. By T.V. Antony Raj
One of the problems Saint Paul had to handle in Corinth was how to persuade the women to dress properly in the assembly.
In Paul’s period, women had been participating in worship at Corinth without the head-covering as was normal in Greek society. Paul’s stated that his goal was to bring these women into conformity with contemporary Jewish practice and propriety. In order to convince them, he put forward arguments from a variety of sources, though he had space to develop them only sketchily and was perhaps aware that they differed greatly in persuasiveness.
Man and Woman – 1 Corinthians 11:3-16
But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ.
Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head.
But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.
For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off.
But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.
A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord.
For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.
Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled?
Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been
given [her] for a covering?
But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God.
Twenty years ago, in India, all Christian women, especially Catholic women, when they entered the churches covered their heads with a veil or the fold of their saree. But now it has become a fashion with women not to cover their head in church but wear coiffures in different styles. These women and young girls scoff at those few who cover their heads labeling them as old fashioned.
Even nuns belonging to certain orders wear sarees and do not cover their heads even while dispensing Holy Communion.
What bothers me and most Catholics is the fact that our clergy express pleasure by admiring the uncovered heads of our women folk in churches, be they saree clad nuns or lay women.
So, as Catholics and Christians why not, why can’t and why don’t our women folk, whether they are nuns or not, cover their heads in churches?
Recently, I came across the following video excerpt and was impressed by what Sheikh Khaled Yasin says.
Question: What’s With Female Head Coverings? (thewayeverlasting.com)