"Mommy, why are those men wearing dresses, but no other men wear dresses?" My friend Julie had that question put to her by her six-year-old, Kylie Jo, in reference to the clerical garb worn by priests and deacons. Julie threw the question my way, and cutting and pasting my response makes for an easy, yet fun, blog entry:
"Basically, those are the clothes that were worn by ancient Romans when they celebrated Mass. Just like we put on nice clothes to go to Mass, the priests and deacons put on nice clothes too - but clothes that were nice 1900 years ago. When we see those clothes, it reminds us that the priests and deacons of today are doing the same things as Jesus and His Apostles. Priests and deacons could celebrate Mass without them, but the clothes are a neat reminder that what we do at Mass is incredibly special. You might also want to explain that there ARE other men who wear dresses - and get on stage and sing Liza Minelli and Cher songs. And while what they're doing is 'special,' it's a very, VERY DIFFERENT kind of special. Nuff said."