PLAIN CATHOLICS

CLOTHING

Our clothing reflects our belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding modesty and purity. The men, women and children all dress modestly avoiding clothing that is  too tight or too revealing. 

Many of the Plain Catholic women in countries of Europe and the North Americas also dress in a similar mode as the other Plain groups including Amish, and Old German Baptist Brethren with minor differences: dresses with buttons; capes, cappas or modesty vests over top; plain, with little or no frills; low heeled shoes; some also prefer jumpers. 

The men sometimes wear straw or felt hats with brims especially when working outside. Plain coats and vests; plain or small plaid shirts with buttons; and long pants are worn for Mass and some jobs. For chores and manual work the men wear one of the following: belted work tunics over long pants; full-length jeans and button shirts; or bibbed overalls with button shirts to maintain modesty. Men's pants are either belted at the waist or suspenders are worn. Sleeves are no shorter than the elbow. Some jobs may require a coat and tie of which the Plain Catholic man wears subdued colors, nothing garish.

In Asian, South American, and Middle Eastern countries, the Plain Catholics wear the traditional dress of the farmers of the culture in which they live. Catholic modesty and plainness is always observed in the garment design as well as wearing headcoverings for the women. Plain Catholics in countries with non-European traditions wear simple, unadorned and modest clothing indigenous to those cultures and their agrarian roots.

Note: We do not publish pictures of those who live in regions of the world where Christianity is under persecution and threat of arrest. We do not wish to bring harm to our brothers and sisters who live in those countries.

Except for sunscreen or medicinal applications, no makeup is used by the women who also wear a headcovering full time. Plain Catholic women wear a headcovering at Mass, be it a mantilla, prayer kapp or another style of headcovering. All headcoverings are plain; feathered and embellished headcoverings are never seen on the Plain Catholic woman. Below are pictures of other examples of clothing preferred by Plain Catholics in addition to the traditional Amish caped dress or the Brethren cappa dress examples seen on this website. Dresses with modesty vests, jumpers, and skirts with modest blouses are plain attire similar to the Amish, Brethren, Charity or Hutterite styles; all hems are below the calf, all necklines are above the collar bone. Sources for the American and European-styled items can be found in the References and Links section. Those who live in other regions will find their modest and plain clothing in their resources for farmers.

When people wonder why our clothing is so like other plain clothing the answer is simple. We have found that excessive decorations and jewelry are admonished against in 1 Timothy 2:9,10. Likewise, decorations and jewelry are not very practical in the day to day life of chores and work in the Plain Catholic home. When clothing is basic without all the "bells and whistles", it becomes quite standardized in appearance and form, akin to economy automobiles that have only the basics and appear indistinguishable from one another. In short, Plain Catholic clothing is simple, unadorned and quite practical for the life.
Headcovering: A Plain Catholic Perspective

The Catholic woman who practices headcovering does so for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, Scripture tells us that when we pray, women should indeed cover their heads (1 Corinthians 11:5-13). According to this Scripture, we are to cover our heads during prayer as both a sign and because of the angels. The Greek text uses the term "katakalupto" which refers to a cloth veiling, not the hair. Thus during Mass, women wear a headcovering in reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Those Catholic women who practice headcovering full time do so because of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 in which we are instructed to pray without ceasing. Logically if we are to pray without ceasing and to also to have our heads covered during prayer, then we see it as a call to cover our heads without ceasing.

The headcovering as a private devotion falls into the category of a sacramental. It was never tacitly required of the faithful but has been "recommended" as a worthy pursuit should one be called to cover. Now if a Catholic reads 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Thessalonians 5 then feels the tug of the Holy Spirit to cover, that is something the person would do well to pray and discern about.

It is important that a sacramental be done for the right reasons which would be to aid one's spiritual growth. Superstition and peer pressure (including pressure to not cover) are not valid reasons in and of themselves. An excellent litmus test of one's reasons to cover would be to ask oneself: "If the Pope banned headcoverings tomorrow, would I be willing to obey that ban?" If the answer is yes, then that is the right attitude. At the end of the day, the headcovering is about obedience to God and to His representatives. Obedience, as St. Benedict states in his Rule, is the ultimate test of holiness. A truly humble and holy person would obey those chosen to direct him/her. The heart must be "covered" before the head. The outer symbol is to remind the wearer of the heart's need for obedience when faced with temptations.

Headcovering as a Sacramental

Here is the fulcrum of the statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):
*There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."176*

The CCC was written under the oversight of Cardinal Ratzinger who is now Pope Benedict XVI. He is an academic who practices the precise semantics of theology. Looking at that statement again, we see the word "proper". All throughout the CCC, "proper" attitude toward God has been defined again and again, too many references to list here. Thus the "proper" use of material things should be in line with this proper attitude toward God. The Bible
in all of its books speaks to "proper" attitudes towards God and the world. If one wants to get a brief lesson in proper attitudes then the Book of Proverbs in Scripture will provide that lesson and so beautifully and succinctly.

Remember: the CCC was written based upon nearly 2000 years of meditation and authoritative scholarship of the Early Church fathers in addition to the Scriptures; and the theology of both sources developed since that time. When they examine the writings of St. Chrysostom and others they take into account the context in which those writings occur and the audience to whom they are addressed. They then correlate those writings to the Scriptures and to the writings of other Church fathers and doctors.

In Scripture we read:

 "If anyone is disposed to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God."( 1 Corinthians 11:16) (about the veil)

One of the behaviors which bothers St. Paul to no end is contentiousness and argument among the faithful when it has as it's purpose, the relegation of one group to a higher status than another. The Catechism addresses this behavior as a sin too. The headcovering by its very nature as a sacramental is designed to help its wearer to develop proper attitudes of humility and adoration of Jesus, just as the wearing of the scapular is a devotion to promote piety (which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit).

The Magisterium asserts that anything outside of/not a part of the Sacraments, the Profession of Faith and the core of the Deposit of the Faith, is a sacramental. The Magisterium further defines the sacramental in the CCC which can be summed up by saying that a sacramental is a "help" to it's practitioner, an aid; but it is not "essential" to the salvation of that practitioner.

Where does all this lead us? It leads us to a private call and vocation regarding the headcovering. It takes us back to the development of proper attitudes when pursuing a devotion. Everyone has his or her unique spiritual growth needs. The Church in it's generosity offers the means of addressing those needs through it's many devotions and sacramentals which when used properly, will help the person to grow in spiritual maturity. They are not exclusive of the Deposit of Faith.

Finally, we have this lovely description of this feminine personal devotion:
http://www.monkrock.com/

"The chapel veil is shown as a symbol which helps the faithful understand the vocation and identity of woman, both in the order of creation and in the New Covenant sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist. Help contribute towards the restoration of this traditional practice and for the faithful to understand its true importance."

If this charism and life interests you, pray and discern with your family. You may read more about this life at http://plaincatholic.blogspot.com/

Note: We do not publish pictures of those who live in regions of the world where Christianity is under persecution and threat of arrest. We do not wish to bring harm to our brothers and sisters who live in those countries.


Full Cape Pattern from Candle on theHill Modesty Vest   Jumpers 

 

The above clothing and patterns are available from

The King's Daughters (for ready-made) and Candle on the Hill (patterns for those who sew their own)

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 The above headcoverings/prayercoverings are from Christian Coverings       

The above headcoverings are from Covered4Him (photo on left)

and Joyce Long Coverings.com (photo on right)

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The above headcoverings/prayercoverings are from Plain and Simple Headcoverings

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Some Plain Catholics wear clothing similar to the Old German Baptist Brethren in these last two photos.The Modesty Cappa/Cape below is an alternative to the modesty vest for women. The men wear vests to church and meetings. 

Below: examples of modest farm clothing from other regions the world

 

 

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