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Source: (consider it) Thread: head covering
Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Up until the early 70s I would never go into a church without my head covered -- even if it was not for a service. I was surprised how quickly that custom ended.

(Episcopal Church in the U.S.)

Several things happened close in time to each other in the 60s to reduce the previously almost universal wearing of hats when out doors (men, women sometimes also indoors).

Bouffant hair styles started showing up in the late 50s, but a hat squished the hair down and you looked terrible after taking off the hat. Being socially required to wear a hat in church but also to look good hatless at lunch after church was impossibly frustrating. I remember buying a ribbon on a comb to be the token required "hat" for church to reduce damage to the hairdo. (Before bouffant, hair dos were petty much flat - pincurls, braids, close cropped.)

Also the general 60s cultural rebellion against the rigidly rule-bound 50s culture. The 60s revolution was very much about challenging the old norms. Hats (as well as oppression of blacks and women via such things as unequal opportunity or pay) were another pointless social norm

Also cars got smaller, man or woman you couldn't wear a hat inside a VW bug, older styles of car had lots more headroom. More compact streamlined cars made hats impractical.

In my Episcopal church, a "pillar of the church" named Dorothy sat down front. One day she showed up hatless. The next week 80% of women did not wear a hat to church. The revolution was eagerly waiting to happen.

(I think also Vatican 2 quietly eliminated the hats for women requirement in the late 60s; that would influence people as part of the general looking around to see what others are doing.)

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Galilit
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I can remember Mum taking my brother and i shopping for a "hat for church" in Wellington, Aotearoa-New Zealand in 1965.
We found a lovely one in cafe-au-lait straw with a matching ribbon and a toning flower. We told Mum she was so beautiful. I'll never forget that day.
I think maybe she had one more hat after that one for suburban Presbyterian services.

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Baker
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Here in Topeka, Kansas, USA, I know of only one congregation that absolutely requires their women to cover the head in church. That's the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, they of the hateful picketing practise.

I grew up Lutheran and women stopped wearing hats before women wearing pants outfits appeared.

I'm now Episcopal and from pictures I can see they wore hats into the late sixties, but it's not done now.

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North East Quine

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At 0.57 in this clip the camera looks down on the congregation from the balcony of a church on Lewis and at 2.17 the camera pans along from behind. Most of the women are wearing hats. These are the sort of hats women wore to church in winter when I was a girl. Summer hats were more brightly coloured.

(Watch the whole clip for truly glorious psalm singing.)

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Angloid
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Beautiful singing! Beautiful faces!

The precentor's accent when speaking English sounded more Irish than Scots to me. Is that typical or isn't he a local?

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North East Quine

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That's a proper Western Isles accent.

It is beautiful, isn't it?

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Enoch
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North East Quire, you'll probably tell me I'm talking nonsense but in my experience first language Gaelic speakers have a very distinctive accent when speaking Scottish English, even when they are fully fluent in it - in a way that is much more noticeable than with first language Welsh speakers.

The other things that I find curious is that most of the Gaelic tunes are theoretically the same tunes as appear in the psalms section of the Church Hymnary in English, but sound nothing like their English versions.

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North East Quine

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I agree, Enoch, there's no disguising a Western Isles accent. I don't know any native Welsh speakers, so can't compare.
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Albertus
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Some are identifiable, not so much from their accents as from their general way of speaking English, as first-language Welsh speakers, but most aren't. But then I imagine that first-langauge Welsh speaking has a wider geographical and perhaps class spread than Gaelic, so a wider range of accents in both Welsh and English.

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georgiaboy
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Two mileposts I recall:

1. I was in high school (so about 1955) when our small Methodist church choir jumped 'up the candle' enough to acquire robes. (They were an abominable burgundy color.) There was much discussion if the women should take off their hats -- they decided to do so. (Canterbury caps and beanies were not considered, IIRC.)

2. I was in a large liturgical supply store in Chicago (this would have been around 1960). A group of women, the choir of a rather 'posh' African American church was shopping for new headgear. The sales person, a bit at a loss, said 'Well this is what we have, gesturing toward the shelves. The ladies were delighted and pounced immediately on -- wait for it -- violet silk birettas with amaranth piping and pompons. i'm not making that up, I swear!

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Angloid
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I knew a first-language Welsh speaker from a remote village who spoke English with a Mancunian accent, because her teacher was from Manchester. But she didn't speak English at all until about 10 or 11 years old.
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Albertus
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We have a friend who's a first-language Welsh Londoner, whose parents came from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen. So he speaks English with a Middlesex accent and Welsh with a Swansea Valley one.
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Jante
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I was part of the house church/restoration movement of the 1970's and 80's. WE were taught to wear head covering- for a long time a head scarf but when Dianna made ladies hats fashionable many of us wore hats. I can remember long discourses on Paul's views about head covering. then sometime around the end of the 80's early 90's there was a shift as it was decided that such teaching was counter productive when it came to mission. I went back to the C of E about that time where hat wearing had long since disappeared but over the years have often wondered about the issue and had arguments with myself over whether if I truly believed it was God's word I should still be wearing a head covering. I do wonder what my congregations would make of it if I presided at communion wearing a hat ( or head scarf)

[ 29. August 2016, 21:26: Message edited by: Jante ]

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John Holding

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Try a zuchetto.

John

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Graven Image
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I do remember when all female members of the choir wore little skull caps, and when the women guides at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. would all wear special hats. I have not been to the Cathedral in years, but something tells me they have ditched the head gear.
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Arethosemyfeet
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I've never been part of a church where women habitually covered their heads. I do, however, recall a conversation with a group of Muslim students of mine about head covering as a gesture of respect. I was teaching them in a school which had a mosque attached, and entrance was via the main prayer room. As I had to walk there from the train station I often wore a long coat and wide-brimmed hat to keep the rain off. Good Anglican that I am, I'd been raised to always remove my hate before entering church, and automatically applied that same rule for the prayer room. The Islamic tradition, of course, is that heads are covered in the prayer room, and the students consequently asked why I removed my hat at the door and were intrigued by the contrasting traditions.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Graven Image:
I do remember when all female members of the choir wore little skull caps, and when the women guides at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. would all wear special hats. I have not been to the Cathedral in years, but something tells me they have ditched the head gear.

A zucchetto does nothing for a woman's hairdo, but is excellent for those with male pattern baldness. In 50s and 60s Sydney churches of MOTR and above, it was common for men and women choristers to wear blue cassocks with Canterbury caps.

Upthread, someone noted the value of hats in warding off the sun's rays, especially in summer - it could have been Miss Amanda. Of course a toque is not much use for that. The Cancer Council strongly encourages hat wearing in summer, and we notice that many in the congregation at St Sanity, both men and women, follow that advice.

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I'd been raised to always remove my hate before entering church,

Excellent advice.
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North East Quine

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Our church Women's Group had a visiting Muslim speaker, talking about life as a Muslim in Scotland. We were discussing her choice of everyday clothing (long sleeved tops and trousers, plus hijab) and she said something about Christians having no tradition of female head covering. So we showed her 1 Cor 11 and she was stunned. She couldn't comprehend how anyone could criticise the hijab when we have similar rules in the Bible.
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Eutychus
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French Prime Minister Manuel Vals, who has been defending his anti-hijab campaign by appealing to the bare-breasted figure of Liberté, is in trouble for utterly failing to notice that in addition to bare boobs, she also sports a Phrygian cap.

Cultural blindness is a funny thing.

[ETA the BBC has just this minute supplied a link to the story!

[ 30. August 2016, 11:36: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Siegfried
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Hat wearing by women is still VERY common among predominantly African-American churches in the US--particularly in the south. I'm not sure if that's the case elsewhere in the US, or if it's died out.

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Siegfried
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SvitlanaV2
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The Black British Pentecostal congregations used to insist on hat-wearing for the women, but that rule seems to have been relaxed in many places now (although I think it's still retained in Apostolic/United Pentecostal congregations).

IME older black Christian women are more likely than any other women, even older white women, to wear hats to church in British congregations.

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Belle Ringer
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quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
Hat wearing by women is still VERY common among predominantly African-American churches in the US--particularly in the south. I'm not sure if that's the case elsewhere in the US, or if it's died out.

The woman's hat is often referred to as her crown. Has more to do with celebrating uniqueness and worth and joy in God (in contrast to mental depersonalizing weekday jobs) than "submission." article about crowns

But also, I'd forgotten that even in the 50s the Episcopalian choir ladies did not wear hats, looking back that seems startling in a rigidly "women must wear a hat in church" culture. But the choir was exclusively male in the 40s, probably when it integrated the choir just continued with the long standing choir costume of robes and bare head. I can't remember if we wore a hat to church and took it off to put on choir robes and put the hat on again to go to coffee. I'm going to guess yes, because being hatless just wasn't done. (And I still have a collection of gloves.)

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
Our church Women's Group had a visiting Muslim speaker, talking about life as a Muslim in Scotland. We were discussing her choice of everyday clothing (long sleeved tops and trousers, plus hijab) and she said something about Christians having no tradition of female head covering. So we showed her 1 Cor 11 and she was stunned. She couldn't comprehend how anyone could criticise the hijab when we have similar rules in the Bible.

Well, that's about a particular attitude to Scripture, isn't it? Most of the things that I dislike about the supposedly religiously-ordained customs of some Muslims are have their parallels in a kind of Christianity which I equally dislike. Not that I'd prevent people from dressing in almost any way they wish (I have been known to object to shops displaying T shirts with obscenities on them, but probably wouldn't have the guts to challenge someone who was wearing one, unless perhaps they turned up to church in it when I'd find them an alternative or a cover!). But there are ways in which I would rather some people, including some Muslims, didn't dress. That's my business, not theirs, though.

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Vidi Aquam
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Some women in Anglican churches (in the USA) wear chapel veils, but the majority do not. I have never seen a chapel veil in the mainline Episcopal Church.

In the tiny Old Roman Catholic chapel I attended in Boston, women sometimes wore the chapel veil on their heads, and sometimes just on their shoulders.

Chapel veils (as well as long skirts or dresses) are required for women attended the Traditional Latin Mass (at independent chapels or CMRI, SSPX, etc.). Often times there is someone standing at the door handing out veils if a woman shows up without one on. If not then there would usually be a sign on the wall and/or in the bulletin urging women to wear head coverings and skirts/dresses.

I have a collection of chapel veils that I lend to my lady friends that are going to Mass with me. I also ask that they wear long dresses/skirts. All have obliged except one. Even though she wore skirts at other times, she insisted on wearing blue jeans and being bare headed at Mass. When we walked in the door the usher handed her a veil and asked her to put it on. She refused and walked out. I went into the chapel and we met up later after Mass.

It looks really nice to see people dressed out of the ordinary at Mass. It sets it apart from the day to day world (as does the Latin). It's like you're entering into a spiritual realm. It really sets the mood.

Someone once described chapel veils as women's liturgical vestments. I thought that was a great way to put it.

I don't like getting dressed up in tie, button down shirt, slacks, and dress shoes, but that is what is expected of me, so I do it.

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Hooker's Trick

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Last spring I took my god-children to London and of course we paid a visit to the Tower. The Yeoman Warder conducting us about made a point, most insistently, that men remove their hats upon entering the chapel. And when one visitor did not, the tour was interrupted until the offender uncovered.

The ladies of the Trick pew indulge me (stop me moaning) by wearing hats on Easter Day but do so at no other time.

I always assumed hat-wearing in church declined proportionally to the cessation of hat-wearing in secular culture.

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