Monks habits

Do you think it would be ok to wear a monks habit as a sign of steadfast faith and a commitment to the abandonment of materialism and personal asceticism, as long as the scapular was not worn, this of course reserved for the religious!?

a) I think it would be imprudent to wear clothing that designates you as something you are not. You would not wear a roman collar if you were not a priest or deacon. I do not think it proper to wear clerical garb of any type-- priest, religious brother, religious sister, etc-- if you are not in fact a priest or religious. It is a misrepresentation.

b) Scapulars can be worn by laity. Not sure why you think they are reserved for religious.

I suggest you get some spiritual direction from a holy priest.

I’ve always wanted to wear the Franciscan habit, I am a huge admirer of St. Francis of Assisi. When I first started converting I was reading to find out if members of the secular order of Franciscans could wear the habit, and according to my memory they do not. They only wear the Tau. For the very reasons 1ke mentioned, so that others do not mistake them for a brother and cause confusion. If the members of the third order are not allowed to wear it, I imagine the rest of us as well are not allowed to do so.

As far as I am aware, yes, it is ok for laity to wear a Scapular, but this is the two small pieces of clothes suspended on cord worn over the shoulders underneath regular clothing, as opposed to the scapular I was discussing, the shoulder worn garment over the tunic.

As for misrepresentation, perhaps not, as anyone looking on with enough knowledge of monasticism would perhaps notice the irregularity of a missing scapular…

It was only a hypothetical scenario… Your comment “I suggest you get some spiritual direction from a holy priest” is patronising

In defense of 1ke, how are we to know that your question was a hypothetical scenario?

Speaking as a consecrated religious, no I do not think it is appropriate for a non-religious to wear the habit. We do not receive the habit until we enter the novitiate which is when we become members of the community. Even though we (in my order at least) are with the community for at least a year or two before entry into the novitiate.

It is misrepresentation to present oneself in public in religious garb when one is not a professed religious.

Unless it is Halloween, a night when assumptions might lean towards “costume”.

Otherwise, 99.9999% of people are not going to have enough familiarity to “notice” something like you suggest and will take the representation at face value.

Then state so in your OP.

In your opinion.

Its also disingenuous and does not accurately reflect what it is meant to portray. Its akin to saying two people who live togther could be considered “married”. The monk’s robe like marriage vows represent a committment that is reserved for those who have taken sacred vows to religious life or marital life

Only if you are a monk and have been given the habit to wear.

As an Oblate I am allowed to be buried in a habit, but not to wear one outside of that. At my abbey, new monks don’t get the habit until they become novices.

If those affiliated with the order can’t wear a habit, I don’t see how someone not affiliated could think it’s acceptable.

If you want to abandon materialism through your clothing, perhaps you could think of having fewer clothes or purchasing them second-hand.

I might also add that a habit sans scapular is still the habit for some orders. I know of some monasteries where postulants wear a habit (robe only) with no scapular. Also, if you are wearing something akin to the Benedictine habit, it could be mistaken for a simple cassock–in which case you could be mistaken for a priest or seminarian. I concur that spiritual direction is probably a good idea–it’s a good idea for anyone, and if you think that you might have a calling to the religious life a spiritual director can help you more greatly discern this. There is no need to get defensive.


Correct. We can be buried in the robe but can’t wear it while living.

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