Wearing a hat at Mass

I hope this is not a silly question, but it’s something that’s been bothering me for a while … I’m a college-aged woman and a couple years ago I started wearing hats regularly when I go out of the house, mostly a particular beret, which I know is unusual for people my age. I honestly do not know why I started doing this. Anyway, when I started reading the Bible of course I found out about the headcovering rule that is not generally observed anymore and it resonated with me … I do see a few other women wearing hats at Mass.

My problem is this: I attend Mass but I have not even started RCIA yet (I’m going to) and of course I don’t receive Communion. I don’t want people to think I am trying to be ultra-pious or something when I haven’t even been received into the Church yet and I did not start wearing hats for religious reasons. Because of these worries, I once expressly took off my hat just for Mass and then I felt like I was being disrespectful because now I know about the headcovering rule and I guess it has worked its way into my consciousness.

I keep worrying that someone will ask me to take off my hat or ask me why I’m wearing it, and I won’t know what to say or how to justify it. If I justify it from the Bible, it might look like I’m being holier-than-thou which is SO not what I feel; I’m just grateful to be allowed to go to Mass at all. If I just say, “I like wearing hats” it sounds like I’m being idly secular. And if I take it off, I will feel that I am being disrespectful to God. :shrug:

I feel like none of this makes much sense … help, please!

Relax. It is only inappropriate for men to wear hats in Church. It is not unusual to see a few women wear hats in church in the winter. But if you like to wear hats year round, go ahead. I doubt anyone with think anything of it.

I think your berets would be very refreshing in a world of bare female heads and mantillas/scarfs too often worn as crowns of pride. Leave them on if you like – the wearing of head coverings by women during the Mass is accepted in the Church – and don’t worry what others think.

You really cannot justify the wearing of head coverings at Mass using the Bible (no do you need to – the Church simply allows it) without opening a can of worms. For if we are left to our own interpretations of the Bible what about verses like:

Exodus 13:16 “It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes; for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”

Deu11:18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”

Why don’t Catholic men wear tefillin/phylacteries as directed in the Bible? How is this different than the Bible directing women to cover their heads? This is not an OT vs. NT issue or even an Old Covenant versus New Covenant issue. This is about the Church requiring one (at least at one time) for some time and not the other (which is neither here nor there and not up to me to judge.) It is NOT about what the Bible says.

Hi just thought I drop my two cents in. I’m in a similar age (going into college this fall) and wear hats sometimes as a fashion accesory. I even worn them to church (and we have very few that cover here, I think 1-2 do) and nothing was said. In all honestly, as long as the hat is not huge or overly distracting, I don’t think anyone’s going to say anything. Like I said, just my two cents. :thumbsup:

Ah, this is very helpful. I spent some time in Protestantism and I guess I haven’t completely shaken that way of thinking. It should be enough that the Church allows it. Right. :smiley: And I need to worry less! :blush:

I know no Catholics and have few Christian friends, so it’s easy sometimes to get stuck in my head worrying. Sometimes all it takes is a couple CAF posts like these to get me to relax and see things in perspective. So, thanks!

Hi Student09!

Wear your hat, most probably no one will say a word about it. About a year ago, I began covering my head while in the presence of the Eucharist. Some women do it for the modesty reasons mentioned in the New Testament. Many of us are young…in fact, headcovering is really only “popular” with the 30-and-under crowd at my parish.

I have a little collection of coverings…a traditional lace veil, some funky scarves, a few knit beanie type hats, and some berets. I wear the one that strikes me, remembering that covering one’s head is not about fashion but, to me, about reverence and respect.

The first time I wore a hat to Mass, I was certain everyone was staring at me. Now it’s become second nature and I feel all wrong if I don’t have something on my head at church. And no, no one is really looking after all. :slight_smile: But you might meet some cool gals after Mass that way, like I have. :smiley:

My, how times have changed! :slight_smile:

When I was growing up nobody would have thought of asking about the appropriateness of wearing a hat to church since almost all women wore them. All females wore some type of head covering; there was the odd head scarf here and there, but most grown ups wore hats.

The Church in its wisdom told us we no longer HAD to cover our heads but it certainly didn’t say we couldn’t do it. Go for it.

What I am trying to say is this. Catholic Christian women used to be required (at least in the Latin Rite) to cover their heads at Mass. Was that supported by Scripture as well? It would certainly seem so depending on how one interpreted Scripture. The Church has dropped that requirement so now it’s up to individual females and it COULDN’T have been a requirement of Scripture given the Church’s action. Fair enough.

Some Catholics however continue to insist women must cover their heads not based on what the Church now directs but on their personal literal (to them) interpretations of Scripture. If they are going to go that road (an error) how can they justify (for example) not demanding that Catholic men wear tefillin/phylacteries as directed in the Bible? They cannot.

Wear your hat! It’s nice, fashionable, and respectful to God.

Plus, if you’re single, and looking for a good Catholic man, I’m willing to bet cash-money you look great in a hat (hats are really good looking!!).

Women should wear hats (probably not a baseball cap though or anything like that), and Men should not wear hats.

Laus Deo

Couldn’t believe it - a few weeks ago, a woman two pews in front of me had on a sweat suit and a baseball hat for a Friday Mass. A baseball hat?

Surely, it would be ok to wear a suitable hat for the most important prayer we make during the day. But a baseball hat? :shrug:

Just my 2 cents.

God Bless!

There was a time when a Catholic woman did not even think about entering a church without some type of head covering. If necessary, she would take a handkerchief or even a Kleenex out of her purse and pin it to her head. The silliest I heard about is plopping a glove on top of the head just to have a "head covering."
It is a good thing that all that silliness has been put aside.
Nobody is going to laugh because a woman choose to wear a hat to Mass. A beret is a simple head covering. It will not distract anybody.
Sometimes I wear my beret which is a blue grey color. I also own a plaid “newsboy” style cap that I have worn to Mass.
In August, I am leaving for the Middle East. I expect that I will be wearing a scarf out respect for the country’s customs.
In the days when the Church mandated the wearing of head covering, there were women who wore hats out of vanity. They had to have the latest style. Have you read the Willis comic strip in which the women in his church try to outdo themselves?

Hi Student 09,

Around the time I was entering the Church I felt called to cover my head when I went to Mass. I couldn’t figure out why it was just a feeling that kept getting stronger and stronger. And I was so worried that everyone would think that I was doing it for “holier than thou” reasons. It took me about a year before I got up the courage to wear a chapel veil to Mass. And I did get some weird looks and some compliments. Now I have a nice little collection, from knit caps, to chapel veils to summer hats (target has some great ones every once in a while). The summer hats always get lots of compliments and my baby who is almost one loves to play peekaboo with them. The veils were a bit tougher because she’d rip them off my head, which is probably why I’m leaning towards hats at the moment. But really, people have reacted much more positively than I expected, and it’s made lots of people smile! :slight_smile: Now it seems silly how much I worried in the beginning, but it was a very real concern!

All the years I raised my children I worked in the very heart of the Church as a church secretary . . . and I had a profound and prayerful experience in and with our Lord . . . along with other members of our church . . . similar to that shared by RedSoxWife above . . . and am now also one who . . . always . . . wears a head covering whenever in church . . . or at prayer . . . ***this is a very holy and devout practice that has been honored within the Church . . . all over the world . . . for centuries . . . and is rapidly gaining a resurgence of practice among Catholic women . . . Many women wear head coverings in our Church . . . and consider also . . . have you ever seen a picture or a statue in church of the Holy Mother . . . ***the Blessed Virgin Mary ****. . . without a head covering . . . ? . . . ** In all her apparitions which have been approved by the Church . . . she always has worn a head covering . . . nuns following in the Holy Mother’s holy footsteps . . . for centuries have worn head coverings . . . and I’m very comfortable following the Holy Mother’s example . . . as are a multitude of women I know . . . Just a little FYI note: Catholic tradition is . . . if wearing a veil for a head covering . . . white is for the unmarried women . . . black for the married . . .

:bible1: First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians
[size=](Douay Rheims Version, Revised by Bishop Richard Challoner)
- Chapter 11

*Women must have a covering over their heads. … *

1 Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. 7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. *10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.

[Bishop Challoner’s Footnote for Verse] 10 “A power”… that is, a veil or covering, as a sign that she is under the power of her husband: and this, the apostle adds, because of the angels, who are present in the assemblies of the faithful.

Pope Pius XII stated that the **Douay Rheims Version of the **Holy :bible1: Bible was "free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals." . . . . . . St. Jerome . . . pray for us . . . thank You Lord !

. . . :byzsoc: . . .

Many churches within our Apostolic Holy Roman Catholic Church . . . since the 1960’s . . . have . . . for some reason . . . discarded many holy things . . . including among them . . . nuns holy habits . . . head coverings for women . . . crucifixes in church . . . removing our Eucharistic Lord from the sanctuary . . . etc. . . . but many nuns have returned . . . and others are returning . . . in deepest humility . . . to the wearing of the holy habit of humility . . .* Mother Angelica’s group of nuns in the Our Lady of the Angels Monestary in Hanceville, Alabama is a beautiful example *. . . all of which holy habits have head coverings as a part of same . . . Both Catholics and protestants wore head coverings for . . . centuries . . . and within the Protestant community . . . whom Pope John XXIII called the . . . "separated brethren" . . . like many nuns today. . . wear head coverings . . . For example: within the large German Baptist Congregation women all wear head coverings to this day, as do the Menonites, Hutterites, and Amish . . . just to mention a few relatively large groups . . . they are all obediently following the above referenced Sacred Scripture from the New Testament of the Holy :bible1: Bible . . . and have never stopped in their obedience to ***God’s Holy Word ***. . . even as many nuns over the centuries have never given up their holy habits . . . In my prayer group we always have worn head coverings . . . have for years . . . *and are very content to do so . . . *You can never go wrong honoring and following the Blessed St. Paul . . . who is one of the most revered Saints in our Holy Catholic Church . . .

*God’s sweetest blessings . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus +
. . . thank You Holy Mother+

To be sure in India women wear a sari to church. It may not cover the entire head at every moment of the Mass. But you would never see a woman go to Holy Communion without pulling it forward to cover the head. They are a very reverent people.

Wearing a hat at mass for a woman is completely optional. Wear it or don’t as you please. I wouldn’t give it a moments thought. If anyone asks, say I felt like wearing it or not wearing it, as the case may be.

. . . without a head covering . . . ? . . . In all her apparitions which have been approved by the Church . . ./QUOTE]

Neither has she been seen wearing a skirt shorter than ankle length. Or trousers or jeans.

So should women never wear those?

Certainly women should always dress modestly when entering into a Church (and hopefully at other times as well). But that is a completely other topic, which we have argued over and over on other threads (and I haven’t been on here for very long!).

Personally, I wear dresses, not shorter than knee level, to Church, not pants or shorts. But again, that is really a different thread. :slight_smile:

i just wanted to comment on this. if you think a woman wears her mantilla to be prideful you are so wrong. it means the exact opposite. when God made man it was in His image. man was lonely so God made woman for man.
men do not cover their heads in mass because they are the image of God. God need not ever cover His head. since woman is made for man. by covering our heads, it is an outward sign and act of humility to God for all of mankind.
the head-covering, no matter what kind, in mass is an act of humility!!!

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