The congregation (traditionalists, presumably) appears in fairly laid back dress mode; not shabby but certainly not chic.
I admit, myself, to falling into this category at Mass. 'Smart casual' might be the best descriptor.
And then, halfway through Mass the Catholics of a more liberal bent arrive prematurely for their OF Mass.
They appear as visions of loveliness (accentuating what a rough old lot we traditionalists are). Women have their hair permed into forms that look as if they might shatter if a choir member hits a high note and the men are all blazers and breton red slacks; tres Knightsbridge, really, except that this is Marylebone.
Having worn a suit and tie for most of my working life I shun it as the uniform of the slave; instead, for Mass I wear an open necked shirt, slacks and a jacket if the weather is coolish.
As long as an effort has been made to smarten up I hope and trust that the Lord will be happy with my appearance.
But is that really good enough? Aren't the OF Massers correct to dress up to the nines?
Would we not don a more formal garb if we were to meet the Queen or some other head of state?
But then, Almighty God is not in the same league as a head of state. He knows our inner selves, our thoughts and intentions and must surely accept 'smart casual' knowing that it is only a human tag that we attach to ourselves and that, provided we have made an effort to 'scrub up,' He will approve.
At least, I hope that He approves. You can't buy breton red slacks for love nor money in West Wales.