Take Your Coat Off and Stay Awile

Imagine if you invited a bunch people to your house for a celebration and most of them left their coats on? Now you know how Jesus must feel.

I’ve noticed that maybe 70 percent of the people at my church don’t shed their outerwear during mass. It can’t be that they’re cold, because the temperature during heating season is always comfortable. Summer’s a different story; the parish’s lack of air conditioning is worth its own blog post.

Over the years, the Catholic Mass has not really been about comfort, what with all the annoying kneeling and standing. I was told as a child that this is so you don’t fall asleep. But what’s with wearing the coats? All I can figure is that people do not feel welcome. Or perhaps they’re just waiting to be asked to take them off.

Jesus was not a guy to stand on ceremony. If he could see today’s church, with all of its formal adornment, ring kissing, and Papal palaces he wouldn’t be happy. He was not about fancy schmantzy nonsense, but was more of a down to earth guy.

If Jesus saw you in church with your coat on, he’d suggest you take it off. Then, one of the apostles would write about it and it would be scripture — and nobody would ever leave their coat on.

6 thoughts on “Take Your Coat Off and Stay Awile

  1. Folks tend to take their coats off at my church (Lutheran) maybe that’s a new trait learned learned in the last 450 years.

    1. Ah, yes… Martin Luther’s Theses #56: You are free to remove your winter cloaks and capes in church, even without buying indulgences.

  2. My grandmère mostly likely wouldn’t take her coat off in your house at a social occasion, let alone at mass. She’d sit there, coat on, two hands on the purse in her lap. “Joséphine, let me take your coat.” Big fake smile: “Non, I’m fine.” To get comfortable without first resisting for the requisite time would be presumptuous, and not suitably respectful to one’s hosts.

    I think maybe Catholic churches are a place where some folks channel their grandparents, one way or another.


  3. Sorry, I didn’t see this sooner. I couldn’t agree with you more. Yes, our church is a little chilly; but I was taught if you kept your coat on, you’ll be cold when you go back outside. So I always take mine off.

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