Author Topic: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline JamesR

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Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« on: May 19, 2012, 02:23:32 PM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 03:52:23 PM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

Ask them why men wear them when Paul says not to.

For 151st time. Arguably the most overblown and poorly exegeted Pauline passage ever.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 04:39:40 PM »
The best post I ever read on the topic was this one:

Quote
Quote
...but how does it stand in importance, next to, say, the Holy Mysteries of the Church?

Good question?

Seems whenever this issue is discussed the question you ask is never asked.

Ordaination is a Holy Sacrament.

Only the 'ordained' and or the 'tonsured' is allowed to wear head covering in the church. Such as the priests, bishops, and deacons particularly archdeacons, nuns, monks etc.

Only one exception is: 'Women'

Sorry no men allowed; unless they are 'ordained' or 'tonsured' monks.

Women however; are permitted to stand with the 'ordained' and the 'tonsured' just by her nature.

This is a special gift that women are blessed with which is grounded in holiness evidenced throughout the scripture and ancient church tradition. 'She' is co-opted with the holy order without having to be given election or permissions.

'She' is thus priviledged. Blessed among the blessed.

Seems that men are the ones who are denied in the church NOT women.

Men are relegated to the left side and women to the 'right' side of the church. This is very much a proof of holiness and acceptance.

The covering is a crown. It is an immense and glorious symbol of embrace and love of God and his unity - oneness with His Holy Church that only a women can truly exhibit. Christ said "I am the groom and the church is my bride".  This is the nature of our true holy orthodox heritage.

Each man and wife are a microcosm of Christ and His Church. Each women in her faith is a bride of Christ.

Every Sunday, every day really..is the wedding and the wedding feast.

It is unfortunate that the vail for the women (except for weddings the "fashion" aspect is the only holding power in this case) is abhored by some women who misunderstand and are not being properly guided and educated about who women are in the holy faith. Thus they have "thrown the baby out with the bath water". They have discarded the blessing of God rendering it as something worthless not realizing that such regard is actually a measure of whom they are in the faith.

We are a holy people; chosen...a holy nation.

Imagine a "holy nation" that likes that they are "holy" but prefers to embrace all things contrary to that holiness. It is their right. But what is to be made of it?

It is like a clergymen that prefers to be seen and treated as a laymen but still be a clergymen. It may be his right but what is to be made of him? Can a priest, deacon etc. do his duty in jeans and an old Led Zeplin T shirt?  Maybe?......

It is like all else in our true faith. We must decide on how much of our blessing we are willing to keep and love. It is not an obligation. It is a gift from God.

How fast we loose our way.




http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17124.msg248030.html#msg248030

Offline Zenovia

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 09:59:55 PM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

Headcovering seems absurd in our present day when some people are entering churches half naked, (shame on them), but a woman's hair at one time was a distraction.  There was an attractive teenager in my church with lovely hair who had the odd habit of running her fingers through it every so often.  Now if it distracted me and I'm an old woman, can you imagine the boys.  What was even worse it made the women sin.  You should have heard the gossip  about her.  ;)

Anyway in the Byzantine world women covered the lower part of their faces as well.  Modesty was considered a virtue.  Ah for the good old days.   :D

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 10:53:08 PM »
Odd thing to report today: my Lutheran mother just happened to come to Church briefly.  I went upstairs to see her wearing a scarf (I don't think I've ever seen her wear one anywhere, ever) that she brought.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 01:36:05 AM »
Good for her.   :)

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 06:10:49 AM »
Odd thing to report today: my Lutheran mother just happened to come to Church briefly.  I went upstairs to see her wearing a scarf (I don't think I've ever seen her wear one anywhere, ever) that she brought.

Strange. My Lutheran mother always covers her head in church and always has done. Of course, it's with a hat rather than a scarf (that's the usual thing in German culture, I believe) but she'd never step foot in any church without some form of covering. It was appreciated by the babuscas at my wedding also - in fact the only women in the church who didn't cover their heads were the young girls from the town. We were married in my wife's ancestral village where covering is so much the norm, even outside of church, that my wife says she's never even seen her grandmother's hair. I certainly haven't.

James
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 06:17:03 AM »
Not to derail the subject, but since the Lutherans have been brought up: my in-laws are Lutheran, MO Synod.  I've been to their church two or three times and not a single woman has ever had her hair covered. 
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 06:28:35 AM »
Not to derail the subject, but since the Lutherans have been brought up: my in-laws are Lutheran, MO Synod.  I've been to their church two or three times and not a single woman has ever had her hair covered. 

Well my mother is from a tiny town about half way between Hannover and Bremen in Germany, so she's both from the countryside (where these sorts of traditions generally persist longer) and from Germany. From what I gather German Lutherans and American ones seem quite different. In any case my mother is and always has been disparaging about women going to church uncovered, which strangely meant that she fitted in better at the Romanian village church where I was married than my Romanian Orthodox 'towny' guests did, at least in this one regard.

James
We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 10:26:27 AM »
Not so long ago hats and headcoverings for women were the standard - for all churches. I remember the beautiful hats that my mother and grandmother wore to the Lutheran church - (and btw, my great-granny would have as soon paraded downtown in her slip as to appear without a hat and gloves!) and my Catholic grandmother always wore lace mantillas.
In African-American churches, the ladies still wear hats, especially the older ladies.
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Offline dcommini

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 10:38:29 AM »
N/OblSB

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Offline Big Chris

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2012, 10:38:56 AM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

When I was going through RCIA at my old Catholic parish, I once pulled the priest aside to ask him about this very thing.  At the time, I was engaging in an unhealthy amount of apologetics with Muslims, and the Muslims all defend their use of wearing the hijab (veil) by, ironically, pointing to St. Paul (ironic because most Muslims despise St. Paul, claiming that he corrupted the gospel).  My priest just looked at me and said, "It was a custom for a time, now it's not," then turned and walked away.

For the record, I find the women who wear veils to be more distracting than the ones who don't.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 12:43:19 PM »
Best defense of head coverings eva:

"Christian America is finally waking up to what fraternities and biker gangs have known for years: hazing works!"

Offline Azul

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 01:42:34 PM »
because they can..

headcoverings can be a piety engulfed with mystery and spiritual beauty for a woman.. just look in the indian culture..
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Offline Big Chris

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 01:54:56 PM »
Best defense of head coverings eva:



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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 02:15:54 PM »
Not me, just my future wife (I have resolved to marry her, as soon as I can find her)...
"Christian America is finally waking up to what fraternities and biker gangs have known for years: hazing works!"

Offline Ergib

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 02:35:23 PM »
Why do we wear head-coverings at church or elsewhere?

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2012, 03:52:10 PM »
Not to derail the subject, but since the Lutherans have been brought up: my in-laws are Lutheran, MO Synod.  I've been to their church two or three times and not a single woman has ever had her hair covered. 

Well my mother is from a tiny town about half way between Hannover and Bremen in Germany, so she's both from the countryside (where these sorts of traditions generally persist longer) and from Germany. From what I gather German Lutherans and American ones seem quite different. In any case my mother is and always has been disparaging about women going to church uncovered, which strangely meant that she fitted in better at the Romanian village church where I was married than my Romanian Orthodox 'towny' guests did, at least in this one regard.

James

My mother-in-law is from the countryside as well.  But I think it goes deeper than German and American culture.  What I see as the reason why women don't cover their heads (generally speaking) has to do with the Baby Boomer culture and the following Gen. X. who have been influenced by Feminism, which in turn gave birth to the Women's Liberation Movement.  The Boomer generation (which gave us Feminism and it's offshoot, Women's Liberation) is, in general, "associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values". 
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Offline LakaYaRabb

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2012, 04:05:17 PM »
Quote
For the record, I find the women who wear veils to be more distracting than the ones who don't.

Hmm. It's strange, I find distractions are the most distracting for me.   

Offline gonefishing

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2012, 08:12:35 PM »

Headcovering seems absurd in our present day when some people are entering churches half naked, (shame on them), but a woman's hair at one time was a distraction.  There was an attractive teenager in my church with lovely hair who had the odd habit of running her fingers through it every so often.  Now if it distracted me and I'm an old woman, can you imagine the boys.  What was even worse it made the women sin.  You should have heard the gossip  about her.  ;)


Anyway in the Byzantine world women covered the lower part of their faces as well.  Modesty was considered a virtue.  Ah for the good old days.   :D

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Offline That person

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2012, 08:44:43 PM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

Ask them why men wear them when Paul says not to.

For 151st time. Arguably the most overblown and poorly exegeted Pauline passage ever.
So what does a good exegesis on the passage look like?


Not me, just my future wife (I have resolved to marry her, as soon as I can find her)...
I too, have known the pain of falling for stock photo girls.

Sigh...

Anyhow, in the Bible, long hair is often symbolic of glory. So maybe covering your hair is a sign of humility and encouraging focus on God's glory rather than His creation's. Just a though.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2012, 08:49:08 PM »
Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

Headcovering seems absurd in our present day when some people are entering churches half naked, (shame on them), but a woman's hair at one time was a distraction.  There was an attractive teenager in my church with lovely hair who had the odd habit of running her fingers through it every so often.  Now if it distracted me and I'm an old woman, can you imagine the boys.  What was even worse it made the women sin.  You should have heard the gossip  about her.  ;)

Anyway in the Byzantine world women covered the lower part of their faces as well.  Modesty was considered a virtue.  Ah for the good old days.   :D

If you are around women who for weeks only wear head coverings all day, then you end up going out to a regular public place where women do not, you would probably think in a different way.  It is very exposing, and I think males notice it more than we think.
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Why Do Women Wear Headcoverings?
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2012, 10:04:11 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Really old and overdone topic, but rather than sparking debate about it I am simply asking what are the theological reasons why the Church encourages headcoverings for women and why did St. Paul recommend it? I read his reasoning in the Epistle where he discusses headcoverings but I had trouble understanding it.

It is a Semitic cultural trait preserved well into the European Old World. In fact, seemingly it dominates the entire Old World, and considering how traditional such as been adopted amongst Latin American Catholics, it seems obvious that it was pre-Columbian New World too.. It is cultural, not necessarily religious.  Paul was mentioning the cultural aspects and reaffirming them.  Women wear head coverings out of modesty, but in the Ethiopian Church men also wear coverings in the Church.  That being said, I have learned from direct and tangible experience the spiritual benefits of prayer shawls.  Further in my Rastafari experience as a dreadlock I wore headcoverings 24/7 for 8 solid years, so I know a bit about wearing headcoverings.  It is a spiritual humility, it is a spiritual self-awareness, it is a spiritual politeness.  When I wore headcoverings, it was to be humble in the community, and to be tangibly focused on prayerful meditation.  When we men were prayer shawls in the Church, we are reminded of humility and further to cling to God because of our inherent weakness.  We are covered because our sins make us vulnerable before God.   We are covered because of the Almighty power of God, and we acknowledge our nakedness like Adam even when clothed!!  I feel then it can perhaps be the same with women.  When we expect or appreciate women wearing head coverings, it is not a punishment or some kind of prudish reactionary response to sexuality, after all, I can't speak for y'all, but women with coverings and shawls are just as attractive to me as anyway else, if not a bit more because of the allure of mystery ;)  That being said, what shawls and headcoverings do is (a) serve a constant reminded to stay faithful in prayer and humility and (b) to remind on-lookers the be the same.  After all, I would feel its not a punishment on women on behalf of men's sexuality, rather it seems that because God acknowledges that in reality women are the strength of Faith in the world, that these are obligated to remain stronger in constant prayer.  Women raise our families in the Lord, women cool the anger of the world, women pick up ALL the slack and do MOST of the work, and so essentially women make the world go round.  In this way, since women in God's eye and our societies clearly play the more integral role, they also have the more spiritual responsibility as leaders of our families and communities to be all the more humble, prayerful, and spiritual.  Men wear prayer shawls in the Ethiopian and also Jewish traditions as tangible reminder of prayer, and I would assume that with women it is the same experience.  This of course, is just my speculative opinion.

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habte selassie
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