Blinky light shoes at Mass

I am, oh joy, at the annual diocesan assembly of priests.  Always, enlightening.

Speaking of enlightening, the subject of altar “servers” wearing blinky light shoes came up.

Have you seen those?   With every step a light flashes?

Where I am these days, that would be unthinkable.  As a matter of fact it hasn’t ever come into my head that that might occur.  I’ve seen them, but not in church… where I am.

Blinky light shoes.

One of the priests here has a closet in the sacristy with shelves and shelves of black dress shoes in every conceivable size.  That takes care of any potential footwear issues.

My position:

“Sorry, we can’t have those here.  Flashing lights can trigger seizures and our insurance doesn’t cover that.”

BTW… we have John Bergsma talking on Biblical Theology of Priesthood, so I don’t have to do Sudokus.

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  1. teomatteo says:

    It was Mother Angelica who recounted on her show many years ago, “Someone told me, ‘Mother I go to electric church. Now what on earth is an “Electric Church? Well, everytime I go to mass I’m shocked”.

  2. mamajen says:

    Oh my…I can’t fathom blinking shoes at mass. That said, I am fortunate to attend a wonderful traditional parish that has the TLM and a good Novus Ordo and, yes, many altar boys wear sneakers. Paired with the traditional altar boy garb, sneakers really stand out as seeming modern and casual. In the boys’ view, maybe they are their “best” sneakers and therefore appropriate, but I disagree. I make sure my boys always have “church shoes.” I do know that name brand sneakers are very expensive, and our families are large, and perhaps, therefore, the families can only do one pair of shoes period. Church-provided shoes are a great idea! I’ve often thought it would be nice to have a “Sunday best” clothing exchange down in the basement.

  3. capchoirgirl says:

    Oh gosh, these have been around since my sister was a kid, the early 90s. I think they’re distracting and not super appropriate, but then again, I also think that a server serving in flip-flops isn’t appropriate, either….

  4. ex seaxe says:

    I have seen a boy vesting in the sacristy wearing such shoes, he was spotted and firmly told ‘not in those shoes’. That would be about thirty years ago, it’s a long time since I noticed any child wearing them, I hope they are passé.

  5. JTH says:

    Reminds me a teenage girl altar server who wore high heel shoes. Still gives me nightmares all these years later.

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    These shoes would be inappropriate even if they were blinking the liturgical color of the day.

  7. bartlep says:

    I don’t know if my parish provides the shoes, but all the altar BOYS ( we have no altar girls) wear black shoes that match their black cassocks.

  8. APX says:

    At least they don’t squeak like a squeaky toy. Someone at my parish thinks it’s cute for their toddler to wear squeaky shoes during low Mass and walk up and down the pew, so all you hear through Mass is *squeak* *squeak* *squeak* *squeak* *squeak* ad nauseam.

  9. oklip955 says:

    I have problems with glare for lack of a better word to use due to eye surgery. Those cause glare, starbursts and with them going on and off makes me dizzy. I see little kids wearing them usually the family will be sitting up front so hard to get away from them. ugh, people need to consider others not just themselves or their kids

  10. baileymxd says:

    No worries. The kid will grow out of them soon enough. “This too shall pass.”

  11. rtrainque says:

    Before I kept a pair of black dress shoes in the sacristy closet right under my cassock, I was called upon at the last minute to “sub in” for the guy who was scheduled to serve low Mass on some Saturday morning. He wasn’t feeling well enough to serve if another trained guy was available, and well, there I was in the pews preparing to hear Mass. Under the pressing and extraordinary circumstances, the subdued grey Adidas I was wearing were no real source of scandal, but you’d better believe I felt terribly self-conscious!

  12. APX says:

    No worries. The kid will grow out of them soon enough. “This too shall pass.”

    This used to be my attitude towards poorly behaved children at Mass, but then I realized that no sooner do they grow out of it, there’s another one just growing into “that phase”.

  13. ZestyLemonZach says:

    Arguably less egregious than women in skin-tight yoga pants.

  14. wolskerj says:

    Why the B.S. about seizures and insurance? Why give the impression that you’re hip to the cool shoes, but your hands are tied by those uptight beancounters? Why not a straightforward “That’s not appropriate for Mass. You should know better. If you don’t have other shoes to wear you won’t be able to serve today.”

    [Is your sense of humor in the laundry?]

  15. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    I don’t think you should be wearing sneakers if you are serving. Loafers are comfortable enough. But I do remember a 6 month period in the early 2000, I could not find a pair of sneakers that didn’t blink.

  16. Ellen says:

    Our servers sometimes wear sandals (so do some of the priests who have bad feet) and so do I since I have bad feet. In the summer, Chaco sandals are the only things I can wear that don’t hurt. I remember the wheelie sneakers from years ago but I have never seen these.

  17. Grant M says:

    As King T’Challa would say, we don’t do that here.

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Obviously not appropriate, because they’re gym shoes. The lights are just the hot fudge on top of their inappropriate sundae best.

    But OTOH, it’s not like one spends a lot of time looking at server feet, if one doesn’t want to notice something going on. I mean, most kids shuffle and scuff and bounce gently and wiggle, at least for the first year or two of serving. So why set yourself up for distraction, especially if you are in the pews and not an MC? Ignore their feet and be happier.

    (And yes, this is one reason why I miss being in a choir loft, and hate sitting in full view on the floor. Everybody else in church can avoid the front rows, but the choir people have to try to sit still like mature angels and not shift their weight too much. Guess how much I’ve had to practice efficient moving of the detached box kneeler, using only my feet. Guess how much I worry about my neckline, or biting my nails, or scratching my head. I have a lot of sympathy for kid servers.)

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    teomatteo: Mother Angelica confronts a teenager in blinky light shoes… I’d give up my last doughnut to see that chastisement. “Woe, blinky light shoes, your doom has come.”

    A serious question for genial host and readers: Did Mother Angelica ever own a ruler or chalkboard eraser? Those are probably going to be relics someday and I’d like to add them to my arsenal at the Country Bunker.

    suburbanbanshee wrote: “The lights are just the hot fudge on top of their inappropriate sundae best.”

    Good one.

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