Should You Get Dressed Up to Go to Church?

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When you go to a Greek Orthodox Church, you may notice that people are fairly dressed up. Of course, this all depends on where you are located. If you attend a Greek church service in Greece, you may be surprised to notice that while some may be dressed up, others are dressed fairly casually.

Those of us who attend church on the East Coast of the United States may notice that the setting here is incredibly formal, while those attending Greek church services on the West Coast may not feel the need to dress up as much.

So, do you need to get dressed up when you attend a Greek Orthodox Church Service? Here are some insights that will help you decide:

Dressing Up Is a Tradition

When considering whether or not you need to dress up to go to church, it helps to understand that this is a church tradition, not something that was mandated by the Church Fathers. That being said, from an etiquette standpoint, it is a good idea to follow the customs of the church you are attending.

Even in Greece where it might be a little less formal, there still may be some rules to follow in terms of how to dress. Some churches in Greece don’t allow women to enter they church unless they are wearing a skirt, for example. It helps to figure out what these customs are.

If you are attuning a Greek church in another country, like the United States, it is much better to dress up until you understand the customs of that particular church. In some churches everyone might be dressed in business casual, whereas in another, people might be even more dressed up than that.

Understand What the Church Service Is

The church service you attend will affect what you were. Are you attending a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy or a smaller service held during the week? Are you attending a special event, such as a wedding or Christening? Services that are held during the week tend to be a lot more casual, especially since people are often attending church after work, and they might not have time to go home to change.

Sunday Divine Liturgy Services are usually well attended, which means that this is the prime time to dress according to the customs of the church. The same goes for wedding and Christenings. These services tend to be special family events, and there are often receptions being held in somewhat formal settings. You’ll want to wear your nicer clothes when attending these.

It is important to understand that the guidelines on how to dress for a Greek church service will depend on a variety of factors. It is a good idea to follow the customs laid out by the church.


The Religion section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand some of the traditions of the Orthodox Christian religion, which is a religion practiced by people in countries such as Greece, Russia, United States, and other nations throughout the world. This article is not a substitute for information found in the Holy Bible or by our church fathers, priests, and other clergy members.

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