Tag Archives: sundaystyle

Sunday Style: Let’s Wear Lace!

This was an interesting church week. I walked out of church unclear about this Gospel and got two much clearer answers from a total of three sources.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for February 5

"Mary, mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now."

Top: Target
Skirt: Marshall’s
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: My Daily Grace at Etsy

We no longer have even extended seasons here; they now change day by day. Forty-degree swings within a single day are becoming common this year. I decided to go for almost-bare legs and wear this skirt. Can you see the lace panels? That’s my favorite feature, although it makes the skirt hard to wash. I generally don’t wear lace because I find it itchy, but the lining solves that problem here.

I went to church hoping to hear mostly about the Gospel. I have never understood the “salt of the Earth” part—ever. “He’s a real good guy; salt of the Earth kind of folks.” What? After all my years of churchgoing, I get the point, and I get the “light of the world” part, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that particular metaphor.

Mass started with the lector reading a letter from our bishop regarding the president’s executive order on immigration. Was it a good letter? Yes. Was it surprising at all? No. Was it way too long to be read before Mass, especially considering that “read this at Mass” instructions are often ignored? Oh, yes. And then we got the regular too-long group of announcements before Mass could finally begin, ten minutes late.

Fr. Pastor started his homily with the story of St. Blaise. It was not his feast day. He continued on to talk about enjoying the Super Bowl regardless of who wins, not letting your team’s loss get you down, applauding everyone’s effort, etc. That is a good lesson. Then, he described the plans for our parish’s milestone anniversary. That’s nice, but it didn’t have anything to do with the readings. I started struggling at that point.

Finally, he got around to talking about Jesus, but it was so buried that, when I was taking notes after Mass, I couldn’t actually remember what he said! He concluded with a message about Catholic Schools Week (we got one last week, too), followed by a blessing of extraordinary ministers.

Oof. With the delayed start, we had been at Mass for exactly an hour (I checked my watch because I was tired) when we got to the Sign of Peace. We still had to do Communion! If I was restless, anyone who brought little kids was probably ready to run out the door!

Mass ended without a recession. Instead, the priest and deacon started blessing throats individually as we were singing. It was awkward. I opted out, tired from all the extra cruft we’d already had.

But Jesus came, and after weeks of deciding to abstain because I have a lingering cough that I’m pretty sure is just allergies, I received the Blood of Christ again. Mr. Man, Bishop Robert Barron, and Fr. Mike Schmitz helped me understand the salt thing. So all is well.


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: I Only Wear It Like This

Michael has a point. I am at church every Wednesday for Bible study, and it’s an excellent way to stay in a churchy mood between Sundays. Our Protestant and evangelical brethren figured that out a long time ago. So, even though I probably could squeeze in this post on Sundays, I will stick to publishing them mid- and late-week.

Sunday Style for January 29

Dress and blouse: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: Charming Charlie

We haven’t had quite the same intense weather swings as last week, but I still have to wear a coat on my drive to work and roll down the window on my way home. We’re keeping Austin weird.

This outfit is also an anomaly. I love the way this sheath dress fits, but it’s ponte knit, so it’s too heavy to wear when it’s warm. (I tried once.) I keep this blouse specifically to wear like this with this dress. The sleeves are too short, so I have to roll them up, and the fit is too tight with all the buttons done, but look at it! It’s an exception to my otherwise remixable wardrobe.

We had Msgr. Old Pastor for Mass again. He started by saying there are over 90 beatitudes in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, but I have no idea what that means because he neglected to define “beatitude.” I only remember those details because it was so strange!

He did, however, make one awesome comment. To be “poor in spirit,” he said, is to “recognize your utter dependence on God.” He said he was quoting someone but didn’t say who. That definitely helps my understanding of what poverty of spirit means. It makes sense. We can only really connect with God when we realize how hopelessly lost we are without him. It’s when we think we can save ourselves that we lose the way.

He ended his homily with the story of Dr. Tom Dooley‘s humanitarian work in Asia. It was a nice story, but I couldn’t connect it to anything else he said.

Bringing this post full circle, my Bible study is covering salvation history, and after 17 weeks in the Old Testament, we finally started the New Testament this week. So I saw the Beatitudes again. Thanks, Holy Spirit.


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: Hints of Winter

I don’t have a whole month to recap this time! I’m making baby steps towards getting back to regular posting. My offline life is taking a variety of twists and turns, but I’m still pursuing love and joy, so I’m still here.

What I Wore Sunday, January 15

Sunday Style for January 15

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Sweater and leggings: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: gift, and too small to really see in those photos, anyway
Necklace: holy medals

It’s Ordinary Time! I love to dress liturgically, but no one owns enough green for 33 or 34 weeks. I have a little bit of green, though, so I broke it out. The shirt also makes this dress appropriate (a) for me to wear, and (b) to wear to church. I went to Academy after lunch still wearing this outfit, and the lovely cashier complimented my modesty. She used that word and everything; I was impressed. Evangelization comes in many forms.

Deacon G gave the homily, with Msgr. Old Pastor celebrating. He went through short descriptions of each reading except the psalm, which I appreciate—even though I consider the psalm a reading and never like when people ignore it. The Great Adventure opened my eyes forever to the power of the responsorial psalm at Mass. The overall message of the day, according to Deacon G, was loving Christ so much that the news of his love must be spread to all nations.

He also mentioned that this Gospel reading falls in the section of John’s Gospel called “the declarations” (I think), in which Jesus is identified as the Messiah multiple times. So, in this case, the Baptist has just been asked if he is the Messiah and said he isn’t. Now, he points out that the real Messiah has finally shown up, the one whose baptism he has been preparing the people for. It’s like a holy version of saying, “No, I’m not the guy you’re looking for, but here he is now!”

What I Wore Sunday, January 22

Sunday Style for January 22

Dress and tights: Target
Tank top: online store that is now out of business, and I probably should have worn a white one anyway
Sweater: Old Navy
Boots: Lauren Conrad
Leg warmers: Target
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: basically invisible

It was almost cold this past Sunday! I celebrated by wearing this dress in its winter formulation. (I also wear it during the summer.) If you’re wondering why I’m celebrating the cold, I will note that we had a record high yesterday afternoon (81 degrees) followed by a dramatic low this morning (41 degrees). Thus, I will continue to break out my boots and sweaters every chance I get. The chances slip by so quickly!

Deacon G again gave a comprehensive homily. He even said explicitly that he would be making three points, one per reading! I like his style.

The first reading highlights that Jesus has come bursting onto the scene and into our lives, like a bright light. Naming the land of Zebulun and Naphtali (the northernmost part of Israel, which was invaded all the time) points Jesus’ light toward a land frequently consumed by darkness and conquering strife. Not only does Jesus come, he comes where he is most needed.

The second reading emphasizes our need to unite in community around Christ. We all have the same savior, despite our personal preferences, how we came to know God, or our politics. This is an especially relevant message after a tough election season and immediately after a tense inauguration.

The Gospel shows that fishermen have the qualities we need to be evangelizing disciples. That threw me for a second; I’ve heard about shepherds being models for listening to and following God, but fishermen is a new one. It takes more than one try to catch a fish, Deacon G said, just like people need to hear the Gospel more than once. Fishing takes time and patience, just like leading people to Christ does. You need the right skills to be a fisherman, just like evangelists do, and they were taught to you, just like fisherman and evangelists learn their craft. It was weird yet memorable.

What have you been learning in church? “My toddler can tear pages out of a hymnal very, very quietly” totally counts.


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: January, So Far

After yesterday’s Sunday Style catch-up, here is the rest of my backlog. Rest assured that, even though I wasn’t posting, life was pretty good.

January 1

Sunday Style for January 1

Top, skirt, and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace and earrings: Charming Charlie

Yes, that is bare skin you see. I don’t remember it ever being this warm in the winter. Also note that there were a couple of days in December that were the coldest it has been in Texas since before I moved here seven and a half years ago. I will never understand this place.

Church was much less fun without Mr. Man. Our guest priest reminded us that we’re still celebrating the Incarnation (a.k.a. Christmas) despite the title of today’s solemnity. I suppose that was easier to wrap our heads around since it was Sunday rather than a special weekday Holy Day of Obligation. It might also be a more obvious connection if we celebrated the day as the Lord’s circumcision, but I’m sure plenty of people smarter than I am thought of that when they changed the observance in the first place.

He went on to say that Mary demonstrated three qualities we should imitate in particular: humility, obedience, and prayerfulness.

She demonstrated humility in her relative silence in Scripture: she speaks on only two occasions; three if you count the Magnificat. I had never noticed that before! St. Joseph gets all kinds of cheers and jeers for not having a single recorded word, but Mary is not far ahead of him!

She demonstrated obedience in many instances, including the flight to Egypt. The National Shrine, one of my favorite places in the world, has a lovely statue of the Holy Family depicted in the middle of their journey. Even after all the miracles they had experienced to that point, I can imagine being terrified at going so far away from home. Especially in terms of salvation history, going to Egypt is moving in the wrong direction. But they did it anyway.

She demonstrated prayerfulness in pondering Gabriel’s message and Simeon’s prophecy in her heart. I can get behind that. My preferred response to sudden bad news, a fright, or surprise is to take a second (or more) to think about it. I’m never comfortable when I have to act immediately. Similarly, when I do spring into action, that usually means something is wrong.

That might have been the most impactful Marian homily I’ve ever heard.

January 8

Sunday Style for January 8

Dress and undershirt: Target
Scarf: gift from my brother
Tights: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: gift from my mom

Yes, that is a toasty warm winter outfit worn just seven days after my previously unseasonably warm outfit. And as I’m drafting this post, I am wearing a skirt that does not even reach my ankles. It seemed silly to wear tights when it is over 60 degrees out, but I couldn’t bring myself to go bare-legged, either.

To be honest, I was super tired during Mass. I stayed up way too late thawing my toes and managed to hit my exhaustion wall during the readings. I was very glad for my habit of pre-reading for Sunday Mass.

Through the fog, I managed to pay attention to at least part of the homily. We had the same guest priest, who started off by mentioning all three epiphanies and explaining each one very well. I love that aspect of Epiphany: we celebrate his appearance to the Magi, his first acknowledgement as part of the Holy Trinity at his baptism, and his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. The Liturgy of the Hours has beautiful antiphons identifying all three epiphanies. I prayed exactly none of them this go-round, but I did glance at them before I started Night Prayer.

Fr. Guest Priest also mentioned that, this year, the gospels for the preceding day and the next day feature the other two epiphanies. Wow! He went on to relate all three gifts of the wise men to gifts offered to a king and to God. You’ve probably heard that part before.

I couldn’t have asked for more in an Epiphany homily. I wish I had been more alert! I hope this visiting priest visits often; I like his style.


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: The Rest of December

I have not posted a Mass recap in over a month, so if you are on a metered data connection, turn back now!

If you’re sticking around, hi! Despite not posting any of these outfits and homily recaps for so very long, I did take all the right photos and notes. My recurring character makes an appearance towards the end. I’ll share January tomorrow.

December 11

Sunday Style for December 11

Polo, skirt, and shoes: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Necklace: gift
Earrings: super old, barely visible, and also a gift; so it works out

It was Gaudete Sunday, so pink was a necessity. Although I call this one “raspberry,” it still worked. It was actually kind of cold (weather-wise, not outfit-wise).

One of our deacons preached this week. He proposed that John sent his messengers to ask if Jesus was the Messiah because their styles and messages were so different. All the talk of love and mercy apparently didn’t make sense to John, who spoke more about repentance and conversion.

I call shenanigans. Both repentance and mercy are essential parts of our relationship with Christ. There’s nothing to be merciful about if you didn’t do anything wrong. There is no justice if nothing is unjust. There’s no healing if you’re never sick.

He did, however, highlight both advents: the coming of Christ in flesh at Christmas, and the Second Coming at the end of time. I appreciated that. But neither he nor Msgr. Old Pastor said anything about Gaudete Sunday getting its name from the liturgy’s beginning with “rejoice.” Yes, it’s the halfway mark to Christmas, and that is a reason to rejoice, but that felt like a missed opportunity.

We did have the Communion antiphon, though, a cappella this time, which was hauntingly beautiful. And I learned to sing “O Come, Divine Messiah,” which reminded me how much I enjoy French songs. This parish has excellent music.

December 18

Sunday Style for December 18

Sunday Style for December 18, full length

Sweater and… I think those are thigh highs: Target
Blouse: actually a work shirt, but I only ever wear it like this
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: handmade, gift from Mr. Man
Ring: handmade, from a craft fair

Back to Advent; back to purple. I’m not sure I like these shoes. The heels are not staying on my foot properly, but I can’t wear heel grips with any leg-covering hosiery (I’ve tried), so they might get donated. I got them as the second “O” during BOGO at Payless, though, so that wouldn’t be a total wash.

I wore these earrings because they match and I like them but also because Mr. Man likes to see me wear them. He knows, however, that they are very heavy, so I can’t keep them on for long. We compromise.

Mass, however, sought to challenge my attempt to wear these earrings just long enough for church. We were instructed to stand at the end of the pre-Mass announcements, as usual, and then we had to wait for at least sixty seconds. Silent. Books open, as ready to sing as we were going to be, waiting for our excellent organist to give us the intro. It felt very long, but I resisted the urge to look at my watch. The organist and cantor were waiting, too, very obviously, so I knew they were waiting for something as opposed to just forgetting when and how Mass usually starts.

Suddenly, our musicians sprung into action, we sang, and all went as usual. Fr. Pastor apologized for making us wait, “but,” he said, “that is part of Advent.” I’m still not sure whether he planned it that way, but it was funny. And it unexpectedly gave the latecomers time to get in.

In his homily, Fr. Pastor noted that the Jews knew the Messiah was coming when Isaiah made his prophecy, but they had to wait seven centuries for the prophecy’s fulfillment. How many times have we prayed fervently for something only to be frustrated when God’s response seems to be a long time coming?

December 25

Sunday Style for December 25

Click for full size and full sweetness.

Blouse, sweater, and skirt: Old Navy
Belt and tights: Target
Boots that you can’t actually see in any of these photos: Lauren Conrad
Cause for smiling (besides Jesus): Mr. Man!

His tie: JC Penney; he chose this tie “specifically because I knew you liked patterns”
His shirt: probably also from JC Penney, “with no buttons on the collar (because those are the worst)”
His pants: khakis (“because they’re the best”), from “probably Kohl’s”
His shoes: he doesn’t know where they’re from, but they’re black (yes, with khakis and a red shirt; yes, I have been trying to work on that)

I didn’t ask what color his belt was. If it was black, then it matched the shoes, which is ideal. But the shoes don’t match the rest of the outfit, so I’m not sure which of those battlefronts I should be starting on. I do like the tie.

I usually prefer to dress for liturgical Christmas versus cultural Christmas, i.e. in white and gold instead of red or green. I’m running out of Christmastime neutrals, though, so I aimed for the middle here.

As you can see, Mr. Man joined me for Christmas! Our matching is completely coincidental. It was the most amazing gift to not only be not-alone at Christmas Mass but also to have him beside me. My usual twinge of sadness was replaced with the most delightful burst of joy.

My family had an early surprise birthday party for my brother on Christmas Eve, so we went to Mass on Christmas Day. Fr. Home Pastor always gives great homilies, even when it is not Christmas. If you’ve ever been to Mass on Christmas Day, you’ll know that the gospel reading is from the beginning of John. Based on the lack of shepherds and newborns and such in that opening, Fr. Pastor surmised that St. John would probably prefer that we celebrate the Incarnation of Christ at the Annunciation rather than at Christmas. He was just as much Word-made-flesh in the womb, after all.

He also shared a Christian fact I’d known: in the Bible translation produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, John’s gospel proclaims that the Word was “a god” versus just “God.” That’s not a typo, and it’s not the same thing.

We Catholics (and basically all other Christians) believe that Jesus was the fullness of God. As St. Paul writes to the Philippians, “Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped.” It was part of the gift he received from the Father: to be both God and man. Even an angel could not have brought the fullness of God to Earth.

The Incarnation of Christ is a beautiful thing. Mass was especially incarnational for me this year having Mr. Man there. I hope your Christmas brought you just as much joy.


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: Great Outfit, Meh Mass

The upside of winter is that I have so many outfit possibilities thanks to layering. The downside is that it’s cold. No getting around that. Here’s what I wore to church this past Sunday:

Sunday Style for November 4

Dress: Target
Cardigan: Old Navy
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earring: gift

Yes, that’s just one earring. I was trying to put them both on while driving and forgot the left one entirely! That ear is covered by my hair, so I didn’t even notice it myself until I went to take them off before bed. I found the other earring in my car, right where I’d left it. The upside of going to church by myself is that no one else ever makes me late. The downside is that I can’t do anything on the drive over there except drive, put on lip balm, and apparently put on only one earring.

I bought this dress as part of my remixable wardrobe. It’s not quite as remixable as I’d hoped, but I’ve managed to wear several different colors with it, so that helps.

Although I was running late for Mass, I made it before the announcements began. Happy day: they didn’t take nearly as long as usual! Or maybe I just didn’t feel as exhausted because I hadn’t been in the church for very long. Either way works.

Our guest celebrant was a priest I have met before. He came once for Spirit & Truth. We always sang in Latin because it’s the language of the Church (and you’re never going to learn if you never try), but he insisted on using English so we could “get with the times.” That’s a direct quotation. We struggled greatly that night because we were so unfamiliar with the English and knew the Latin by heart, and we did not invite him back.

So I wasn’t expecting much from Mass. Of course, he personalized bits of the Mass, including jumping in on our blessing at the end (it’s “May almighty God bless you” for a reason, Father), but he didn’t change the order of anything. Thanks be to God for that.

In his homily, he told us that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and expressed his dismay that the Church offers us St. John the Baptist as an icon despite his definite vinegar approach. Oooooookay.

He also pointed out the end of today’s Gospel, and other parts, where John and Jesus call out the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. But he didn’t really say why they call out the Pharisees. That was kind of a missed opportunity.

Despite the distracting cartoons of St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas he had taped to the front of the altar, I was able to appreciate the shout-out to the latter. And I got the point of Mass: the Eucharist. We closed with “People Look East,” which I adore, and all was well.


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 Quite Warm Enough

I went home this week for my grandmother’s funeral (finally), so I went to Mass on Saturday. I can totally still post this today. That’s valid, right?

Sunday Style for November 20

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy
Scarf: gift
Earrings: none; I forgot to put any on!

I have officially given up and decided that it’s cold weather time now. I used my day off from work today to switch out my winter and summer clothes. Now that I think about it, there might be some stragglers in the hamper, but I’ll get those later. This skirt is one of my transition items. Since I was traveling on Sunday, I went to the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening. I forgot how much the temperature drops when the sun goes down, so I was actually cold when I left the church! I otherwise really liked this outfit combo. I wear a lot of black and white, but it looks good, so I see no reason to stop.

We had Msgr. Old Pastor again. He started Mass and then his homily with a long tangent about the liturgical cycle. It was only on his final mention that he correctly highlighted Christ the King as the last Sunday of the church year, not the last day.

As was mentioned in the Gospel, it was scandalous for Jesus to be crucified under a sign proclaiming him the king. The Jews had a king: God. Monsignor called the sign “a bold sign of faith.” It is for us who live with the resurrected Christ, but he missed an opportunity to point out that the people who had him crucified hated that sign. It was Pontius Pilate who ordered the sign to be written. He intended it as mockery. The priests wanted the sign changed specifically because they didn’t believe Jesus was their king. That extended reference was what we ed school grads call a “teachable moment.”

I also noticed that Msgr. Old Pastor’s homily had no mention of King David, who was king after Saul, even though we just heard a reading that mentioned both of them. However, our music director selected Psalm 23 instead of the one given in the lectionary. (Substitutions are frequently allowed.) I thought that was a nice connection to the shepherding responsibilities of a king. True kingship is not just about ruling people and making them suffer. Kings are supposed to be caretakers.

The music was excellent again, including the monsignor’s chanting, although I realized that “This Is the Feast of Victory” is really hard to sight sing! Maybe that’s why my former parish did it frequently but never gave the congregation a number to sing along!


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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