Downton Abbey And The Tridentine Mass

Shock! Horror! Modestly dressed females!

Without wanting to look like the one shooting on the Red Cross, I'd like to say two words about proper dressing in Church.

I do not find any problem in people who dress at Mass like characters from “Downton Abbey”. The gentlemen and ladies in question all dress invariably with the outmost propriety. This is something that should be welcomed, not criticised.

Now, if rich people dress richly at Mass, this shows they know how to properly honour the One Whom they are visiting. If poor people dress at Mass with timeless decorum, this should be praised, if possible, even more.

But those who should undoubtedly be praised most are the girls attending Mass in dresses reminding the one or other Australian woman of the girls in the “little house in the prairie”: they are a luminous ray of purity in a world in which sluttishness is the new decency.

Jokes aide, it is nothing less than astonishing in a world where many don't have a problem in showing up in church in shorts and/or flip flops, there should be a problem in dressing in Downton Abbey style.

The problem of all Anglo-Saxon societies is that they have forgotten the old Downton Abbey world, and they could use every bit of it.

Even if only to show The Lord due respect.



Posted on July 16, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Mundabor,
    thank you for the clear words. People should dress in Church the way they would for an audience with a king, because the One True King is really present there. Also, they should dress modestly (both men and women, by the way) not just for Church, but always. If everyone was dressed like the people in the picture above (adjusted for their financial means, of course), there would be less carnal sin, more respect towards women, and less confusion about sexuality

    It is really quite simple.
    If you believe the King is really there, you will dress and behave appropriately while visiting Him. If not, not. (The starving Christian in rags is dressed appropiately according to his means. The western borderline atheist attending Mass in expensive designer shorts is not.)

  2. We have exceedingly beautiful Novus Ordo Liturgy here at the Cathedral which is the seat of the diocese I live within. Beautiful music–Palestrina, Faure, etc, with a choir known the world over (they’ve sung at the Vatican). However, shorts, tees with inane sayings and graphics, spaghetti straps and cleavage are in far too common. The only cure is the TLM IMHO.

  3. We have one TLM Mass in the entire diocese. Two pm on a Sunday in a suburb. It should be given pride of place, but it is not.

  4. BTW, I would have much preferred a picture of Matthew, Mary, or even Violet rather than the
    American prairie look above. Yes, it is modest, but here in the American West the only people who continue to dress like that are the plural wives of polygamy.

  5. I think that it is best do do as St. Francis de Sales suggested – be the best dressed that you can, but also the simplest.

    Ostentation amongst some is just as frustrating as shorts and t-shirts at a Novus Ordo. The well dressed person is also a simple person.

    I too enjoy seeing some of the traditionalists who dress as you mentioned. I have, however, heard some commentaries from priests that it causes a vice called “admiratzio” (I probably spelled that wrong), which is essentially dressing so far out of the fashions that it draws attention to yourself and distracts others from prayer.

    I see both sides. What do you think?

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