The Veiled Anglican: Five Styles of Headcoverings

Source: The Veiled Anglican: Five Styles of Headcoverings


Something that some of our womenfolk might, perhaps, want to (or feel called to) prayerfully consider. Please note that I am not enjoining this upon anyone! Even had I the authority, I would not do so. Nor am I even recommending it, necessarily, except as something which some women may wish to research further and prayerfully ponder, to determine whether it’s a discipline that will enhance their spiritual life, or otherwise.

I have to admit, if a woman chooses to veil (head-cover) herself at church, I do like the mantilla. It looks modest and holy without, to my mind, making its wearer look like a nun or a Middle Easterner (if one does not happen to be a professed religious, or of that heritage *). But I have no objection to any of these options! I will say that my grandmothers always wore hats in church, and my mom usually did… and they were all Methodists! But they were also of an earlier — and in many ways, more reverent — age. Might this, perhaps, be a case of things old becoming new again…?

(* Besides, what we now think of as the “hijab,” despite being both thoroughly Biblical and traditional, nowadays carries political connotations which many traditional Anglicans might prefer to steer clear of.)

More on veiling, from women who have done so:

“My self-consciousness disappeared under that scarf, and I not only did not notice anyone giving me the hairy-eyeball about it, I didn’t even look to see reactions.

“Covering my head subtly changed things for me. I was only aware of the scarf when I lowered my head to pray, or to read the missalette, but it was not a distracting awareness; instead, I simply felt like my vision and thus my attention was brought into more intense focus. More importantly, that sense of being nudged and nagged was silenced, replaced by something that was just very quiet and settled and peaceful.” The Great Head-Covering Experiment


“When I first believed that God might exist and Christianity might be true and started visiting churches in seriousness, one odd little thing was my reaction to the appearance of the congregations. I’m not sure what I expected, but I was always surprised at how casually people dressed to go to church. In particular, something about the women’s appearance seemed amiss, though I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was when I noticed an elderly lady at the back of a church one day who had her hair pulled back and her head covered with a black lace scarf that I realized what it was: it seemed to me that women should cover their heads in church. I didn’t really care or think it was wrong that most didn’t. But it just seemed, well, strange.

“As an agnostic with no background in religion, I didn’t have any kind of theological defense for my feelings… It just felt like a good thing to do. I had only recently come to seriously consider the daunting prospect that the Creator of the known universe might actually exist and that we might be able to have some kind of contact with him by going to Sunday services, so going to church struck me as this amazing, kind of intimidating event. The idea of covering my head appealed to me as a symbol of humility, modesty, and as a way to embrace traditional femininity. It seemed like a little sacrifice I could make to show this God that I was really making an effort to respect him after my many years of disrespect; it also seemed like it would serve as a much-needed reminder to myself to approach the house of God with my pride in check.” Covering My Head at Church


Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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