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How to De-Modernize My Life?

TIA correspondence desk
Dear TIA,

Grace and peace to you!

Thank you sincerely for your good work. Tradition in Action has been an enormously helpful resource for me since I discovered the website just a few months ago. I have learned so much. Putting what I've learned into practice is the challenge.

I am getting married in June and have been doing quite a bit of reading and research on marriage and family life. K. (my fiancé) and I were both raised in what society would refer to as conservative Catholic homes. For us, this meant having moms who stayed home when we were young and took us to Mass on Sundays and dads who provided for our families financially and were supportive of our moms taking us to Mass, although they only attended Mass themselves a handful of times each year.

The results are depressing: I have two siblings who got married outside of the Catholic Church. K. has three siblings who got married outside of the Catholic Church and are now divorced, one sibling who is married within the Church and still a practicing Catholic, and one sibling who is not yet married.

St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, MO

The altar of St. Francis de Sales Oratory
in St. Louis, Missouri

I started attending a traditional Latin Mass parish a few years ago when I moved into the neighborhood. I didn't actually know anything about the Latin Mass and was just going to the closest Catholic parish. In retrospect, I believe that the saints were working on my behalf to bring me into tradition. I am very grateful to be a part of such a beautiful, thriving parish and to have the opportunity to attend a traditional Holy Mass several times weekly. Even though K. lives a good thirty minutes away and I'll be moving in with him after our wedding, we've decided it's well worth the drive to continue to be a part of our parish. Initially he only started attending because he was interested in me, but he also fell in love with the traditional liturgy somewhere along the way.

Although we knew we preferred the traditional liturgy, neither of us really started doing in depth research into tradition until we got engaged. We are soaking up everything we can in order to prepare for marriage and family life. I very much desire to be a holy wife and mother and he also desires to be a holy husband and father.

There are so many things that we need to do differently and figure out before we have children. It seems that nearly everything we've ever been taught was wrong. Well, not everything... I've always desired to be a wife and stay home with my children and I was pro-life even before I understood where babies come from. It's interesting to realize that I was a relativist without realizing it because I was only "conservative," modest, or pious in relation to my peers.

By traditional standards I am none of the above. I never knew what modernism was until recently. I thought modernism was a reference to a style of art and architecture as well as a reference to more recent history. I didn't know it was an ideology.

I would greatly appreciate practical advice on how to go about overhauling the cultural aspects of my lifestyle so I can become a holy wife and mother. What should I prioritize?

Also, if it's not too much, I would like to ask some practical questions about our wedding. Have you been to any weddings that had folk dancing? K. and I would like to have some sort of folk dancing at our wedding reception if possible.

Other than music and dancing for the reception the other area where I'm really struggling is with finding a bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses. I want to be elegant and beautiful and I want my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses. I can't find modest dresses that aren't frumpy. This is especially challenging because we're getting married later this year and the church doesn't have AC. Should our dresses be long-sleeved or are short-sleeved dresses also appropriate if they are not low cut?

Thanks for all you do to educate the faithful about sacred tradition! I've read countless articles on your website and still have years worth of reading to do. You are wonderful!

     In Christo Rege,


TIA responds:

Dear C.S.,

Thank you for your kind words of support. It is encouraging to know that you have benefitted from our website and to hear about your journey to tradition.

In answer to your questions about how to de-modernize your lifestyle – a very worthy endeavor for which we commend you – we will offer some general recommendations, followed by the articles on our site related to them. After this part, we will try to help you on the topics of wedding and family life.

Countess of Paris

Isabelle de Orleans, Countess of Paris, in yellow, commemorates her birthday surrounded by her children & grand-children, all very well dressed


The best way to cultivate a traditional way of being is to start with your outward appearance, for this not only reflects what is interior but also shapes the mentality. Never allow yourself to appear slovenly or spontaneous. Instead, fix your hair if it becomes in disarray, keep your clothing neat and clean, and wear elegant dresses or skirts that are not casual. The more dignified is your dress, the more you will feel a connection to the ladies of the past and begin to abandon your modern way of being.

Related articles: Ways of Being

Regarding the way of speaking, the modern woman is bold and frank as a man in her speech. She tries to speak about every topic – politics, economy, sports etc – that are proper to men. A traditional woman should not fall into this fashion, but instead ladies should speak principally on topics related to women or general topics of religion, culture and art.

Related articles: To counteract the spontaneous way of being of the modern woman, it is also important to establish an ordered schedule in your daily life so that you have a set time for every task, which will develop a sense of duty.

Related articles: Wedding

wedding dresses

Top: Archduke Christoph von Habsbourg marries Archduchess Adelaide Drape-Frisch (Dec. 29, 2012); bottom: Prince Friedrich von Hannover marries Alessandra de Osma (Mar 16, 2018)

Regarding your question about the wedding dress, we note that although the Bishops have technically allowed for an exception to the rule of three-quarter length sleeves, we do not believe it would be appropriate to have a short sleeve wedding dress under pretext of the heat. The bride on her wedding day should be exceptionally modest with a modest neckline and long sleeves, as was traditional in wedding dresses of the past, most of them without AC as well. This shows to the world her purity. To counteract the heat, one could consider finding a dress made of natural materials such as silk, linen, or lightweight cotton.

Related articles: Music & Dancing

Regarding having folk dancing at your wedding, we believe it is a delicate matter, since today most of the dances are immoral. However, there is a possibility to do it if you believe you can follow the guidelines laid in the articles below. In any circumstance the dancing should not be the highlight of the reception lasting many hours, but rather an addition to it.

Related Articles: Family Life

You will be founding a family when you will marry. Today to have a Catholic family in the revolutionary and pagan ambience of the modern world is a serious matter that involves a constant battle. Below are some articles that try to help Catholics in this endeavor.

Related Articles: Formation of Children

Related Articles: You asked us to set a priority for you. We would encourage you to set as a priority to increase your love for and devotion to Our Lady. A most efficacious means of doing this is to make your consecration to Our Lady as her slave, according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort. Once you are Our Lady's slave, she will keep you under her mantle and guide you in a special way. The more that you become like to Our Lady, the less revolutionary and modern you will become, for she will help you to imitate her virtues – humility and purity – which oppose the spirit of the modern world and give you the strength to resist it.

We hope this will be of some help to you.


     TIA correspondence desk


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted April 4, 2024

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