Why are priests and others allowed to wear head coverings at Mass?


There are three Franciscan friars who go to Mass at my parish. They wear brown zucchettos. There exist birettas, mitres, and other such things. I’m sure that there is a reason for this, but what is that reason in light of what Saint Paul said about males and head coverings? What was he referring to?


if we go all the way back to what St Paul said, and live by his rules, why don’t we all have parapets on our houses.


Priest in the OT wore vestments, an ephod and head coverings sometimes translated as mitres.

Also some of the priestly garb of today was inspired by royal courts and military uniforms.


A jewish commentary makes the observation that the yarmulkas Jewish men wear (also called kippas), is a tradition the relates to the calling of Israel as a nation of priests. The designated Aaronic and Levitical priests wore headgear. So, the object of Jewish men to wear a skullcap was to remind them of their priestly calling.

Yeah, I just read St Paul in 1 Co 10 or 11 about men having long hair and not covering their heads, which is the opposite of the modern tradition. So, the point is to remind them of their being a priestly people and a light for the nations.

Why the Catholic Church adopted its various headgear is more of an unknown to me. Someone was in /rome and bought me an authentic papal z. which cost E60 (wow). It’s too small for my head. i am waiting for the right occasion to wear it to church. (why not?)


I’m sure there is a doctrinal answer to your question, but I will fall back on sacred tradition. Most of modern American homes don’t require parapets. There are senses of scripture and the literal is only the starting point for interpretation and understanding of a verse.


the vestments that clerics wear at Mass are very fancy and expensive. At Mass, the priest act in the person of Christ, and the vestments reflect Jesus’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. It’s thus much more that simply a throwback to old times for sentimental reasons.


do you miss my point or do you yet llustrate it wonderfully.

we are reading the New testament , written in a different time, a different place, a different culture and at at time where it was dangerous to be Christian and a political crime to declare the Divinity of Jesus.

So we must interpret what Paul said, first in light of what he was saying to his audience, his churches.

then we must ask ourselves, what of this is relevant to modern society, how does it relate to me,

What is God saying to me in this passage, how is God expressing His love and Salvation History to me?


we must also reflect the fact that the Bishop takes his hat off when he approaches the altar in the liturgy of the Eucharist


If women don’t have to cover their heads anymore, wouldn’t it be okay for guys to wear hats to Mass?


Not only the bishop but all clergy. The altar server who is holding the bishop´s mitre is busy during Mass. Mitre on. Mitre off. Mitre on. Mitre off. :joy:


Does the Pope remove his zucchetto when approaching the altar, or at any other popint during Mass? I don’t think so.


When the zucchetto is worn it is worn outdoors, indoors and, if a bishop, in the liturgy. Other clerics are supposed to leave them in the sacristy. Within the liturgy if the prelate is not celebrating it is removed briefly when reverencing the altar. It is removed at the Sanctus and restored before the Our Father, during which it is worn. Noonan notes that some prelates have started removing them during the Gospel and Our Father, but this is against long-standing custom and law. The zucchetto is removed in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, in procession of the Blessed Sacrament and during veneration of, or blessing with, a relic of the True Cross. They are also removed in the presence of the Holy Father, except during the liturgy, when it is worn as previously stated. However, it is briefly removed as a reverential acknowledgement when addressing the Holy Father or referring to him in a liturgical or other public discourse at which he is present.



This is exactly what has made me realize recently that the idea that women must literally cover their heads in church cannot be understood literally as many traditionalists say. The meaning of these verses, as of all of scripture, is spiritually understood.


The Master of Ceremonies does it for him.

Try this video, posted by the Vatican, go to time 55:40


In the context of the Mass, the Pope is like any other bishop.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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