Similar to my complaint about people sitting on the ends of pews (see Let’s Meet in the Middle) I have something else that bothers me about the aesthetics of church.
No, it’s not the art or anything of the church itself. And it isn’t exactly the people in the church — It is their attire. And honestly I should be the last one to complain about people’s church outfits because I often pick comfy over fashionable at 7am. And I don’t really care what people wear because they chose church over being something else and the being at church is what matters more.
So my pet peeve is that people do not take off their coats. Why? You are going to be in a nice warm building for the next 1 hour. Wouldn’t it be more comfortable to dis-coat yourself?? Unless you are 65+ years old or have a chill or good reason such as those you should probably remove your coat for mass.
Name one other place where people know they will be for a while — with no risk of having to get up and jet with but a moment’s notice — where they leave their coat on.
When you go to a friend’s house to visit them do you say “No thanks, I’ll keep my coat on. I’m not sure if I want to stay and actually visit with you or if I’ll want to leave in 5 minutes.” No, you don’t (…unless you are peculiar, like a few people I know and love…) . Instead you come in, take your coat off, even hang it up, and then sit and relax in the company of your friend.
Why then not treat church the same way? You are taking the time to go and be with God. Remove your coat and sit back and relax with Him. Do you leave it on because you are scared to commit to being there? Why would that be? If you are a non-coat-taker-off-er contemplate why that is. Then consider if you have ever really, truly needed to keep your coat on during mass.
God offers you comfort much greater than a coat. He wants to warm your heart. He wants to love you and hold you. Yes, He can hug you thru your coat. But why not let Him get a little closer?