Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Should women wear hats to church?

A few days ago I attended my niece’s christening in Dublin and as part of my outfit I decided to wear one of my vintage pillbox hats. 
One of my boys asked me if it was ok to wear the hat in the church? 
I told him yes, off course!! 
A very interesting matter indeed so I decided to write a short post about it as it might be interesting for you too!!

Other than in cold climates, headwear is not necessary for protection from the elements. In reality, they are useless but very visible items of decoration with a rather symbolic significance.
People wear them for many different reasons: ceremonial, religious, safety, authority, respect, fashion, social status, power, rank in military services, work, royalty...etc 
Etiquette and formality have played a very important part in hat wearing. 
From 1917 until 1983, the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law mandated that women wear veils or other head covering at mass.
Since 1983 this was changed and now there are no official rules regarding women’s head covering and most women do not wear veils or hats to mass. 
Wearing such head coverings is not considered improper, but rather a choice often made by more traditional hat lovers.
So...it is perfectly ok to wear your favorite hat at Sunday mass!!! 
Wedding, Christening, Communion and Funeral masses in the Catholic Church have different standards of etiquette for women’s head covering than Sunday masses.
At a wedding mass, only the bride can wear a veil, which usually matches the color and style of her wedding gown, and may cover all or some of the hair if she wishes. 
Other women at the mass may go without head covering, or wear a tasteful hat, fascinator or headpiece in a color or style appropriate to the rest of their outfit.
At funerals, black mourning veils or black hats may be worn by the deceased’s widow, mother and daughter(s). Other women at the funeral mass may wear modest, black or dark-colored hats.

While etiquette’s rules for women regarding head covering can be complicated, etiquette for men is quite simple. 
While it is not mandated by the Church, according to the 1983 Canon Law, men are NOT to wear hats in church for any reason, as it is considered improper to do so whether the hat is formal or casual.

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