Do males wear ball caps, beanies and/or hoodies during Mass at your parish?

Do males wear ball caps, beanies and/or hoodies during Mass at your parish? One of our cantors wears a hoodie (over his head) in the sanctuary until just before Mass begins.

I softly told another guy wearing a ball cap in the communion line that “males don’t wear head coverings inside of Catholic churches.” He immediately removed it and seemed thankful and possibly a touch embarrassed.

When the candidates for confirmation stood before the faithful inside of the sanctuary, two of the teen males were wearing ball caps.

The cantor is 20 or so, and the guy in line for communion was 40-50. Are things truly getting that crude in society that people aren’t aware that wearing a ball cap or a hoodie with the hood up in a Catholic church is not acceptable behavior?

The sad thing is I can see this behavior “just taking root” in my parish right now. Within 5 years it will become widely accepted, unless a future pastor says something and by then it will be all the more difficult, there will be more resentment, etc.

I have never seen it.

That said, the “rules of decorum” that were once followed are not the norm anymore.

I think that it is important that parents instill these traditions in their children, but if they don’t know any better, how can they teach their children.

I don’t think it is a bad idea to remind men that they should not wear their hats/hoods inside, it is just not a hill I want to die on.

I sometimes wonder why people worry so much about what others wear. I get it when we are talking about scantily dressed men & women, as I don’t like to see that in any setting but the pool or beach. But sometimes I think people are paying more attention to others at Mass than they are to Mass.

I was just thinking how seriously people take removing their hats during the National Anthem at local ball games. Everyone removes their head covering including women. I think it may be due to the number of vets in the stands? Either way the tradition is upheld and the Old Glory is given proper respect.

Considering that monks don’t automatically put their cowls down when they enter church and bishops only remove their miters for the liturgy, I don’t think a hooded sweatshirt automatically violates some long-standing rule of decorum.

It is customary for men to remove hats when they enter any building, including a church. I don’t see that rule ever going away completely, even if a few men in your parish don’t follow it. Since the rule exists in society at large, I don’t think you need to concern yourself that your parish will become some bastion of baseball cap wearing during Mass. As for hoods, they are in a slightly different category. If the hood is coming off before Mass starts, I’d let it go, were I you. It would have been a charity for someone to have told those young men to remove their hats, but when you aren’t forced by charity to give someone the heads up on their personal appearance, it is better to let it go.

There’s that tired excuse I expected from at least someone. Wearing ball caps in the sanctuary is extremely noticeable, as is the guy in the communion line with a ball cap on. It’s also offensive.

You’re right though. I should have kept my eyes closed when the confirmation candidates gathered in the sanctuary. In the case of the guy in line for communion, I had to open them to gauge the length of the line and the timing of me joining it.

In any event I asked if today’s society is really so crude that people really don’t know that males should not wear hats in Catholic parish churches?

Do you mean the nave? The sanctuary is where the alter is, a couple of steps (or more) above the nave, which is where the parishioners sit. Generally only protestants call the whole worship area the sanctuary. Here is a site where you can increase your knowledge of Catholic Church building structure.

It’s just bad manners and I’m curious how widespread these bad manners are?

Not really, no, and it’s becoming ever more relaxed. Even back in the day, as a male entered a public space inside of a building (hotel lobby, office reception area, etc.) he would leave his hat on – although he would tip it (or remove it) in the presence of women. If he got onto an elevator he would continue wearing it unless a woman was present in which case he would remove it. If he rode up with his hat on (no women in elevator), he would take off his hat as he approached offices, etc.

In my parish it’s coming, unless a future pastor says something or if caps/hoodies fall out of fashion. Either way I’m not worrying. I’m just curious if things have become that crude is all?

I’ve seen men wearing ball caps at table in fine restaurants, at performing arts, etc., but never inside of Catholic churches until the last year or so, hence my question.

I’m of the sort that I cannot imagine wearing a hat in Church as that’s what I was taught. But I have to ask, why is it offensive? It is offensive because it violates the expected social norms. There doesn’t seem to me to be anything intrinsically evil about wearing a hat in Church. But Oneofthewomen’s point is that those expected social norms aren’t as “normal” or “expected” as they used to be. Many people simply aren’t taught those rules anymore. They don’t violate the rules out of lack of respect but simply because they aren’t familiar with them.

Sorry you did not like my reply, but it is the truth, especially where I am from.
I don’t think it’s a matter of being “crude” as much as it is of being ignorant of the custom.

And as far as the National Anthem, I see many people, especially young ones, not remove their caps, or even stand. In many cases, I think it is more a case of “monkey see, monkey do” than doing it out of respect.

Nothing evil, no, but I would think the custom of males removing their hats in Catholic churches far transcends mere societal norms which differ from locale to locale.

In other words while I can understand someone wearing their ball cap to opening night at the opera – whether or not they knew it was crude behavior, it’s still hard for me to believe they would do that and not know for certain that it’s very wrong when it comes to a Catholic church.

Long, long ago (back when very few wore hats), my parish church had signs asking gentlemen to remove their hats. They’re gone now.

It’s interesting – at baseball and football games around here, the announcer would ask “gentlemen” to remove their hats. Now it’s everyone – women included, and they do for the most part.

To answer your question, I find it offensive because it appears to me that show are eschewing a custom that shows respect on purpose because they don’t respect where they are.

I hear you on it being hard to believe. It is ingrained into me. But I do think that is where things are at culturally. As you said, those signs aren’t there anymore. So it’s not something that always gets picked up on unless someone explicitly shares it with them.

To me, it goes hand in hand with the decrease in formality in general. People aren’t taught to dress and speak formally as they once were.

So I wouldn’t necessarily assume they are shirking such decorum on purpose. I’d opt to presume otherwise until the contrary is proven.

I don’t know. I don’t think so. I never noticed. Guess I just to pay attention to that when I am in church.

I haven’t really seen this as an issue during Mass, as I grew up in a place where it’s warm enough that headgear isn’t a necessity. Actually, from the gist of this thread, the “worst offenders” are usually the elderly who get cold easily, especially in the older stone churches. :shrug:

I remember a priest complaining back in the 1980s that there were men who literally came into Mass wearing their cleated golf shoes. Click. Click. Click. He could hear them in the sanctuary from the moment they entered the back of church.

It has not gotten better since then, no. The attitude seems to be that people ought to be so congratulated for coming at all that it is rude to imply that anyone ever ought to care what they show up wearing. (I have heard people literally taking this position.)

I have also heard people complain it is unfair to expect the altar servers to own Sunday shoes, which can include all-black or all-white sneakers! This is not coming from poor families; the parish offers to purchase whatever the servers need to show up in adherence to the dress code. They also complain that they can’t come to Mass dressed for whatever activity they’re going to next.

I don’t think I have ever witnessed this at our parish. Though women with veils is quite common and accepted in our parish - which may be surprising to some visitors. :shrug:

Not that I remember. I often wear a hoodie with the hood down when it’s cold out, but neither I nor anyone I’m aware of has worn anything like that.


“At least they’re at Mass” <-- the ultimate excuse for bad/odd/weird behavior of any kind at Mass.

Golf shoes are actually spiked. They’re often not even allowed in locker rooms or dining facilities at golf courses because of the damage they do. Amazing those men drove vehicles with them. Wearing them into a church would have resulted in an actual chewing out from ME because they do real damage to flooring. The chutzpah of doing that is incredible.

Conversely, if I bought a zucchetto and wore it (or my kippah) during the Mass, there would be more than one angry person with blood in their eyes questioning me about my head ware.

Odd how that works. I wonder why that is?

I honestly haven’t noticed. I’m busy following the Mass and praying.

I have never noticed anyone wearing a ballcap in Mass. It’s so unusual, I wonder if maybe the man the OP saw simply forgot he had it on. I did once go into Mass with my sunglasses propped up on my head. I was wearing them while driving and I put them on my head so I could see the latches on my kids’ carseat and forgot to put them away. In the case of the young people, even if they had forgotten, or didn’t know it wasn’t allowed, it’s weird their parents wouldn’t say anything. I think it’s a little extreme to say it was “offensive”. Short of a deliberately offensive message printed on it, I don’t want to ascribe intentions of disrespect to an article of clothing that many or most people wear on a regular basis.

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