Our Sunday Best (Part I)

Women process around Holy Trinity during the funeral vigil service on Holy Friday evening (Lamentations at the Tomb/Matins of Holy Saturday).

by Deacon Mark Oleynik

For many there is a well known phrase, “wear your Sunday best” that when uttered one knows exactly what is expected. This phrase, mostly from bygone years, refers to putting on your very best clothes when going to worship on Sunday.

And there was a time when many people had only one “very best” set of clothes so if a function called for the most proper of attire—be it going to church, attending a wedding, or baptism, or funeral or even a dance or dinner—they knew what to do. It was understood that wearing your “Sunday best” meant that the function you were attending was of the utmost importance.

Parents often struggle within themselves and with their children regarding the Church and being in church. (What parent has not experienced the heartbreak and frustration of preparing and taking their children to church only to find themselves spending almost the entire service in the fellowship hall or outdoors cooling theirs heels?)

At the infant age it is a concern about the baby crying or fussing; at the toddler and elementary age it is about their “wandering” around in the church. As the child grows older it becomes more about making sure they understand the Church (and its relevance to their lives) and then eventually it becomes a “hopefulness” that all of the formative work has sunk into their heart, mind and soul. As every parent knows, this life-long process is no easy task and it becomes even more difficult without the love and support of family, friends, and the entire Church.

As part of a “Sunday School Scoop” series running in the Trisagion over the next few months, the notion of putting on our “Sunday best” will be examined from a practical perspective. We will come to discover that this should not be only about the clothes we wear but rather of how us parents (and all of us) can begin to prepare ourselves and our children to be at our “Sunday best” each and every time we come to the Lord’s Table.

Put more simply, we are expected to wear our “Sunday best” everyday. The choices we make have their roots at home and reflect the prophet Joshua’s words, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).