Macaroon, WI: A St. John's Church parishioner, inspired by his parish's overwhelming adherence to the "red shirt or dress" rule to celebrate The Coming of the Holy Spirit (also known as Pentecost), has suggested that parishes expand this popular practice to other feasts in the Catholic calendar.
"The thing is, everyone in our church thinks 'red shirt' when Pentecost comes around. I think that's just great. So perhaps we could plant the dress code associations with other feasts as well. I'm most looking forward to Easter and Christmas, where we can encourage people to wear gold lame. We'll have the sparkliest church in town," said Pastoral Council president Rob Rutaberg.
Other parishioners expressed moderate enthusiasm. "I always liked the 'red shirt' day--it reminds me that I can sit out of the game with Christ in charge. I didn't know the Christian life allowed seasons off. It's great news to me," said Brandon Jakobsen, 28.
"Plus, I like wearing a red dress to Church. There aren't many feasts where I can praise God and look like a tart," said Jakobsen's wife, Brigid, 27. Her husband nodded, smiling.
Amelia Burgess, 82, liked the proposal because it gave her a chance to wear her "spiffy purple old lady dress" for Lent. "All us 'When I'm an old woman I will wear purple' gentleladies have an entirely different association with wearing the color: Lent will become six weeks devoted to living life to its fullest at any age. Lots more fun that the repentance route," she said.
There was one lone voice of outrage, a nameless woman stubbornly wearing a khaki skirt and black top. "We've got a feast devoted to God as the sustainer of our world, the breath of life, the voice of the Prophets, and the Consoler of those who suffer and mourn...and our best attempt to celebrate it is wearing RED? We've got a story about God turning fear and grief to joy and unity and life, with one of the most amazing miracles to boot, and we wear RED? We've got gifts of wisdom, faith, discernment, and more, and we wear RED? We should be wearing SACKCLOTH given how we treat this feast! This is the domestication of the master of the Universe at its worst!"
"Don't mind her," muttered Rutaberg. "She's just speaking in tongues. We haven't understood her for years."