Dress Code in Cathedrals/Churches

Old Feb 15th, 2001, 11:41 AM
  #1  
me
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Dress Code in Cathedrals/Churches

We were last in Europe in 1983, and at that time women were encouraged to NOT wear pants into churches and cathedrals. Has this relaxed in the last 20 years?! What about for worship services? Can we get away with pants and a sweater?
 
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 12:48 PM
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Jerri
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Dear Me,

The dress codes are a little more relaxed in Europe. The Locals still wear dresses. I've seen people in shorts in cathedrals all over Europe. That doesn't mean that people won't look and make comments though. U shoudl be fine in pants.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 12:52 PM
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StCirq
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It depends on the country. In Italy and Spain we encounter people at the church/cathedral doors regularly to make sure women in particular are not wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts (but I've never seen a woman turned away because she was wearing pants - don't know about shorts, now that I think about it). In France, no one seems to care much anymore. I haven't been to other countries in Europe recently, so can't comment.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 01:23 PM
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pam
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Both at St Peter's Basilica and at Santa Croce in Florence, people were turned away who were wearing shorts as we entered, in June 1999. Shoulders and knees covered seems to be the rule. I don't have any experience attending worship services in Catholic churches in Italy.
 
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 03:39 PM
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?
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WHERE in Europe?!
 
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 06:18 PM
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me
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We'll be in France (just along the Rhine near Colmar), Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. What about pants (it'll still be too cool for shorts)?
 
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 01:49 AM
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kate
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Trousers are fine. In Italy and Spain(strickest countries due to Catholicism), as long as knees and shoulders are covered then you can wear what you want. Other, Protestant, countries tend to be more relaxed.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 07:14 AM
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Hans H
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In Germany there won't be any problem with trousers in churches. I don't think anyone would care about shorts, either. The point about the churches in Italy is that many tourists treat them as if they were museums. This led to tourists entering churches in beach clothes and so on, and lacking all respect for the point that these churches mean more to many people than an old, interesting building.

In Germany (and I would be surprised if there was any difference in the other countries you mentioned) all clothes are okay which you would also wear in a normal restaurant without feeling like a fool. If this means shorts since it happens to be the middle of a heat wave, nobody would care. On the other hand, the "I got drunk in the Hofbräuhaus" Sweatshirt might cover the shoulders but would still be considered inacceptable. It's more about respect than about rules.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 12:31 PM
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nancy
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Am I correct in assuming these rules (no shorts, no bare arms) would apply to children/teens also?
Thanks
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 01:21 PM
  #10  
pam
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Nancy,
You are correct, no bare knees or shoulders for anyone.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 01:53 PM
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Alec
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Come on, young children will be allowed in wearing children's clothes - no child under 10 would wear a skirt below the knees! As for teenagers, it depends. If they are 'older' teens (in size), yes, they should dress as adults. Younger teens should be all right in shorts etc (I've seen many Italian and Spanish children under around 15 wearing normal summer clothes in churches there).
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 02:52 PM
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Abigail
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Last I looked, the Ten Commandments have not been "relaxed" in the last 20 years. To whoever said "In France no one much cares anymore..." how can you tell?
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 03:05 PM
  #13  
nancy
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Well Pam and Alec,
Thanks to both of you for your input!
But, I do have to laugh, because I have received contradictory advice!
I guess we will err on the side caution, pants for the kids, and shortsleeves, etc.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 05:48 PM
  #14  
pam
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I got pants that become shorts when you zip off part of the leg.... He actually wore them as pants the whole time, but it was an option you might consider.
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 07:12 PM
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Not Me!!
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I was in London in June 99 and most tourists just visiting the major Cathedrals and Abbeys were wearing whatever was comfortable (Jeans, Trousers, Pants, Shorts, Dresses, short or long sleeve shirts and sweaters). During Evensong I didn't notice many people wearing shorts but everything I listed above and I didn't see anyone turned away because of the way they were dressed. I wore a pair of black levis and a dress shirt. Nobody gave me a second look. Also I don't remember reading anything in the bible that mentioned a dress code, although I may be wrong. I wonder if St Peter had a dress code for worshipping down in the catacombs below Rome in those early days of Christianity?
 
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 10:10 PM
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AArrggh
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Please please if you wear "pants", wear trousers over them!
Thank you
 
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:15 AM
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Alec
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Re: Not-Me. I think St Peter had more pressing thing to worry about (e.g. 'Domine, qua vadis?'). His mate-in-chains St Paul though had something to say about women in worship who 'should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel' (1 Timothy 2:9 RSV). The principle for dress code in churches is not to give offence to those who regard it as places of worship, prayer and as the House of God. As fashions change, so what constitutes offence changes. Before Vatican II, it wasn't considered proper for women and girls to enter churches without a veil (a custom that still survives in Latin America and in parts of Asia, eg the Philippines, Japan). As for England, yes, there is no dress code as such. But even there it isn't normal to see people attending their own parish church on Sundays wearing shorts (except children), even if they intend to change into one afterwards on hot summer days. People make their own judgement about what is 'proper' - a very English habit. So there's still a line to be drawn, even if it isn't as rigidly as in Southern Europe.
 
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:22 AM
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Alec
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Excuse my poor Latin: I meant to write Quo vadis?
 

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