Clothing worn during religious services
In some Christian communities, the term "Sunday best" refers to the tradition of saving one's finest clothing for Sunday services. In some communities, churches served as the main social center for local residents. As such, dressing in fine clothing for religious services was often dictated by a need to project status and influence among peers. Church clothes also symbolise cleanliness and pride.
Some Christian holy days incorporate traditional clothing, such as the Easter bonnet.
In recent decades, some churches have encouraged a more informal dress code. Among the first to adopt this policy were the Calvary Chapel associated churches. Many clergy members, especially those in denominations and religious groups formed in the 20th century, have abandoned the traditional robes and vestments in favor of business casual clothing. This change was made to close the perceived gap between the clergy and laypersons. Some even wear jeans and other everyday casual wear along with the congregation. Though a small minority, Christian naturists take this one step further, and wear no clothing at all, which they see as "God's design".
Some Christian traditions encourage or require adherents to don clothing of religious significance during church services, such as a headcovering required of women attending services in many modern Anabaptist sects and some Eastern Orthodox communities. St Paul said that women should cover their heads for worship to show their submissiveness, whereas men should leave their heads uncovered as they were made in God's image.
The Latter Day Saint movement instructs adherents to a set of underwear known as temple garments throughout the day and night, with a few exceptions such as while bathing or swimming.
- Christ In Y'all.com - Studies - Dressing Up For Church
- "It's wholesome and liberating ... how cathedral landed in row over nudism". Daily Mail (UK). 10 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Bailey, Mark (2003). Nelson's New Testament Survey: Discovering the Essence, Background & Meaning About Every New Testament Book. Thomas Nelson Inc.
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- "A Business of the Cloth Finds a Surge in Demand" by Debra Nussbaum, "The New York Times", January 28, 1996, retrieved September 6, 2009.
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- "Christian Fashion with a statement" www.mtn-clothing.com