Sunday Best? Church Leaders Blush at "Casual Catholic" Dress

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Some Church Leaders Fear Alienating Their Flock With Strict Dress Codes

They agreed that, with attendance at record lows, their peers are reluctant to alienate potential congregants with dress code warnings.

Deacon Kandra also points out that geography can have a lot to do with the way churchgoers choose their pants. He was in the Nashville area recently and said he felt like he'd been whisked back to his more formal childhood.

"But there's been this psychic change in the culture," Kandra says. "It's a different ethos."

Indeed, but that doesn't mean the men of the cloth are giving in just yet. Deacon Kandra has posted a series of parish bulletins asking for a renewed sense of decorum.

Rev. Beck sums it up this way: "Casual comfort is not a bad thing – I don't think the liturgy has to be overly formalized, but there is a line between comfortable and inappropriate."

Perhaps Rev. Pilcher makes the most economic argument. Dress nicely, he says, "we are putting on these clothes to see our King."

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