Scapular never to be taken off!?

I read somewhere that a scapular is never to be taken off, is this true? If so, are there some cases in which it can be take off? Such as taking a shower so the picture on the scapular won’t get messed up, or taking it off when you’re sleeping, so you won’t choke on it when it gets tangled, or when a couple is you know…“making” a baby (I’m being completely serious here).

Would taking it off be a mortal sin?

No, I don’t believe it is even a venial sin to take it off for sleep, bathing, etc. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

To share in the indulgences and privileges of a scapular, one must wear it constantly; it may be worn over or under one’s clothing and may be laid aside for a short time, if necessary. Should one have ceased wearing the scapular for a long period (even through indifference), one gains none of the indulgences during this time, but, by simply resuming the scapular, one again participates in the indulgences, privileges, etc.

It’s up to the person whether or not they want to take it off to bathe. I know that taking it off is definitely not a mortal sin.

You have to take it off sometime… it is not sinful as I understand it. I do not generally take mine off except on occasions where it might get tangled, lost, etc… (would you go swimming of water skiing with it on?)

I wear mine to bed. They’re not so well constructed that they won’t break under pressure, so I’m not really worried about choking.

Some people do take theirs off in the shower and such… nothing is wrong with that. I prefer to keep mine on as much as possible… I feel naked without it.

Remember, as it was explained to me at least, it is not the scapular that is blessed, but the wearer.

I take mine off at bedtime, and to shower.

I take mine off to shower. I always wear it to bed!

You’re braver than me :smiley:

I may give it a try, though. I really hate taking it off.

It’s not unbreakable… its not like wearing a strong chain or a shoestring around your neck. I don’t thing the structure of it has a chance to hold at the necessary tension to strangle you. …barring some freak accident

I wear my scapular always except to shower. I wear it when I sleep too. The reason I take it off to shower is so it wouldn’t get all messed up.

The only time my scapular is off is for a shower. I wear to bed at night along with my crucifix on a long cord. Couldn’t find a chain stout enough to keep it together.

The only problem I have is with the long cord for the crucifix. The scapular is fine.

And, NO its not a sin of any variety to take off the scapular. The wearing of one is an optional devotion.

there is no obligation whatever to wear it so there is no reason not to take it off if you think it appropriate. you don’t really think you are intended to wear it without ever cleaning it, do you? please please folks tell me where you get these ideas because I seriously want to know who is giving your reason to ask about sin in such a context

why do you think you have to be brave to take it off? I really want to know because it sounds very much like superstition to me

I think the thought about never taking it off comes from the promise of "whoever dies wearing this scapular…"etc. So some people are so concerned about dying, and so scrupulous, that they literally never take it off unless they have an immediate replacement at hand.

I just recently learned that it’s fine to take it off temporarily, for brief periods. When I was performing I belonged to the “never take it off” gang, and had rigged my scapular with somewhat longer nylon fishing line cords so that it would be invisible under a costume. As you can well imagine, my scapulars got pretty gamy pretty fast. In Soho there is a little patch of ground outside my old apartment that has probably a couple hundred old scapulars in varying states of decomposition where the old ones got buried when they got so ripe that I was forced to replace them. I used to buy them by the dozen a couple of times a year. I’m kind of kicking myself now at how neurotic that was!:o But nobody told me otherwise, and I didn’t want to risk dropping dead without it on.

I can see where that borders on superstition.

Naturally, if you adhere to the requirements of the scapular, you probably aren’t in a state of mortal sin, so you probably wouldn’t go to hell anyways. And since you still are enrolled in the Carmelite confraternity, you would probably be able to get the Sabbatine privilege if, for example, your hair dryer fell into the bathtub and electrocuted you while you were taking a bath with your scapular nearby on the vanity. Although I don’t know anyone dumb enough to leave a hair dryer plugged in near a bathtub while they were taking a bath! If there’s anyone smarter than me that can explain it, I’d be interested in hearing it.

Thinking it through a little further, I doubt Mary would ask us to do anything that flies in the face of common sense, or anything onerous. The entire point of the scapular was to provide an easy reminder of devotion to her, not a rigorous set of rules that we had to conform with or hoops we had to jump through.

Nowadays, I take mine off when I do strenuous exercise, when I shower, or when I go to bed.

I think it would be very hard to commit any sort of sin here. The promises of the scapular are private revelation, and not binding on one single Catholic. God will only punish us for disobeying dogma, not for disobeying something that is not even necessary for salvation. I’m even free to think that the whole thing isn’t true, though I don’t. It’s perfectly fine to take off your scapular, and you need not worry about the state of your soul due to such an action.

No, I always take mine off for lifes necessities and baths and showers.

I take mine off to shower and while I swim as the chlorine ruins it. But always wear it at bedtime and other times.

For whatever reason, over the years the requirements for wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel seems to have taken on a life of its own.

In fact, in the year 2000 both branches of the Carmelite Order of the North American Provincials of the Carmelite Orders cooperated in presenting a better explanation of the catechesis and ritual of the Brown Scapular.

I don’t have the site handy, but I am sure it could easily be found with a search. Unfortunately, many places where the Brown Scapular is sold have a little paper tucked inside the wrapper of the scapular with wording that can be easily misunderstood.

Even sites that can be found on the internet have not updated the catechesis they present with the scapular.


Thank you so much! I hope more wearers of the Scapular take the time to read this and understand it.

Thank you for the link, ocarm!

I wear my scapular to bed and throughout the day; I remove it when I swim, surf, or take a shower.

All traditions and devotions must be watered down. In the spirit of Vatican 2

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