Tag Archives: sundaystyle

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

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

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