OPINION: Why I Wear Sunday Best for At-Home Church

family in their sunday best at home
via barefootblonde.com

COVID-19. It’s all anyone is talking about. We are glued to our screens, stuck at home, and adjusting to many changes. How are you doing? I’m going a little stir crazy, but hanging in there. My husband and I are especially grateful to have the gospel during this unforgettable time.

Related: Looks Like Covid-19 is Coming Your Way: Be Ready to Self-Quarantine

Sunday Changes

One of the biggest changes the virus has caused is regarding our Sunday worship meetings. We have been asked by our leaders to stay home and worship there. Through revelation and discussion with the stake president, our bishop has instructed us to take the sacrament at home weekly. It has been quite the experience!

We’ve been taking the sacrament at home for only three weeks now, but it has been life-changing. I have felt the Spirit present in my house more than ever. My family has been more motivated to read scriptures and pray together. Though these times are scary, I am happier than I’ve been in a while.

The “Sunday Best” Controversy

However, I saw a comment on Facebook this last Sunday that got to me. A family had posted a picture of them all in their Sunday best just after their at-home study session. Someone commented and asked, “Why in the world are you all dressed up for church at home?”

This comment slightly irked me because my family has also been dressing in our Sunday best, even when we’re stuck at home. Honestly, it wasn’t even a discussion. In my opinion, if the sacrament prayers are being said in our living room, it is not the time for pajamas.

What’s the Point?

man passing the sacrament to a woman in sunday best

Why do we dress up for church? It’s because of the sacrament. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said recently,

Such a moment demands our respect. Thus, we are encouraged to come to our services early and reverently, dressed appropriately for participation in a sacred ordinance. “Sunday best” has lost a little of its meaning in our time, and out of esteem for Him into whose presence we come, we ought to restore that tradition of Sabbath dress and grooming when and where we can.

We don’t put on nice clothes to impress ward members. We dress up out of respect for the sacrament and our Savior. This is a sacred ordinance and deserved to be treated as such.

The Sabbath Day

I loved the response of my Facebook friend. They said they put on their Sunday best in order to make Sunday feel like a different day of the week. They wanted to allow this day to stand out. This helped them to truly make the Sabbath day holy. A New Era article stated,

Wearing formal clothing on the Sabbath sets Sunday apart from the rest of the week in our minds and, thus, in our actions. The Lord has given us this counsel regarding our appearance to help us, and those around us, develop a sense of reverence and feel the Spirit.

When we put forth the effort to dress up a bit on the Sabbath, we will feel more reverent and the Spirit will be more present. I have definitely noticed that I have increased respect for the Lord when wearing my church clothes and have therefore been able to learn more deeply.

The Moral of the Story

family in Hawaii wearing their sunday best

I’m not saying that you have to wear your Sunday best all day long. I’m also not saying that you have to go above and beyond. And of course, you have agency and can follow the Spirit regarding your family decisions. The Spirit will guide you in your personal circumstances.

What I’m saying is that the sacrament deserves sacredness. Heavenly Father deserves our Sunday best, both outwardly and inwardly.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson said,

You are a Saint of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.

Related: Why We Should Dress Up for Church in a Sacred Manner

How has home-centered gospel learning blessed your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Brooklyn Gittins is an enthusiastic member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has written for food and lifestyle blogs but is currently sharpening her skills as a writing intern for Third Hour. She enjoys spending time with her husband, petting dogs, and eating buttered noodles.