I know this is an explosive topic but…
Yesterday, during the Great Entrance, when I had the aer tied around my shoulders, I realized that part of the difficulty modern Americans have with the idea of physical modesty is the loss of our Christian concept of the veil between us and the sacred. Physically we manifest this through veiling or covering sacred things: the Gospel on the altar is covered with a veil, the diskos and chalice are covered with veils, and then covered with another veil, the deacon’s orarion covers the Gospel during the Little entrance, the altar itself has a cover, and, as I said, the deacon is covered with the aer when he holds the diskos.
There’s a Christian concept that sacred things have been, and should be, sometimes hidden from view, that adequate preparation should take place before they are beheld, just as mankind had to be prepared before beholding Christ. Moses had to hide his face, but the apostles saw Christ. They are veiled so they can be uncovered, and re-participate in the act of Divine revelation. Just so, we prepare by prayer and hearing Scripture and coming together in peace before we receive Communion and our bodies, which are the temple of the Holy Spirit, should be veiled at times and revealed only to the proper people and at the proper times. Times which have been prepared for beforehand, and people who have prepared.
And what this might say for the adornments we put on our bodies is interesting as well, but I’ll leave Sacred Style for a different post ;)