Headcoverings Symbolic to Godly Marriage

CANON XVII

If any woman for the sake of supposedly ascetic exercise cuts off her hair, which God gave her to remind her of the fact that she is subject to the will of her husband, let her be anathema, on the ground that she has disobeyed the injunction to be obedient.

Interpretation

In writing to the Corinthians St. Paul says: “The head of the wife is the husband,” (1 Cor. 1 1 3) and because Eve was taken out of Adam, and he became the cause of her becoming a woman). And further below he goes on to say that if a woman does not cover her head, let her cut off her hair. But if it is shameful for a woman to cut off her hair or to shave herself, why, then let her cover her head. (ihd. 116) And again: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory and an honor to her” (paraphrasing ibid. 11:1 5). But Eustathius and his disciples used to teach women to cut off their hair on the alleged ground that they would thus be doing something godly and virtuous; the dolts failing to understand that this doctrine of theirs is opposed even to nature herself; seeing that she has never produced a woman that was bald-headed and without hair, as she has some men. For this reason the present Canon anathematizes any woman who cuts off her hair for the sake of appearing and feigning to be engaged in ascetic exercise; which hair God gave her to remind her of the fact that she is under the rulership and subject to the will of her husband, since by so doing she is disregarding and transgressing the commandment, or injunction, to be submissive.’ And the Fathers took this from St. Paul, who says that a wife must have an authority upon her head, or, more explicitly speaking, a sign of her husband’s authority, and of her subjection to her husband, which is the natural cover of hair, and the external cover of headkerchiefs.

 The Twenty-five canons of the Holy Regional Council held in Ancrya  (The Rudder, p. 529) 

Comments

  1. Hello, Couldn’t agree more with this post and the others relating to headcovering in Church. Just wondered if anyone had some thoughts on the Orthodox practice of Priests or Bishops wearing headcoverings as well? It seems that if a woman should a man shouldn’t? Enjoy the blog, keep up the good work.

  2. This is proof that canons expire…

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