MANILA, Dec. 15, 2016— A Catholic priest reminded faithful to observe the proper dress code when attending Mass even inside shopping malls as “Simbang Gabi” starts this evening.
Fr. Carmelo Arada of Manila Archdiocese’s Commission on Liturgy said certain decorum must always be observed for liturgical functions.
“Going to Mass in the parish and going to Mass in the malls must be celebrated with the same disposition, including the attire. Dress properly,” said the priest.
“Masses are celebrated always with dignity, with solemnity, and with devotion,” he told church reporters.
The traditional Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi kicks off the Christmas season in the Philippines, which is a nine-day novena of Masses held prior to Christmas Day, usually at 4 a.m.
In urban areas such as Metro Manila, aside from the early morning Mass, they also have an anticipated Mass on the eve of Dec. 15.
The Simbang Gabi Masses are culminated with the “Misa de Gallo” on Christmas eve.
Arada said pushing for the observance of proper attire during the Simbang Gabi Masses in malls is to ensure that it will not just be an “extra feature” of commercial establishments.
“We have to instil that the Mass is not an extra feature of the commodities in a mall,” he said.
“It’s like that there’s temptation that ‘this is Christmas, we have a sale, and one extra feature is the Simbang Gabi.’ So, we would like to avoid that,” explained Arada.
“The Mass is the highest form of prayer, and it is very different from the other commodities that are material in nature,” he added.
The priest, however, said people dressed improperly will not be prohibited from joining the Mass in the malls.
“But we really encourage them to dress properly,” said Arada.
To recall, the Manila Archdiocese had previously issued a dress code in going to churches.
In the guidelines, male Catholics are encouraged to wear long-sleeved polo shirts, collared shirts, or t-shirts paired with either slacks or jeans while women are asked to wear skirts, long dresses, or collared blouses.
Male Catholics are also discouraged from wearing caps, basketball jerseys, tank tops or jersey shorts, and shorts while women are urged to refrain from wearing spaghetti-strap tops or tank tops, short skirts, skimpy shorts or sleeveless shirts with plunging necklines during Mass. (CBCPNews)