What we wear



The mother of a very sweet friend died recently.

I don’t get out much these days, but I knew that I had to attend this funeral.

Since March 2020, I’ve been living in t-shirts and yoga pants. It’s not a great look, often slipping into shades of Pigpen in the Peanuts comics.

The morning of the funeral, something changed.

Let me tell you a little about the woman who died. I saw her often at Sunday Mass, and she was always dressed to the nines.

Freshly ironed clothing. Perfect hairdos. Pretty necklaces.

As I was getting dressed for the funeral, I realized that I had to step up my outfit a notch or two, strictly out of respect for her and her respect for the Mass.

My husband called during this primping process and asked what was going on. I answered, “I’m trying to decide if I should wear a scarf.”

His response: “Whaaaat?”

I vetoed the scarf, but I wore a necklace with matching earrings, dress pants and nice shoes.

A funny thing happened at church before Mass began.

I sat with my Bible Study friends and, wow, did we look good.

We started talking, and we each had a story about how we had carefully prepared for the funeral; about how we had all primped a little more than usual because we wanted to honor this dear lady. It just seemed a fitting thing to do.

I still remember what I wore the day we buried my father. When I was 17 years old, he died very unexpectedly from a massive heart attack.

The day of his funeral, I was in a stupor, barely able to function; but I knew enough to dress in somber colors out of respect for him.

I chose a grey wool blazer and a black pleated skirt, knee socks and loafers. I can still remember the softness of the fabrics and the comforting voice of his dear friend, who gave the homily.

Every member of my senior class attended that Mass, and their presence gave me great comfort.

It’s during these times, when things really don’t make much sense, that Holy Mother Church offers us the rite of the funeral Mass.

The Church, in her wisdom, gives us the opportunity to be surrounded by our family and our dearest friends so we aren’t alone in our sorrow. The older I get, the more I realize its value.