Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Womanly Wednesdays: Head Coverings

Every time I write a Womanly Wednesdays post I feel the need to put a disclaimer as the topic may be controversial. This time is no different and I hope that everyone can be respectful, these are my opinions and interpretations, and yours might be different :).

Head Coverings

Living in America we rarely see head coverings on women unless they are Amish, Mennonite, or Muslim. We ASSUME that these women are one of the following. As a general look Christian women do not often wear head coverings full time.  I say this is controversial because it is all about interpretations of the Bible, which is different to almost every individual. As I have researched and personally saw women head coverings this is what I have discovered...

When I first moved into my college town, I realized that I was among a large population of Apostolic Christian women. In the Apostolic Christian denomination the women often do not cut their hair, and most of the time have it up in public, covered by a head covering "doily" looking fabric. There is more to what most of these women are convicted to do , but that shall be for another time. This denomination often references the verse

 1 Corinthians 11:15 " But every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven"

When talking to a friend who is Apostolic Christian she interprets this as , her hair is her glory, thus she must never cut it. Her glory is for her husband thus she may not let other men see it, which is why it is often worn in a bun/up-do ( These women get super creative too though!). It is covered by a small piece of fabric ( they do range in size) such as this...

The women of the Apostolic Pentecostal denomination are often confused with Apostolic Christian women as they have similar convictions when it comes to dress, however one main thing is that women of the Apostolic Pentecostal denomination do not wear a head covering, and you see many of their long tresses ( And I meant LONG! My friend has hers below her knees!) let down or styled however they want.

Such as these lovely ladies :)

When asked why such a difference in a bible verse my friend replied that...

1 Corinthians 11:15
"But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering"

Since it says  a woman's head is like her covering, her glory that we must not cut our hair, but our hair is like our crown, our covering. 

Amish women and Mennonite women alike wear head coverings full time. This of course differs church to church and my good friend Liz is Mennonite and does not wear a covering, however, a church 10 miles down from her, also Mennonite, the ladies adorn bonnets and the like. 

My reasoning for showing such difference is that the above denominations are Christian, but "rules", convictions  interpretations differ from church. However, women that are Muslim are often seen in a hijab, head scarf or something similar. Head-coverings in this faith  are often seen as the "norm" unlike Christian denominations where if you do wear a covering you are more than likely automatically categorized in to one of the a fore mentioned.

By the way, all the information above is what I have researched as well as what my sources (friends) explain to me. I do not mean to hurt anyone with the information or misrepresent!

Anyway, as a Catholic women, I often pondered the idea of a head covering for myself. 

I wanted to wear a covering for the following reasons;
  • I like the idea of showing my hair to only my husband ( and family)
  • I do want to live biblically, and as a good Catholic ( although I fail, every single day one way or another!)
  • I look upon our blessed mother , as see that she too, wears a covering.
  • Modesty

Why I do not want to wear a head covering;
  • I understand that women of the bible wore coverings, as that was the culture during Christ time, but that opens a whole other can of worms on basically every bible verse there is.
  • I want to be modest, and part of modesty is not bringing attention to ones self, and head coverings often do just that, because it is not the "norm"
  • I want the "holier than thou" stigma put upon myself, as this is between Jesus and I, but other do not understand that. 
  • Women in all of the Catholic churches I have been too do not wear a covering.

Why I am confused about coverings;
  • If I were to contemplate wearing a head covering do I do it full time? Just to Mass and Adoration? Just during Adoration?
  • Is my cut hair, enough to be a covering on its own?

When pondering anything in life I often turn to a priest, the Catechism, the Bible and prayer. 
What I found was that up until about 40 years ago women DID cover at Mass, however in the new Catechism it isn't a must. So it comes down to conviction. Back tracking a little back to the other denominations that I mentioned such as the Pentecostal and Apostolic Christian. These women are convicted to wear a head covering. This is true to a point. My former boss was part of the Apostolic Christian church and she did not adorn a head covering nor modest clothing. She was asked to leave her home church and had to find another. When I went to visit these churches I had a friendly reminder from my friends that I should wear a skirt and hair up. A church near my area just recently lost many members as the preacher required women to wear a covering full time, sleeves no shorter than elbow length and no skirts higher than the ankle, this cost some controversy, and many women left.

 I think a conviction is between myself and the Lord, and my future husband. I think my decision still requires much prayer, but most importantly before I wear a veil, I must wear a veil on my heart. My accepting to wear the veil, I must accept the place that God gives women in the church, in family and society. My wearing a veil is  wanting to imitate Our Lady in her humility, submissiveness, and obedience to Christ.

I hope everyone is having a great week!
Trust in The Lord!

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