Mulieres capites velare oportet
Woman should cover their heads
11:4 Omnis vir orans, aut prophetans velato capite, deturpat caput suum. [n. 591]
11:4 Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraces his head. [n. 591]
11:5 Omnis autem mulier orans, aut prophetans non velato capite, deturpat caput suum: unum enim est ac si decalvetur. [n. 596]
11:5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraces her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. [n. 596]
11:6 Nam si non velatur mulier, tondeatur. Si vero turpe est mulieri tonderi, aut decalvari, velet caput suum. [n. 597]
11:6 For if a woman is not covered, let her be shorn. But if it is a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. [n. 597]
11:7 Vir quidem non debet velare caput suum: quoniam imago et gloria Dei est, mulier autem gloria viri est. [n. 602]
11:7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head: because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. [n. 602]
591. Praemisso documento subiungit admonitionem, cuius ratio sumitur ex documento praedicto.
591. Having set forth the doctrine, he adds the admonition, the reason for which is taken from the doctrine mentioned.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things.
Primo ponit admonitionem ex parte viri;
First, he gives the admonition on the man’s part;
secundo ex parte mulieris, ibi omnis autem mulier, et cetera.
second, on the woman’s, at but every woman.
592. Dicit ergo primo: dictum est quod caput mulieris est vir, omnis autem vir orans aut prophetans velato capite, deturpat caput suum. Circa quod considerandum est, quod quilibet homo iudici assistens, suam conditionem vel dignitatem debet profiteri, et praecipue assistens Deo, qui est omnium iudex; et ideo, qui Deo assistunt, ordinatissime et convenientissime se gerere debent, secundum illud Eccle. IV, 17: custodi pedem tuum ingrediens domum Dei.
592. First, therefore, he says: it has been stated that the head of the woman is the man, every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraces his head. In regard to this it should be noted that any man assisting a judge should display a condition or dignity, and especially assisting God, who is judge of all. Therefore, those who assist God should conduct themselves in the best behaved and suitable way: guard your steps, when you go to the house of God (Eccl 5:1).
Dupliciter autem homo Deo assistit. Uno modo humana in Deum referens, quod quidem fit orando, secundum illud Eccli. XXXIX, v. 6 s.: in conspectu Altissimi deprecabitur, aperiet os suum in oratione, et pro delictis suis deprecabitur. Alio modo divina ad homines deferens, quod quidem fit prophetando, secundum illud Ioel. II, 28: effundam Spiritum meum super omnem carnem, et prophetabunt filii vestri. Unde signanter Apostolus dicit vir orans et prophetans. His enim duobus modis vir Deo tamquam iudici, vel Domino assistit.
Now man assists God in two ways: in one way by relating human things to God, and that is done by praying: he will make supplication before the Most High; he will open his mouth in prayer, and make supplication for his sins (Sir 39:5); in another way by bringing things down from God to men, and that is done by prophesying: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28). Hence the Apostle is careful to say, man praying or prophesying. For in these two ways man assists God as judge, or he assists the Lord.
Dicitur autem prophetans dupliciter. Uno modo inquantum homo aliis annuntiat, quae ei divinitus revelantur, secundum illud Lc. I, v. 67 s.: Zacharias pater eius impletus est Spiritu Sancto, et prophetavit, dicens: benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, et cetera. Alio modo dicitur homo prophetans, inquantum profert ea quae sunt aliis revelata; unde illi qui in ecclesia dicunt prophetias, vel alias Sacras Scripturas legunt, dicuntur prophetantes. Et sic accipitur infra XIV, 4: qui prophetat, Ecclesiam aedificat; et ita etiam hic accipitur.
He is said to prophesy in two ways: in one way, inasmuch as man announces to others what has been divinely revealed to him: and his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying: blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel (Luke 1:67). A man prophesies in another way, inasmuch as he utters things which have been revealed to others; hence, those who read the prophecies or other Sacred Scriptures are said to be prophesying. It is taken in this sense below: he who prophesies, edifies the Church (1 Cor 14:4); it is also taken in that sense here.
Pertinet autem ad dignitatem viri (ut infra patebit) carere velamine capitis, et ideo dicit quod omnis vir orans, aut prophetans velato capite, deturpat caput suum, id est, rem inconvenientem sibi agit.
But it pertains to man’s dignity (as will be clear below) not to wear a covering on his head; consequently, he says that every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraces his head, i.e., does something unbecoming a man.
Sicut enim in corpore pulchritudo dicitur ex debita proportione membrorum in convenienti claritate vel colore, ita in actibus humanis dicitur pulchritudo ex debita proportione verborum vel factorum, in quibus lumen rationis resplendet. Unde et per oppositum turpitudo intelligitur, quando contra rationem aliquid agitur, et non observatur debita proportio in verbis et factis. Unde supra VII, 36 dictum est: si quis turpem se videri existimat, super virgine sua, quod sit superadulta.
For as in a body, beauty depends on due proportion of the members, on proper light and color, so in human acts beauty depends on due proportion of words or deeds, in which the light of reason shines forth. Hence in an opposite way ugliness is present when something is done against reason and due proportion is not observed in words and deeds. Hence it was said above: if any man thinks that he seems dishonored with regard to his virgin, because she is above the age (1 Cor 7:36).
593. Sed contra hoc obiicitur: nam multi velato capite in Ecclesia orant absque omni turpitudine secretius orare volentes.
593. The following objection is raised: for many with heads covered pray in church without any disgrace, as they wish to pray more secretly.
Dicendum est autem, quod duplex est oratio. Una privata, quam scilicet quis Deo offert in propria persona; alia publica, quam quis offert Deo in persona totius Ecclesiae, ut patet in orationibus, quae in ecclesia per sacerdotes dicuntur, et de talibus orationibus Apostolus hic intelligit.
The answer is that prayer is twofold: one is private and is offered to God in one’s own person; the other is public and is offered to God in the person of the entire Church, as is clear from the prayers said in the church by priests. It is these latter prayers that the Apostle has in mind here.
594. Item obiicitur de hoc quod dicit Glossa, quod prophetans dicitur Scripturas reserans, et secundum hoc ille qui praedicat, prophetat. Episcopi autem praedicant capite tecto mitra.
594. There is also an objection against a Gloss which states that prophesying is called unlocking the Scriptures. According to this, anyone who preaches prophesies. But bishops preach with their head covered with a miter.
Sed dicendum est, quod ille qui praedicat vel docet in scholis, ex propria persona loquitur. Unde et Apostolus, Rom. II, 16, nominat Evangelium suum, scilicet propter industriam qua utebatur in praedicatione Evangelii; sed ille, qui Sacram Scripturam in ecclesia recitat, puta legendo lectionem, vel epistolam, vel Evangelium, ex persona totius Ecclesiae loquitur. Et de tali prophetante intelligitur, quod hic Apostolus dicit.
The answer is that one who preaches or teaches in the schools speaks from his own person. Hence even the Apostle (Rom 2:16) calls the Gospel his own, namely, on account of the energy he used in preaching it. But one who recites Sacred Scripture in the church, for example, by reading a lesson or an epistle or a Gospel, speaks from the person of the whole Church. This is the kind of prophesying that the Apostle understands here.
595. Sed tunc remanet obiectio de his, qui cantant Psalmos in choro capite tecto.
595. Then there is an objection about those who chant psalms in choir with their head covered.
Sed dicendum, quod Psalmi non cantantur, quasi ab uno singulariter se Deo praesentante, sed quasi a tota multitudine.
The answer is that psalms are not chanted as by one singly presenting himself to God, but as by the whole multitude.
596. Deinde cum dicit omnis autem mulier, etc., ponit admonitionem quantum ad mulieres, dicens omnis autem mulier orans, aut prophetans, ut supra, non velato capite, quod repugnat propter conditionem eius, deturpat caput suum, id est, rem inconvenientem facit circa sui capitis detectionem.
596. Then when he says, but every woman, he gives an admonition as it applies to women, saying, but every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, which is unbecoming, considering her condition, disgraces her head, i.e., does something unsuitable in regard to covering her hair.
Sed contra hoc obiicitur, quia Apostolus dicit I Tim. II, 12: docere in ecclesia mulieres non permitto. Quomodo ergo competit mulieri, ut oret, aut prophetet publica oratione, aut doctrina?
But against this is the Apostle’s statement: I permit no woman to teach in church (1 Tim 2:12). How, then, does it befit a woman to pray or prophesy in public prayer or in doctrine?
Sed dicendum est, hoc intelligendum esse de orationibus ac lectionibus, quas mulieres in suis collegiis proferunt.
The answer is that this must understood of prayers and readings which women say in their own groups.
597. Deinde cum dicit unum est enim, etc., probat admonitionem praedictam. Et
597. Then when he says, for it is all one as if, he proves the above admonition.
primo inducit probationem,
First, he induces a proof;
secundo probationis iudicium auditoribus committit, ibi vos ipsi iudicate, et cetera.
second, he submits judgment of the proof to his hearers, at you yourselves judge (1 Cor 11:13).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo inducit probationem,
First, he induces a proof;
secundo excludit obiectionem, ibi verumtamen neque vir, et cetera.
second, he excludes an objection, at but yet neither is the man (1 Cor 11:11).
Circa primum ponit triplicem probationem, quarum prima sumitur per comparationem ad humanam naturam;
In regard to the first he presents three proofs: the first is taken by a comparison to human nature;
secunda per comparationem ad Deum, ibi vir quidem non debet, etc.;
the second by a comparison to God, at the man indeed ought not;
tertia per comparationem ad angelos, cum dicit et propter angelos.
the third by a comparison to angels, at because of the angels (1 Cor 11:10).
598. Circa primum considerandum est, quod natura, quae caeteris animalibus providit auxilia sufficientia vitae, hominibus praebuit ea imperfecta, ut per rationem, arte, usu, manu sibi ea perficerent, sicut tauris dedit cornua ad defensionem, homines autem arma defensionis sibi praeparant manuali artificio rationis. Et inde est, quod ars imitatur naturam, et perficit ea quae natura facere non potest. Sic igitur ad tegumentum capitis natura homini dedit capillos. Sed quia hoc tegumentum insufficiens est, per artem praeparat homo sibi aliud velamen.
598. In regard to the first it should be noted that nature, which provides the other animals with aids sufficient for life, offers them to man imperfectly, so that through reason, art and use, man with his hands provides those things for himself; as it gave bulls horns for defense, whereas men prepare for themselves arms for defense by reason’s direction of the hands. Hence it is that art imitates nature and produces things which nature cannot make. Thus, for the covering of the head, nature gave man hair. But because this covering is not sufficient, man through art prepares for himself another covering.
Eadem igitur ratio est de velamine naturali capillorum, et de velamine artificiali. Naturale autem est mulieri, quod comam nutriat. Habet enim ad hoc dispositionem naturalem, et ulterius inclinatio quaedam inest mulieribus ad comam nutriendam. In pluribus enim hoc accidit, quod mulieres magis student ad nutriendam comam, quam viri. Videtur ergo conditioni mulierum conveniens esse, quod magis utantur artificiali velamine capitis, quam viri.
The same explanation is true in regard to the natural covering and the artificial. But it is natural for a woman to have long hair. For she has a natural disposition to this, and further a definite inclination is present in women to take care of their hair. For this is true in the majority of cases that women take more pains with their hair than men. Therefore, it seems to be a condition suitable to women that they use an artificial covering for the head more than men.
599. Circa hoc ergo tria facit. Primo ponit convenientiam velaminis naturalis et artificialis, dicens: dictum est mulier non velans caput, deturpat caput suum, unum est enim, scilicet unius rationis, privari scilicet velamine artificiali, ac si decalvetur, id est, ac si privetur naturali velamine capillorum, quod in poenam quibusdam praedicitur Is. III, 17: decalvabit Dominus verticem filiarum Sion, et crinem earum nudabit.
599. In regard to this he does three things: first, he mentions the suitability of a natural and artificial covering, saying: it has been stated that a woman not covering her head dishonors her head, for it is all one, namely, the same thing to be deprived of an artificial covering, as if she were shaven, i.e., as if she were deprived of the natural covering of hair, which is predicted as punishment for certain people: the Lord will smite with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts (Isa 3:17).