Sunday, December 13, 2015

What I Wore [Gaudete] Sunday

It's Gaudete Sunday--the third Sunday of Advent, the day when we light the pink candle.

What is the significance of Gaudete Sunday?  This explanation that I found online answered that question so clearly and succinctly, I thought I'd just quote from it:

Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, so the priest normally wears purple vestments. But on Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the Church lightens the mood a little, and the priest may wear rose vestments. The change in color provides us with encouragement to continue our spiritual preparation—especially prayer and fasting—for Christmas.
The word gaudete means "gladden or rejoice"--for very soon, we will be celebrating our dear Savior's birth.  (Where has the time gone, by the way?  How can it be that close to Christmas ALREADY?  Someone needs to inform NH about this, because we are having unseasonable balmy spring-like weather this December!)

To celebrate Gaudete Sunday, I thought I'd wear liturgically appropriate colors to Mass today.  So I donned my purple knit Coldwater Creek dress (one of my favorite go-to dresses, bought about five or six years ago--during an after-season clearance sale, of course).  But then I accented it with a pink pashmina (one of many that my husband brought home from Istanbul, back when he used to fly there fairly often).
The lighting was poor here, so the dress looks black.  But I assure you, it's purple.
See?  It's very purpley (as Elf would say).

I love the swingy cut of this dress.  It's a perfect dancing dress.  Look what I can do with it.
Look what I can do with my chin, too--I can double it!  (I can't seem to remember my daughter-in-law Preciosa's trick for avoiding this phenomenon in pictures.  "Out and down," she says.  You throw your chin out and down.  But my tendency is more "in and up.")

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I thoroughly enjoy getting dressed up for Mass.  I look forward to putting on my "Sunday best" skirt or dress and my lace mantilla; to wearing tights and pretty shoes, and sometimes even adding a piece or two of jewelry to my daily-worn Miraculous Medal.

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I went through a stretch where I didn't put much thought into my Mass attire.  I remember my grandmother complaining to my mother about the 70's-awful hip-hugger bellbottom jeans I had on, paired with a stretchy bodysuit (a popular wardrobe item of the day that was basically a sort of onesie for women).  I was pretty much a rule follower throughout my childhood, not at all the rebellious type; and yet I chose to wear something that casual and borderline inappropriate in God's house. I cringe now when I think of it.

Within a few years of Grandma's disappointment in my Mass fashion choices, I had fallen in love with vintage styles, having rescued my mother's old plaid wool kilts and twinsets from the attic, along with Peter Pan-collared blouses from the 50's and 60's.  (I think I instinctively realized that my generation could learn a lesson or two about feminine fashion from the generations that had come before us.)  During my high school years, we didn't have a uniform at our Catholic school, but we did have a dress code.  We had to wear skirts or dresses of modest length, and I never minded that a bit.  Yet I still didn't really think that how I dressed for Mass was all that important; I figured that what was important to God was just that I was there.

When our boys were young, we always made them wear dress pants to Mass (i.e., their gray school uniform pants), along with polos or button-downs, and my husband and I took care with our appearance as well.  But quite a while ago, he and I decided that we wanted to put more effort into it.  He switched from wearing polo shirts to wearing a suit coat and tie; I switched from dressy trousers to skirts and dresses.  For us, it just felt like the right thing to do.  Whenever a person is faced with an important job interview, he or she dresses up to give a good impression; whenever a person goes to a party or big social event, he or she dresses up for that, too.  Why would we put that kind of thought into our attire for those sorts of occasions, we asked ourselves, and then throw on any old thing on Sunday when we are going to actually receive Our Lord?  (As I said, it just felt right to us; I'm not judging here.)

That's one of the reasons I love the What I Wore Sunday link-up: it's about fashion, sure; but it's also about being a woman whose Faith is of utmost importance to her, a woman who shows her reverence and appreciation for God's great gifts through the way she dresses and comports herself in His house. 
Note the Gaudette Sunday color scheme in this meme--
how apropos!
Okay then, that's it for me--but if you'd like to see what other bloggers (mostly younger than I, with sharper jaw lines and fashion instincts than I'll ever have) wore this beautiful Sunday in Advent, head on over to FLAP.

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