"When I first saw some Mennonite women with their head coverings, I couldn't imagine why they were wearing those things on their heads. I figured it was simply some type of quaint costume.
But then I read the writings of the early Christians. And then I understood why Mennonite and Amish women wear prayer veils or head coverings. I realized that it was in obedience to 1 Corinthians 11:5, which says, Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. The early Christian women veiled their heads not only in church, but also anytime they were in public.
From my later study of church history, I discovered that Christian women continued to maintain this practice through the all centuries up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During the nineteenth century, many Christians in the United States and western Europe began arguing that long hair constituted the only covering women needed. Others said that women only needed to wear a covering when in church. The middle class and wealthy women switched from veils and caps to ornate bonnets if they wore a covering at all. Bonnets became more a matter of fashion than of modesty or obedience to 1 Corinthians 11.
By the turn of the twentieth century, the ornate bonnets of the nineteenth century had given way to ladies hats. Until the mid-century, women in Europe and America typically wore a hat or scarf in public, but they were simply following tradition and fashion without realizing that there was originally a spiritual reason behind the practice. Similarly, until about 1960, western women wore hats when in church. But the meaning behind the hat was lost.
Today, Christian women in eastern churches still cover their heads in church. Some of them cover their heads all of the time. In the west, some Plymouth Brethren women still wear the prayer veil in church, as do many black women. But usually these sisters do not wear a head covering at other times.
Generally speaking, in the west today, only the Mennonite, Amish, Brethren and Hutterite women still practice wearing a head covering at all times. However, in recent years, they have been joined by thousands of Christian women from house churches and other independent congregations who have re-discovered this New Testament practice.
|1954 Catholic baptism|
As you can see by 1954 the Biblical teachings of the headcovering was carelessly maintained. In other words, many modern believers had lost the wisdom of the noble people of Berea who searched the Scriptures. Thus, a vain tradition it became, rather than a God fearing commandment. And currently it is mostly forgotten, there being few men as noble as them of Berea to search & preach the Word of God in truth.