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Is It A Must For Nuns To Cut Their Hair


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If I never had to color or style my hair again, I would be a happy woman :p . I would probably have bad veil days, but would never have a bad hair day again! :hehe:

There is much historical and religious significance to the ceremony of cutting the hair!  And yes, the practice does depend on the community.  During my own investiture (as a veiled novice), the hair

That's actually one part of religious life I will majorly look forward to, if I persevere so long. I hope they buzz it all off right down to the skin. It's such a pain in the tuchus as it is!

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I chose to keep my hair short after I entered. It was fairly short anyway, I liked it, and it's so much easier to manage (I have crazily thick hair).

It's an option in my province. Most of my sisters have short hair. It seems easier to keep that way if you wear a veil. Three of my sisters, who do not wear veils, have long hair. In other provinces of my congregation, however, it's likely all sisters would wear veils and so seems reasonable they would keep their hair short out of convenience. 

P.S. God bless you, Sharon! I am praying for you.

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It is a common problem among Orthodox Jewish women, who keep their hair covered, and Muslim women who wear the hijab, that constant hair covering can lead to loss of hair, especially if long [not to mention that scalp itches from sweat in hot weather] so it makes sense to keep one's hair short, if covered.

Also, and this has been discussed before, some communities found that having the ears covered by the toque [is that the correct term?] led to frequent ear infections in some sisters, and chose a different style of veil as a result, that left the ears uncovered.

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This topic seems to be a recurring one around here.  In fact, I posted thie following response in a related thread last spring.

In my community, when I was received as a novice on the Feast of St. Clare, my hair was cut at the ceremony.  This was especially fitting in honor of that Saint who I believe had hers cut by St. Francis.  

I used to have long hair and was quite attached to it.  I wrote an article this past spring on Our Franciscan Fiat blog that refers to the hair issue. 

I think the cutting of hair (especially when it has been a prized possession) can be beautifully symbolic of giving up what this world offers for love of Christ.

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If/when I enter, I think the haircutting ceremony will be one of the parts I look forward to the most.  Of course, that's probably the Franciscan in me, always wanting to shed more and more 'things' to grow closer to Christ.  Reminds me of when St. Francis stripped naked and renounced his father but I have no intentions of doing that myself ;)

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7 hours ago, Kateri89 said:

If/when I enter, I think the haircutting ceremony will be one of the parts I look forward to the most.  Of course, that's probably the Franciscan in me, always wanting to shed more and more 'things' to grow closer to Christ.  Reminds me of when St. Francis stripped naked and renounced his father but I have no intentions of doing that myself ;)

Haha

He did have the hair shirt, though. :P

I totally know what you mean, though. A part of me just wants to leave everything, right now! Actually, the other day I had this enormous urge to just get up, as I was (which happened to be without shoes) and go. When I mentioned it (lightheartedly, I'm not actually crazy) my table companions started taking bets on how far I would get. They also unanimously decided I'd end up dramatically collapsing by the gate of a monastery and becoming a nun. :P 

But, seriously, I think cutting off my hair would mean a lot to me. If I'm giving all, I really want to give ALL. (Maybe I do have a little flair for dramatic gesture).

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I kind of enjoyed reading this thread and the different responses. I have long hair and I think if I became a nun I'd like to cut it off. I think it's such a beautiful idea to give up everything for Christ and to give up what is commonly seen as the woman's beauty, as a statement that I want to only love Jesus. It can be hard if you really like your hair but I think that only makes it a more beautiful sacrifice :)

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On a slightly different hair aspect...do communities..wear "Night caps" at bedtime..or a "night veil"..and if so, what does that consist of? If one does not have a toliet in their cell...and must use a community bathroom in the night time...is the hair covered? (if there is a possibility of crossing paths with another sister)

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ND and DSMME still wear night veils and small night scapulars, and by the Rule and Constitutions and Directory keep the head covered all the time. I think they use older or worn caps for nightime, but as you say, they would be going to the bathroom or in the dormitories with cap and dressing gown.

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4 hours ago, Spem in alium said:

We don't worry about it, either - night veils, or pyjamas. There's no problem if I see another sister (or she sees me) in pyjamas. 

I have been informed that I need to bring nightdresses with me, pyjamas not permitted. Gutted as I haven't slept in a nightdress since I was a child:cry3:, but hey ho, this is a very small sacrifice :)

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Sr Mary Catharine OP
1 hour ago, Mags said:

I have been informed that I need to bring nightdresses with me, pyjamas not permitted. Gutted as I haven't slept in a nightdress since I was a child:cry3:, but hey ho, this is a very small sacrifice :)

You'll get used to it in no time!

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2 hours ago, Mags said:

I have been informed that I need to bring nightdresses with me, pyjamas not permitted. Gutted as I haven't slept in a nightdress since I was a child:cry3:, but hey ho, this is a very small sacrifice :)

You'll be fine! Though it does take getting used to ;) I rarely wore nightgowns when I was younger but bought one when I travelled to Rome in the heat of summer last year. It was unusual at first, but I did end up liking it --- especially on super-hot nights!

I always wear a robe with my pyjamas, though (mine is actually a kimono). I feel it's more modest, especially if I'm needed at night for anything, and I find it really comfortable. Sometimes we'll wear pyjamas if we're watching a movie at night or something (we actually had a pyjama party last night) and everyone wears robes. I think it's just what we do. :) 

Edited by Spem in alium
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