young Man and his father, but the scenario was a father giving advice to a son seeking a wife. He said to look for a woman who fears God, one who will not likely be found in bars and dance clubs. If she fears God, she will be holy and faithful to her husband. That seemed like good advice.

I don’t think we’ll be going to Mass in Spanish again anytime soon, but it was a fun diversion from our normal.

July 1 (also a vigil)

Sunday Style for July 1

Entire outfit except the earrings: Target
Earrings: craft fair

I used to wear this outfit on Thursdays. I had dance class on Thursday evenings, so all I had to do was change my top to active wear and I was ready for class. It’s built around the skirt and leggings, though, so that made it a Mass outfit, too.

My schedule clashed with Mr. Man’s, so we went to Mass separately for the first time since I moved to Louisville. I missed him. I attended yet another parish I’d never visited before (the late vigil option in English), which had a visiting priest from the Philippines. Most of his homily was his appeal for a home for aging religious in his diocese, which he connected with Jesus’ comment that anyone who gives only a cup of cold water to a disciple will receive great reward. Building the home is like drawing water. It was nice to have a mission appeal connected so well to the day’s readings.

He started his homily, though, with a comment on loving family more than Jesus. It stuck out for me because it wasn’t connected to his appeal at all (which I appreciated). We’re supposed to love God even more than we love our families. Perhaps, he suggested, couples who fall out of love with each other have really fallen out of love with God. Without their love for God at the center of their relationship, it falls apart.

I miss belonging to a parish, but I’m glad to have opportunities like these to stretch my Mass experience a little and explore the greater Church here in Louisville.


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: Not Yet Ordinary

Strictly speaking, it’s been Ordinary Time for a few weeks. We always follow Easter with some more solemnities, though, so it doesn’t feel like Ordinary Time. I guess it does if you go to Mass on weekdays, too, but I am not in a daily Mass season at the moment, so it doesn’t feel quite ordinary yet. (Yes, I know the real reason we call the weeks “ordinary,” but still.)

What does feel unfortunately ordinary (the normal kind) is that I was wrapped up in many things for the last few weeks, and none of them were blogging, so here are two weeks of what I wore Sunday.

June 10: Trinity Sunday (Vigil)

Sunday Style for June 10

Blouse: Target
Skirt: random mall store
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: gift

Again, I wanted to show off my toes. Again, Mr. Man was frustrated by how slowly I walk in these shoes. I’m pretty sure that’s a man thing, though. Men’s shoes are always practical, so they never require a different walk. The most they need are comfort insoles. This blouse is what I typically wear for interviews. I like that it’s structured, and although I usually wear it with a skirt, it works with pants, too. And it doesn’t need to be tucked in!

Although Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi are special solemnities, they are not “continuations of the Easter season,” as the deacon at Mass said. I was quickly appeased by his quite excellent homily about the Trinity. Yes, blah blah mystery, blah blah can’t understand it, but, as our deacon also said, acknowledging the mysterious reality of the Trinity doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it at all.

The Trinity, he said, is not so much a thing as a relationship. In the first reading, God shares his name with Moses. Giving your name is usually the beginning of a relationship, right? Similarly, the Gospel highlights that God gave his son—in relationship, not just sending him off and recalling him just as brusquely.

As Christians, we all have a relationship with the relationship of the Trinity. It begins when we are baptized in the name of the Trinity, it is strengthened by the trinitarian blessing at Mass, and we encourage it daily when we pray under the Sign of the Cross. Not bad for a mystery.

June 18: Corpus Christi

Sunday Style for June 18

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Jewelry: Charming Charlie

I work on a rotating schedule right now, so Mr. Man and I went to Mass in the evening because I was working all day. I felt distinctly unpretty by the end of the day, so I made myself feel pretty again with this outfit. (There might have been some singing in the mirror, and it might have been from a famous musical based on Romeo and Juliet.)

We returned to a parish we’ve visited before due to its terrifically convenient late evening Mass time. It’s not exactly known for being old-school. The parish we went to for Pentecost omitted the sequence, but this parish included the Corpus Christi sequence! The lector gave maybe the most awkward reading/recitation of a sequence I’ve ever heard, but the sequence was in fact done.

Fr. C has a very “live out loud,” audience-participatory style to his homilies. He walked to the back of the church and escorted a random trio of people from the back right up to the front of the sanctuary. (I have no fear of this tactic. I was actually whispering “pick me!” as he was warning people not to try to avoid eye contact.) This trio turned out to be a father and his two young adult children, and they played along well, serving the pastor’s point that fathers often give their children advice about the future based on what they themselves have experienced. Similarly, Moses spends much of Deuteronomy giving the Israelites as much wisdom as he can before they enter the Promised Land.

The Bible Timeline is where I first learned about Deuteronomy, so I was bursting with excitement to hear Fr. C give such a succinct, easy explanation of that part of salvation history. We tend to think of Moses as being a near-perfect figure, but he did not make it into the Promised Land because of his late-in-life act of disobedience to God. The best he could do was to prepare his spiritual children by telling them how to live blessed lives, remembering who really sustains them through hunger and thirst: God.

In the Gospel, Jesus reveals that the manna from heaven was just beginner bread. His body will be the real bread from heaven. I kind of wanted Fr. C to lean a little heavier on the point of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but I guess no homily can have everything. He managed to connect Father’s Day to church very neatly and to encourage us to seek spiritual nourishment in the Eucharist, so maybe that’s good enough for one week.


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: Pentecost Possession

After only two months, I’m already accustomed to going to Mass with Mr. Man. It helps tremendously that, not having lived in Louisville independently, I don’t have any parish ties. I’m about ready to settle down with a parish, though. We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what I wore on Sunday:

Sunday Style for June 4

Top: Target
Dress (worn as a skirt): The Limited
Shoes: Payless wedges
Earrings: ancient gift

Everyone seems to be more interested in dressing liturgically when the color of the day is red. Did your pastor ask you to wear red to Mass for Pentecost? That’s becoming really common: the explicit request for the congregation to wear the liturgical color for Pentecost. Sometimes I also hear it on Palm Sunday, but not as often. It makes me want to shout, “But wait! There’s more! You can dress liturgically for basically half the year!” (No one owns twenty weeks of green clothes for Ordinary Time.)

But I’ll take any number of fellow liturgical dressers. I forgot to request that Mr. Man join me this week. Maybe he’ll wear a white shirt for Trinity Sunday?

We returned to last week’s parish. Father L began his homily by comparing the process of learning to follow Jesus to learning a trade. I don’t think as many people learn trades as they used to, though. Think about how many people struggle with cooking. That’s something you usually learn at home. Basic car repair tasks like checking tire air pressure and replacing windshield wiper blades become mysteries. There’s a whole category of things that I hear people complain they “didn’t learn in school,” but school isn’t supposed to be the place where you learn everything.

Those were my thoughts, though, not his point. His point was that apprenticeship always starts with the easy lessons, the ones that seem dumb. “Here’s a socket wrench. This is what it does.” “Brown this ground beef.” When you thought you were learning how to build a table or make lasagna, the first steps seem like boring hoops to hump through before you get to the good stuff.

In the same way, he said, the basics of the Catholic life seem like a long list of boring rules that don’t get you anywhere. “Go to Mass every Sunday.” “Don’t use birth control.” The goal is heaven, but Day 1 can make it feel like the goal is “don’t have any fun.”

In later days and years of our spiritual maturity, we’re heading toward the goal more obviously. It’s easy to forget that the spiritual masters became so, however, because they mastered the easy steps first. St. Teresa of Calcutta didn’t have to wonder whether she really needed to go to Mass on Sunday or if she could skip it occasionally because she was busy. She just went.

Getting to that level of mastery requires the help of the Holy Spirit. We can ask for his help. We should ask for his help and be attentive to receiving it. We must beg the Holy Spirit for possession of our beginner-level hearts to lead us toward spiritual mastery in heaven.


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: Home Run?

Once again, I adjusted my Mass schedule to accommodate Mr. Man’s schedule. It just so happened that, this time, we picked my favorite variation.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for May 28

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace and earrings: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Old Navy

This is a nice transitional outfit. I was dressed for church for a while before we actually went there; this outfit is comfortable enough to wear for long stretches.

We returned to last week’s parish. I try very, very hard not to prefer parishes for just one reason: geographical proximity, quality of preaching (by my own undoubtedly flawed standards for something so inherently difficult), musical style, apparent age of the population, ornateness of the church building, etc. But I like this one for a lot of reasons, so we might have a winner in my reluctant parish shopping trip.

Fr. J opted to chant, in English, almost all the parts of the Mass that can be chanted. I like chanting; Mr. Man does not. I’ll give him credit for disliking chant just because he does and not because he doesn’t know how. No one’s born learning how to chant, so that’s not a valid excuse. You put in the hard work to learn how to read, write, and drive, so you can learn to chant, too. If you don’t like it, though, I can get behind that.

His homily focused on seeing the Ascension not as an increase in the distance between us and Jesus, but as a decrease. I’ve been reading a couple of Easter season daily reflection books, and they both have the annoying habit of trying to put words in my mouth. I get what they’re going for by writing a prayer with first-person singular pronouns. It rankles me, though, to have “I have been so selfish” laid out there for me to pray. What if I haven’t been particularly selfish? Am I supposed to skim the page first, before I pray, to figure out what these authors are going to tell me I’ve been up to? I don’t see why they couldn’t use “we” instead and at least put some distance in there.

Fr. J, on the other hand, suggested that we parishioners might have an inaccurate mental image of what the Ascension means, and if I’m being honest, it was pretty accurate for me. Jesus’ being present in heaven post-ascension is not like the priest’s sitting in the sanctuary or the Eucharist’s storage in the tabernacle. He’s up there; we’re out here; he left us: nope. On the contrary, he described, God the Father is more like the church building as a whole, and by ascending, Jesus has opened the door so that we can walk inside and be so intimately united with him and the Father that we can’t even quite grasp it.

He offered a few examples from Scripture, too. When the storm rises up around the apostles’ boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus is up on a mountain praying to the Father (Mark 6:45–8). From his high vantage point, physically and spiritually, Jesus is able to join them instantly by walking across the water towards the boat. He was separated from them, but because he had been “far away,” he was able to save them.

Similarly, when Mary Magdalene sees the risen Jesus outside the tomb on Easter morning, he tells her that his mission is not over because he hasn’t ascended (John 20:11–7). Holding on to him at that moment is a waste of time because he will be more accessible after he ascends to the Father.

It was a pretty sweet homily. Even Mr. Man Who Does Not Like Chant agreed with that.


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: 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

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