Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January Q & A: #1 Caps and Veils

Question #1:

"Are there any conflicts among Anabaptist groups over cap style head coverings vs. hanging veils?"

I don't like to speak for Anabaptists at large because I have been pretty removed from mainstream Anabaptists most of my life time, so I will just tell you my personal experience and leave it at that.

I grew up in a church that wore the cap style head covering. Back in the era of my childhood, cap style coverings (with strings) immediately identified you as "Beachy Amish Mennonite". Any other type of head covering instantly signaled some other Anabaptist affiliation.

I remember as a youth when this began to change. You could no longer visit Calvary Bible School and point out all the people from Lott, TX because they weren't the only ones wearing veils anymore.

As a young married, the question of allowing veils came up at our church. It was vetoed after careful consideration. There was a pretty strong push for uniformity and not everyone was ok with changing to wearing a veil. It was during this time that I had my first eye opener on the subject. There was a young couple coming to our church at that time and the wife came from a church where the women didn't all wear the same type of head covering.

One day, this lady spent a day sewing at my house and we got on the head covering subject. I, in all my young wisdom, trotted out the popular argument, "Isn't it confusing to the community if everyone wears something different?"

I don't remember exactly how she answered but something of the idea that, no, it wouldn't be confusing because it is the principle of covering that is important, not so much how each person chooses to apply it. Mostly I remember that it was a new idea to me that uniformity isn't necessarily the only way.

Years later our church changed to allowing the cap style covering and the hanging veil.

I would say there has been a huge shift in recent years across Anabaptist churches to embracing different types of head coverings. I'm guessing though, you would still find some conflicts about the issue depending where you would go.


Anonymous said...

I have a question about the head coverings. Are they only for adults, or are children expected to wear them too? I was just wondering what you follow on that?

Bethany Eicher said...

This varies from church to church and even from family to family. We've chosen to wait until our girls start school. By that time they are usually old enough to ask about wearing one and can understand the basic principle behind it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question. I enjoy your blog, and I'm excited to see what questions you answer this month.

Betsy said...

I’m very glad that you have the community of other women covering along with you, however they choose to cover. I am the only coverer at our church besides my best friend and it gets rather lonely at times. Especially when fellow members tell me I’m going to scare people away by covering and choosing to wear dresses only. Thank you for sharing with us here.

Bethany Eicher said...

Many blessings to you, Betsy! And thank you for reminding me of my blessings. It is so easy to fail to count them!

Anonymous said...

It was an answer to prayer for me when our church allowed veils. I did not think our net coverings provided a very good "covering".

Another advantage I see is that they are easier to make than the tailored coverings. Someone had told me earlier if you can make a dress you can make a veil. Yes, even I can sew a veil, but I never attempted the tailored covering.

There were several women in our church who were wearing opaque coverings, before veils became an option. LRM

Regina said...

Thank you Bethany. I've wondered about that because the churches we have visited the ladies wore veils but some of the visitors wore caps. Like Betsy above, I'm the only one who covers in my church. I'm completely alone in my convictions there. And I agree that it doesn't matter how a lady chooses to apply the covering. Just the fact that she is trying to obey the Lord in this area is important.