Someone sent me this link that they found on another site. It’s rather interesting. I haven’t finished looking at all of the pictures. However, having looked at many and remembering some of the habits that sisters and nuns wore prior to Vatican II, I have to say that I can’t blame them for laying them aside.
Some of them look impractical, time consuming in maintenance, and unbecoming, to use the word from Perfectae Caritatis. That’s not my word, so don’t blame me for it. For years I wondered why the Council Fathers decided to say that the modified habit should be “becoming”. Having grown up around Franciscans, Dominicans and Sisters of St. Joseph, the term unbecoming didn’t really hit home with me, because those habits were simple and though not beautiful, they certainly were not what I would call unbecoming.
Even today, the Dominican and Franciscan habits with their simpler veils are rather “becoming”. Probably because they’re very simple. But not all of these habits were simple.
I’m just wondering how many of those who mourn for the days when the sisters wore the old habits would wear some of these outfits.
Mind you, I’m not advocating for no habit. I for one wear a habit. Our habit is very simple. It’s a tunic that you throw over your head as you would a nightshirt and gird your waist with a cincture. Voila! You’re dressed. When it needs washing, you throw it in the washer, then dryer, pull it out and put it on. No big deal, no long hours of ironing, starching, sewing or pinning anything together. To me, that’s simplicity.
Anyway, I regress to my question. How many of those people who mourn the old habits would wear one?
I found one that I thought was rather interesting, but seems most cumbersome.
I vaguely remember seeing the Sisters of Mercy in their old habit; but I can’t recall where. It was many years ago. I was struck by the double collar with the starch. I’ve always wondered why men’s habits were never that complicated.
The most complicated men’s habits that I can think of are the Dominican and Carmelite Friars, which is the same habit in different colors. Even that habit is not complicated. There is nothing to pin or starch. It’s just heavy, because it has many layers when you put on the mantle and the outer capuche, not a big deal, especially if it’s cool outside.
Here is the link to the rest of the site.