Are head coverings still required? Why or why not?

Hi everyone. The Bible clearly states that women are to wear head coverings. However, the Church no longer requires us to wear head coverings. What is up with that? :confused:

I have no idea but there are so many changes in the way people dress for Mass that I often wonder if there should be some kind of a dress code. When I was a little girl (many, many years ago) women always wore something on their heads when in Church, even if it was nothing more than a kleenex. Also, women would not dare wear pants to church. Women wore dresses and men wore suits or at least dress pants and dress shirts. Today, it seems as though anything goes. We are visiting the house of God so we should dress with respect. One wouldn’t have an audience with the Pope wearing jeans or shouldn’t we show the same respect to God that we show to the Pope?

According to pretty much all experts, the revised code of canon law of 1983 (replacing the code of 1917) did not mention head coverings per se. According to a great number of experts, the fact that they were not mentioned means that the custom is abrogated. According to a smaller number of experts, the fact that they were not mentioned does not NECESSARILY mean that they are abrogated. According to most Catholics, expert or not, head coverings for women are not required. According to some Catholics, expert or not, it is a custom that they follow with reverence and would recommend that others study well and prayerfully attempt to discern the will of God.

It may indeed be that when there is another revised code this issue will be addressed. Until then, I think that this is a difficult situation for a lot of Catholic women, especially the 25 and older crowd, because we have been INCULTURATED into a belief (not necessarily totally accurate) that women wearing headcoverings is patristic, chauvinistic, and an attempt to put women back in “kinder, kuche, and Kirche” (with kids, kitchen and Church ONLY). For many women of all ages, though, if they study thoroughly modern society AND Church history and tradition, they quite often feel that ‘headcovering’ is not only NOT an ‘antifeminist’ thing but a very POSITIVE feminizing thing to do.

Both groups should be very careful, though, not to be so ‘enamored’ of their position that they ‘label’ the other group as wrong, intolerance, ignorant, etc. and to be careful to make a distinction that it is the action–and not the individual herself–under discussion.

So basically we’re allowed to do what we want until the Church makes a decision one way or another on this? I mean, its not a matter of sinning or not is it? :confused:

It is a matter of discipline, not of morals. Any sin would be of disobedience, not intrinsic to the act. So without a Church law on it there is no sin in the matter. To the best of my knowledge, the Church law on this was abolished with the issuence of the newest version of the Code of Canon Law.

Oh okay. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I appreciate it. :slight_smile:

Modernistic views teaches that subjection to God is wrong, that modern man and woman should choose thier own without someone directing them or because a book tells them.

The Bible teaches us to dress modestly, so as Christians we should follow this wihtout compromise.
In the Vatican women who visits the Pope wear veils especially if they are Catholics, so why not the women in our local churches. I believe that God is greatly special than the Pope, so why not dress appropriate for God if we attend Mass.

Laudater Jesus Christus
Instaurare omnia in Christo

I’ve been in the Vatican - nary a veil in sight.

Yes and if you go to a formal ball you’ll wear a ballgown or a tuxedo. Neither of those are usually worn to Mass though.

Before Vatican II, women were required to wear veils, mantillas, hats, etc. while at Mass. Today few women wear the veil, and many are asking why women should wear veils at all. First and foremost, the 1917 Code of Canon Law stated: “…women, however, should be with head covered and modestly dressed, …” The new Code of Canon Law from 1983 does not mention the requirement of women to wear veils in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. However, the absence of a direct reference to the subject does not automatically imply a change of Church teaching. As stated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Can. 21: “In doubt, the revocation of a previous law is not presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to earlier ones, as far as possible, harmonized with them.”

Women should still wear veils while in the presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. Why? Even if the Code of Canon Law does not apply, St. Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 11:4-6 do still apply

This is a pretty hot topic, as it touches on two big sensibilities.

The freedom people have by being able to do things how they want and the sense of loss others have from the appearance of change.

Once you allow something even if it is done without permission people feel like they do not need the restriction anymore.
It is human nature to feel like freedom to do something is a right once they have done it even if it was done out of disobedience.

So once I let my kids go out after 10 PM what is wrong with it afterward? Once I cheat on my wife once then afterward it is much easier to do. Once I wander into the sanctuary afterward it seems like not such a big deal. It is the struggle between allowance and respect for boundries.

You will find people on both sides who strongly feel as there is something really wrong and nothing wrong at all.
“Why be concerned with the small stuff? That is just like the Pharisees! Just love Jesus.”

Since the Vatican has been concerned with the American Catholic’s almost becoming their own Church about 40 or so years ago they were more lax on issues such as this and didn’t definitively rule, to maintain unity. The USCCB had some big problems with loyalty back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it is getting better though.
Now that Catholics are possibly becoming more loyal to the Pope maybe we will see more clarity on this in the future.
I would always lean toward what we have understood as true for about 2000 years as opposed to the last 40 years as truth doesn’t change and we should be careful with things such as this. My wife doesn’t wear a headcovering except when we go to more traditional Churches as she is pretty involved in a progressive parish and worries about being alienated.

God Bless

1.) It’s NOT a sin.
2.) If you want to wear a headcvering, wear one.
3.) If you don’t, then don’t.

I agree, though it is a good and holy practice, since the Vatican has been lax on pronouncing either way on this you can do as you please.

To not do so out of with a deliberate intent on showing your superiority to those with veils or to be “like a man” then you are insulting your feminity and showing the sin of pride.
This goes both ways, to wear a veil and think others as damned, and you are better than them is to be prideful also.
Heck both can be an occasion to sin if our actions are not done out of obedience to God and an expression of humility.

Obedience and Humility should be the cause of our actions not pride or disobedience.

In Christ

The matter of women wearing veils when meeting the pope is a matter of custom, and customs can and do change, and are one way at a given time in one area, and another way at the same time in another area.

The Bible tells us to dress modestly; but the issue of wearing a veil is in large part a cultural issue. A woman is not immodest if she doesn’t wear a veil. Niether is she of necessity modest if she does wear a veil, as modesty in encompassed by more than a veil.

As to dressing “appropriately”, some may feel that a veil is necessary in church; others may feel that it is nice but not necessary, and others may not like it at all. It is a matter of taste, and it is the wise person who does not question the taste of another is style of dress for issues that are generally accepted as modest.

The issue has nothing to do with modernism; it has to do with style, and style, particularly in women’s dress, is in rather constant flux. At one point, the issue was not so much an issue of veil as it was of head covering, and that was by ande large a hat, with the veil being used by those who either could not afford a hat (they weren’t cheap), or felt they did not look good in a hat (style again).

High button shoes went out a long time ago, but given the vagaries of style, no one should be particularly surprised to see them again.

The Church no longer enforces that law; however, She never formally did away with it either. It’s not a matter of faith or morals, technically, so it can change. Let us all keep in mind though, that if a law can change, it can change for the worse. Personally, I keep my head covered whenever in the church and encourage all women to do so. It’s a beautiful custom that left as a result of the feminist movement. There’s no good reason to not wear one.

you were right. the church no longer enforces that law. i personally thing the pope or priest should more encourage or promote head covering, so that in the near future the law of veiling back in action.
if every women look like latinmasslover then the church will more in proper manner…

benedicite deus…

This is really what it comes down to for me as well. I can find so many good reasons to cover my head, but really no good ones for NOT covering. Saying that one doesn’t look good in hats, or that it musses her hair, are hardly relevant excuses. There have always been, and still are, ways to get around these issues.

But - do what you will - it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other if other women choose to cover their heads or not. I will do what I feel called to do, and that’s all that matters to me and my husband.


‘I don’t wanna’ + ‘I don’t hafta’ = as good a reason as any :slight_smile:

Heck, that’s about as much thought as most of us give to which items of clothing we DON’T wear!

It’s a beautiful act of reverence; many people forget or do not even believe in the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament-all reverence has been removed from the Church as to not scare people away…SHAME ON THEM!!!

Wear your veils ladies!! It is such a beautiful act!!

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God Bless!

Other than removing it from Canon Law, here’s what the Church has said on the issue:

But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on their head (1 Cor 11:2-16); such requirements no longer have a normative value


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