At Exodus 3:2-5 (NRSVCE) we read:

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.

I have seen many churches in India in which the faithful are not allowed to wear sandals while they attend service. I wish to know if such a tradition exists in churches of any denomination in the West.

2 Answers 2


I've only heard this is the case in churches that have their patriarch in India. In Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches the faithful keep their shoes on. I understand the clergy in Oriental Orthodox churches wear liturgical slippers that do not contain leather.


In the Roman liturgy, the faithful keep their shoes on. However, it can be removed during liturgy as part of a custom, like in the Alliance of the Two Hearts.

It is interesting to note as well that people also customarily remove their shoes when going to a perpetual Adoration chapel.

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