Do you wear a scapular? Poll

  • Yes, all the time
  • Yes, but I take it off to shower and swim
  • No

0 voters

I recently heard on Relevant Radio that when we wear a scapular we ought to wear it even in the shower. I’ve been taking mine off to shower and swim.

Should I be wearing it during those times too?

Also, why do you or don’t you wear a scapular?

Thank you and God Bless.


I don’t wear a scapular because I don’t feel attracted to it. I have heard nursing home staff complain about bathing patients who refuse to take off their scapulars and medals, so I assume it must be fairly common.


What about it doesn’t attract you?


I keep mine on all the time. I also have medals attached to it.


I wear mine most of the time. I only take it off to shower and swim. I don’t like to get it wet, and it would come off in the pool without a shirt on. I also take it off to wash it and let it dry. But I can assure you I wear it 98% of the time.


We’re supposed to wash them? :flushed::thinking:


You don’t have to. I’m embarrassed to say that I sweat a lot, and over time the cloth becomes wet and smelly, so I wash it in the sink with a little detergent and let it air dry.


I wore one for a really long time. Then I did the first 5 Saturdays and 9 first Fridays. There are similar promises. Now I wear the miraculous medal and enrolled in the knights of the immaculata… it is attached to my steel rosary… but I do not wear it all the time. I have a prayer card of the anima sola in my wallet. I used to be really scared to go about without a sacramental but now I have more confidence in God and his promises. Still I catch myself reaching for my scapular sometimes out of habit on my neckline… and then I remember oh yeah I’ll be ok anyway. I used to struggle with a bit of scrupulosity… the prayer to the shoulder wound of Christ helped me a lot with some of that. I should probably still pray the rosary more though.


I take mine off to shower. I figure religious brothers, sisters and nuns also take off their big scapulars when they shower, so why shouldn’t I?


The scapular is a garment. We don’t wear our clothes to shower or go swimming. If Relevant Radio is telling people they need to wear it in the shower, they’re propagating superstition and they need to stop.

If you were going to be swimming for large parts of your day (like you’re a professional athlete or a lifeguard) then you might want to switch over to the scapular medal so you could keep it on for your normal day.


Mine stays on when I swim.


I wore a brown one for years - not the same one the whole time, I bought new ones wherever I could. I stopped wearing it because I realized I didn’t really know why I was wearing it. I began thinking of it as a lucky charm or something.


This sounds like neoPelagianism?


Quite possibly. It is one of a few reasons why I stopped wearing it.

However, I think that people who do fully understand the scapular and don’t start to think of it as a “lucky charm” should wear it. It would be a great shame if the tradition died out.


The Brown Scapular is properly worn as a symbol of devotion to Mary and of Carmelite spirituality.

I have been wearing one for about a year. I have also been formally invested in it, twice (the second time was just because I was not sure if it had been properly done the first time and it does not hurt to have it done again). I do take it off to shower, swim, or when it needs to be laundered. If I have a substitute one handy I will put that one on while my primary one is in the laundry.

The Brown Scapular is not some lucky charm for protection. Mary protects her devoted children whether they happen to be wearing a Scapular or not.

The official Scapular catechesis is here if anyone would like to know more about this devotion.


The scapular is a symbol of our devotion to the Blessed Mother. Our devotion is not because we wear the scapular, and Mary’s scapular promise is not because we wear a little piece of wool; Mary promises to save those who are devoted and take on a life oriented to her Son.


In answer to Knight and hoping not to offend people: I really dislike the Catholic traditions of if you do xyz devotion or wear xyz you will be safe and all will be well. Some people wear them well and keep the intention pure. For some it becomes a lucky charm pretty quickly. I’ve seen more than a few elders clutching their scapulars thinking as long as they have it around their neck they will go to heaven and firmly believing that if a nurse was to remove it and they suddenly died they might not make it to heaven.

Likewise Good Friday fell on a first Friday a couple years ago which resulted in devastated old ladies calling the chancery begging us to find them a mass on that day. They were totally convinced that if they broke the string of Fridays no one would give them last rites and off to Purgatory or hell they would go.

All these practices may be good with right intention and understanding but I’ve seen too much superstition with them to be comfortable taking them on.


I wear the green scapular, but not every moment of the day. I take it off to shower, and I don’t wear it to bed.


I wear a miraculous medal, but not a brown Scapular. Honestly, I’m not sure if I can wear a Brown Scapular until I am confirmed this Easter.

Regardless, I’m not particularly attached to carmelite spirituality, so I don’t expect I’ll wear one. That’s not to say anything is wrong with it. We are all drawn to different things, right?


I wear a Brown scapular and I do take it off for a shower or a swim?


Because I don’t shower with my clothes on.

The Brown Scapular is first and foremost, an abbreviated garment of the Carmelite order, and a sign of affiliation with that family and its spirituality, as is any habit. Those who have the mind that the Scapular cannot be taken off at any time have lost this essential understanding, which is why the Brown Scapular is one of the most abused sacramentals in the Church today.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit