Skip to comments.Nuns should wear the habit
Posted on 08/13/2012 8:42:48 PM PDT by paltz
After reviewing A Nuns Habit, which lists poorly devised reasons for not wearing the habit, I feel encouraged to write on the subject. In short, my opinion remains that all religious sisters and nuns should wear the habit of their respective orders. No longer should these women, who have given their lives to the service of God and the Church, be dressing like laypeople. It is time to return to the ancient practice of wearing a distinct habit - this is not fulfilled by wearing laypeople's clothing!
(Excerpt) Read more at acatholiclife.blogspot.com ...
Agree 100%. When nuns fail to wear habit that is the slippery slope to the embrace of secularism and engaging in the toxic mix of political ideology with a prayerful life of service and contemplation.
Nuns should wear a habit, as should priests a collar and monks a tunic.
It is a sign of discipline and a reminder of obedience
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I've always been partial to this one. Don't know how practical they are, but they've always seemed lyrically graceful:
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These are the Daughters of Charity. They no longer wear habits. I was taught in high school by the Daughters. These habits weighed 10 lbs. and were made of wool, which the nuns wore even in the summer months. In the 1960s, they redesigned their habits to a veil and a lighter fabric for their habits. A few years later, the veil was altered so that the front of their hair was visible. Now they just wear simple skirts and blouses and sandals, no veils.
A couple more notations. The headpieces were called coronets, and they were super-starched to stay up the way they did. When they would get caught in the rain and get the coronets wet, they would sag and look like dead birds. It gave us quite a laugh.
It is interesting that in this picture the sisters are at a buffet filling up their plates with food. Back when they taught me in the 1960s, they were not allowed to eat in public. Of course, these nuns may be filling up plates for other people.
When was the “habit” invented? Who designed it?
As I thought. They certainly didn’t LOOK comfortable. Of course, when you are wearing a traditional garment worn for many years, it WOULD be made of something like wool. That, cotton and linen was all there was.
Men always wore wool, pretty much, with a cotton lining to “wick” moisture away from the body. I spoke to a reenactment guy once and he said it probably wasn’t much hotter than what we were wearing, although heavier.
All that said, I heard they got rid of their headpieces years ago, and while I understand the practical reasons, it seem sort of sad. What seems sadder still is their mission statement is all about advocacy for political change and social justice, which we all know is progressive speak for socialism.
I was thinking, maybe it was a private buffet for the nuns, perhaps to celebrate a jubilee of some kind.
Thanks for the interesting comments. Did you ever read “The Nun’s Story”? One of my favorites. It was actually semi-autobiographical, about a nursing nun in a traditional order in Belgium, and very interesting. I learned a lot about Catholicism from that book. I first found out about the Liturgy of the Hours from that. It intrigues me that such a large corporate prayer takes place on a regular basis that few know about exists.
More importantly they should stop being promiscuous lesbians and advocating for abortion rights. Maybe pit the focus back on Jesus Christ as the only way for people to be saved.
Bill O'Reilly had a guest nun on his show today, Aug 13. She was so obnoxiously marxist and arrogant she would never get any more respect out of me than I would give Jane Fonda. In other words, about a -2.
The only thing worse than a lifetime leech is an pushy arrogant representative of the parasite culture.
Those are the “Flying Nuns”. Sally Field’s order. ;O)
A man made law in the church. Where in the bible does it teach about nuns and what they wear
I think there is little difference between the old “habits” and burqas and hijabs, with the exception of the full face covering. I wonder if there is some kind of connection.
I’m sure you’re not Roman Catholic, so what’s it to you? VaticanII went “progressive”. If you’re truly interested, you might want to read some of the erudite comments at the link, both pro and con: the majority in favor of the habits.
They’re not simply Daughters of Charity or Sisters of Charity (of which there are several varieties). They are Daughters (and Sisters) of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, originally a French order founded in the 1600s...
Not surprised they’re a French order. The headgear looks like something found in Brittany or Normandy.
Not surprised they’re a French order. The headgear looks like something found in Brittany or Normandy.
No, there is no “holiness” wearing the garments of a 13th century widow...I remind you Mother Elizabeth Seton’s sisters wore the garments of a widow of 1800 when she founded them.
And some orders wore heavy serge or linen to work in places (e.g. nursing) where such habits were absurd.
But Vatican II suggested the nuns wear an identifiable uniform.
Instead, they wear short skirts and polyester suits that make them look like out of date 1970’s frumpy women, and they don’t wear the veil and often don’t even wear a cross....
That is the problem. I mean, when pious Mennonite nurses wear a small cap, and pious Muslim teachers wear a head scarf, there is no reason that nuns can’t similarly wear a modified but modest garment so folks know they are nuns.
Nuns should wear the habit and wimple, just as priests should wear cassocks. Their lives are dedicated to Our Lord, and doing His work upon the earth.
Agree 100% - these very special women have chosen a life that sets them aside from the common run; their dress should declare that fact immediately to all whom they meet.
A religious habit is a distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been folded by those leading the religious eremitic and anachoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform style.
In the typical Roman Catholic or Anglican orders, the habit consists of a tunic covered by a scapular and cowl, with a hood for monks and a veil for nuns; in other orders it may be a distinctive form of cassock for men, or a distinctive habit and veil for women. Modern habits are sometimes eschewed in favour of a simple business suit. Catholic Canon Law requires only that it be in some way identifiable so that the person may serve as a witness to Gospel values. This requires flexibility and creativity. For instance in Turkey, where religious garb is not allowed in public, a Franciscan might wear street clothes.
In many orders, the conclusion of postulancy and the beginning of the novitiate is marked by a ceremony, during which the new novice is accepted then clothed in the community's habit by the superior. In some cases the novice's habit will be somewhat different from the customary habit: for instance, in certain orders of women that use the veil, it is common for novices to wear a white veil while professed members wear black, or if the order generally wears white, the novice wears a gray veil. Among some Franciscan communities of men, novices wear a sort of overshirt over their tunic; Carthusian novices wear a black cloak over their white habit.
The desire to wear distinctive garment comes with a desire to live a life dedicated to Christ and in public witness to Him and imitation of Him. It is also a visible call to penance, as well as modesty. The first habit was the camel hairshirt worn by St. John the Baptist.
John was clothed with camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins (Mark 1:6)
Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? (Matthew 22:11)
Herod with his army set him at nought, and mocked him, putting on him a white garment (Luke 23:11)
let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16)
Desire for modesty is the connection; however, both men and women wear habits.
I was taught in high school by The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. We called them Notre Dame Nuns because of some affliation with the university. We were also taught by The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy.
"Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:23
"Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh." Philippians 4:5
And there are School Sisters of Notre Dame (probably the most beautiful habit of all back in the days) and the Mother Seton’s Charities (the true American habit), and the nuns I had, Sisters of Charitiy of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For a look at many of the old habits, see http://oripter.com/cath%20nun%20dolls%201.html. Lovely, stately, imposing, inspiring.
I’m glad I missed it. Whether it’s a childhood spent with happy, utterly refined nuns or the education they gave me, I can’t even look at the newer, more casual versions without distrust and sometimes disgust. And it wasn’t simply the habit they eschewed. Out went anonymity, convents, daily Mass, often the vow of poverty. In came the letters of advanced degrees to replace their orders’ initials along with the stilted politics and “values” of corrupt academe. Incredibly sad.
“I think there is little difference between the old habits and burqas and hijabs, with the exception of the full face covering. I wonder if there is some kind of connection.”
The sole connection is that modesty was respected during the eras and in the areas where the various orders were founded. The habit reflected, generally, the garb of the time and place in which it originated. The style-difference between the clothing of nuns and the rest of female society was the orders’ uniformity of dress and whatever religious distinctions (rosaries, crucifixes, symbolic rope belts and sandals, etc.) that order chose. We see the old habits as odd only because society’s notions of modesty have changed.
They were originally founded as a teaching and nursing order. They ran a hospital in my city.
“Nuns should wear a habit, as should priests a collar and monks a tunic.
It is a sign of discipline and a reminder of obedience”
And, they keep the rain off their heads!!!!
The cornette was popular during the 15th-17th centuries and was adopted by non-cloistered nuns who went out into the population. The Daughters of Charity, in Ireland, were some of the last major holdouts to wear the cornette, but abandoned it nearly half a century ago.
We are ALL called to dress modestly and respectfully, but more than having to have some distinctive way of dressing, all Christ's followers should be set apart from the world by our holiness of life and by our love one for another. If that is in place, no outside mode of dressing matters.
We are all called to chastity, which implies modesty, according to our vocation. For monks and nuns, that is the habit, which reflects their celibacy (compare Matthew 22:11), and which, indeed, would be meaningless unless accompanied by genuine conversion of the heart.
Actually, I started reading the Nun’s Story when I was about 12 years old. I went to the library to renew the book, and forgot my library card, so I had to give up the book and never finished it. But I have seen the movie.
Yes, I forgot that distinction.
I’m not trying to be rude, but I personally find the arguments presented for why nuns should wear the habit a bit weak....
“the habit inspires women to leave their lives and give themselves to God”
now, read that quote from the above article again, and realize how superficial that sounds. (I mean, gosh, that’s like saying school uniforms of catholic schools inspire the students to be outstanding catholics. which is not true.)
the HABIT is what inspires women to leave their lives and dedicate themselves to God? because I thought it was a direct CALLING from God that inspires young women to enter into the consecrated religious life. these women respond to God’s call and claim the consecrated life as their vocation.
I know that habits are meant to be symbolic, and I am in no way against nuns and sisters wearing them, but I think that maybe their importance is stressed a little too much, and that it is typically stressed on the basis of retaining “ancient tradition”. now, if a nun or sister enters into an order that wears a habit, and she loves wearing it, then, that’s great. they made the conscious choice to enter into an order that wears them. but the tradition of wearing the habit should not be forced upon all orders (i’m not sure if that was what this article was suggesting...). if some sisters are more ministry and service oriented, and do a lot of mission work, then people shouldn’t have any problem with them doing work in “lay people clothing”, especially if it makes the job easier for the nuns and makes them more relatable to the people.
basically, what i’m getting at, is that people shouldn’t get so bent out of shape over a topic on clothing, of all things in the world.
i mean, arguing over which type of clothing nuns should wear? talk about first world problems.
instead, we should focus on the good that nuns do, their dedication to God, and their spirituality.
getting hung up over something as unimportant as clothing ultimately weakens our relationship with God.
Take it from Jesus Himself :
“(28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; (29) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ (32) For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. “ Luke 12: 28-33