Over at his fine blog What Does the Prayer Really Say, the ineffable Fr. Z has a poll running: Should women wear head coverings at church? I recommend you go over there and vote now; it should be up for at least a week from today, but don't count on it!
|Jackie Kennedy rocking the white mantilla!|
For my part, I would like to see female head coverings, like mantillas, come back as part of a greater movement by Catholics to dress more appropriately for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. However, I don't see the use right now of legislating it, since "cafeteria Catholics" and "C&E Catholics" don't pay much attention to canon law or USCCB norms anyway. (And, lest you think I'm being sexist, I'd also like to see men wearing proper hats ... fedoras, not baseball caps.)
The appropriate citation is 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, if you're insistent on the matter. My take on it, though, is that head covering is a matter of discipline rather than dogma, and the rule can be adjusted to suit the cultural context; I believe that's also the Vatican's current thought on the matter. (I stand willing to be corrected.) At the time St. Paul wrote, a woman's hair was her pride; even today, after fifty years of women's liberation, in our culture it's more important for a woman to have beautiful hair than for men to have hair at all. Yet I don't really notice any less vanity among men about their hair—or lack thereof—than among women. It was sometime a paradox, but the time gives it proof.
What do you think? Let me—and Fr. Z—know!