Why do nuns wear a habit?

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โˆ™ 2010-01-22 22:54:02

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Nuns and sisters wear a habit as a sign of their consecration to God,to show their unity as a group and to demonstrate that fashion is nor important.

Not all nuns or sisters wear a habit. Canon law, which is the legislative authority within the Catholic Church, only states that they should wear a visible symbol of their consecration. Some nuns wear a lapel pin or a pendant.

The practice of wearing a habit comes from the idea that to avoid scandal or temptation they would wear clothes that avoid any display of human form. A coif (the large white starched linnen item worn by nuns across the chest) was to prevent the showing of the bustine.


In the middle ages, "clothes made the man." That is, one clothing revealed much about that person's station in life, one's profession, etc. This is still true in come countries today, but in the United States most people tend to dress pretty much the same. The difference would be in uniforms designating persons who fill certain tasks and are therefore given certain authority: police, airline pilots, etc.

A religious habit derives from the same motivation: to publicly show membership in a certain group. As noted above, that sign of membership may be as small as a pin or encompass one's whole wardrobe.

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Q: Why do nuns wear a habit?
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Related questions

What did nuns wear?

a habit

What is the name of the garment that nuns wear?

a habit

What religious order of sisters wears a white habit?

Domenican sisters wear an all white habit, as do Cisterians nuns, and I believe Carthusian nuns.

How do nuns dress?

Nuns wear habits. Some wear a Habit as required by their religious order, but many now just wear everyday clothing except on special religious occasions.

Why do nuns wear an all white habit?

.Catholic AnswerVery few nuns wear all white habits, most of the all white habits you are used to are Sisters (nuns are cloistered in a monastery and are never seen outside), although Cistercian nuns wear an all white habit. Even Sisters who do wear all white (Dominicans are one Order that wear a white habit), will still wear a black veil for the fully professed, white veil for the novices. The only all-white habit, including the veil was in the missions, for instance Sisters who normally wear a black habit, but are nurses or work in the mission field would wear an all-white habit, including the veil. The color of the habit, outside of missions and nursing, is strictly traditional depending on what their founder set as their habit, and often what was the least expensive material in the area where they were founded.

Which nuns were white?

Roman Catholic AnswersMany nuns wear white: Cisterians and Carthusians among others. Also, most nuns, regardless of the color of their habit will wear a white veil before they are professed. There are also many sisters who wear white, such as Dominicans, but they are not nuns.

What is the word for the black attire that nuns wear?

Different orders wear different colors, Benedictine nuns wear black, Cistercian nuns were white, and there are others. Regardless of the color, the entire "outfit", if you will, is called a habit, you can see more of an explanation at the link below:

Is a habit used to lay out dead bodies?

Actually, a habit is what nuns traditionally wear... I've never heard of it being used in death.

What is the nuns outfit?


What is the clothing called that nuns wear?

It's called a habit. The piece that covers the neck is called a whipple.

What do nuns look like?

Nuns look just like everyone else. They are human beings. However, if you are referring to what they wear it depends on what community they belong to. Communities of nuns are cloistered and usually wear a habit. Apostolic sisters can wear habits and some wear regular clothing depending on their community customs.

What type of clothing do nuns wear?

A nun's outfit is called a habit. The head piece alone is referred to as a wimple.

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