Why do so many husbands allow their wives to worship without a hat?!?

Most of the time, I feel like the Bible is a very serious thing – a great educational tool, actually.

But then I read something like 1 Corinthians 5-7…

And I start to wonder, where do you guys draw the line? There’s so many rules in the Bible… and you make it so you believe you can ignore those in the Old Testament, because they are dietary and not divine.

Umm… OK. So what about the New Testament?

Basically, Paul doesn’t care for the dietary rules/laws, so he abolishes them more or less, saying that Christ Jesus has freed us from these “shackles”. But Paul also believes that women should cover their heads during worship. And if she doesn’t cover her head, then Paul believes she should shave her head… which would be a shameful thing.

I dunno about you guys, but I find Paul to very OPINIONATED. Even tho he understands that Christ Jesus rewrote all the laws for us, he still wants to believe that men should have short hair, women should have long hair [and wear a hat!]. Did Jesus die on the Cross for my right, as a man, to have long hair? … or, as a woman, to NOT wear a hat to worship?

I knew of one elderly woman who went to church with a hat. One woman. That was it!

So I repeat… how could you husbands allow your wife to worship without a hat??? HOW DARE YOU!!


My suggestion, friend…is before you say "How Dare You:…to us on here, that you first go in fronht of a mirror and ask…How dare you (pointing at yourself)…interpret this passage without actually understanding what the context is?

I can only assume you are (making) a joke here, so here goes:

What! That adds at LEAST 8 minutes to the getting ready to go ritual! :smiley:

Sometimes I just crack my self up! Especially 3 hours after I should have fallen alseep!

Nighty night all!

If I tell my wife that she’s got to wear a hat to mass…

she’ll jam it so for down on my head that she’ll have to drive.


Actually, the problem comes with the English translation. In Greek the word for woman and wife is the same. That’s because there was no such thing as teenage years back then. You were a child, then you were married. Same with the word for man and husband, they are the same word. So, in the present passage (1 Cor 11), Paul is referring to a custom among the Jews, of married women wearing some sort of head covering while in public. This was the equivalent of our modern day engagement/wedding ring. It let people in the market place know that this woman is unavailable. A woman, therefore, seen in the market place without a veil on was either not yet married or a prostitute. The remnant of this custom is still seen in our wedding services even here in the US were a wedding veil is considered part of the wedding outfit for the woman. Traditionally, from that day forward, the woman would always put some sort of scarf or cloth on her head when she went out of the house to indicate that she was now married.

The Jews also had in their Law the rules about public distinction of men and women. Men were to dress like men, keep their hair no longer then shoulder length, and well, be men. A man that dressed like a woman or had long hair would be considered a homosexual. Women were to dress like women, keep their hair longer then shoulder length, and well, be women, etc.

In Corinth, however, things were different. Married women did not cover their heads when in public. In Greek society, education was a major status symbol. A sign that a man was educated was to have long hair.

Imagine the problem in the Church in Corinth. One Sunday a Christian Jew arrives from Jerusalem. He is shocked to find upon entering that all the women in the church appear to be unmarried and available. But then he realizes why when he sees that all the men appear to be homosexuals…:confused::eek:

Fr. Sebastian

That was so interesting, thanks for the info Fr. Sebastian.


Yes, the Protestant lack of a Magesterium really does leave them in a quandary. The Catholic Church has no such issue. We know what the liturgical rubrics are, what the displines are, what the doctrines and dogmas are.

One of the things I recall from JFK’s funeral in the 60’s was his wife not wearing a veil at the funeral service. It was remarked on by the media, somewhat scandalously. Reading Father Sebastian’s excellent summary explain’s that episode a little better! Though I Doubt Jackie Kennedy was advertising her newfound availability to the male population!

Here it turns out Paul was trying to bridge a cultural gap and not just making up arbitrary rules! Thanks for this!

That was Peter. Peter had a vision prior to Cornelius’ visit, and connected it with Jesus’ teachings that what goes into a man does not make him unclean, and Peter pronounced it at the Council of Jerusalem. Paul’s teaching was in line with that.

But Paul also believes that women should cover their heads during worship. And if she doesn’t cover her head, then Paul believes she should shave her head… which would be a shameful thing.

This was first century Roman and near east modesty, and modesty for many centuries after that. However, it’s not a theological teaching. Hats don’t make you clean or unclean. The Church has the authority to bind and loose such disciplines, as befits the current times and places. Paul was not speaking of an eternal law, but helping to address specific Church customs and problems and complaints of his time.

It is difficult sometimes to know where to draw the line. That’s why Christ gave us the Church, so laypeople don’t have to make all of those determinations.

Great comments by FatherSebastian in this topic.

Thank you Mary, but I can’t take the credit for it. What I said there regarding Jewish custom and the veil in brief is a summary of what you will read on in the articles on the veil in the Old and New Catholic Encyclopedias that I read many years ago. The problem in Corinth is explained by St. John Chrysostom in his commentary on 1 Corinthians.

In Christ,
Fr. Sebastian

Just discover (through my wonderful wife of 36 years and 1 day) that Jackie Kennedy DID wear a veil! My childhood is a lie! Woe is me! Moving on, will the Cubs win another world series? :slight_smile:


Hmm… My Church of England days saw far more dress code and modesty than I have seen in RC, and at no time in formation were issues such as these raised.

There is a Church in the Scottish Isles, Gaelic psalm chanting and all th ewomen HAVE to wear hats. Not scarves or veils but hats.

And the Amish?


The Church interprets scripture, advises what is a theological and moral teaching (or what the theological or moral teaching is underlying a specific discipline), etc…

I made no comparison to protestants or reformed denominatioms. Just advising on part of the role of the Church.

If only Jesus left behind a system whereby living people could faithfully pass on and interpret Scripture and Tradition to answer these types of questions…

Oh wait, He did. I believe it’s called the “Catholic Church.” :slight_smile:

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Really? There’s a difference between individual Protestant churches you know. The Lutheran and Anglican (Episcopalian) have a liturgical structure very similar to the Catholic church. There are norms in these churches and similar ones.

You have got to be kidding.

Primarily because we are not living in 1st century Corinth.

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