Why do Mennonite women wear a head covering?

Most Anabaptist women will wear differing types and styles of a head covering (or prayer veil) in obedience to 1 Corinthians 11, and in a show of submission to their husbands as their “head”.

Why do Mennonite women dress as they do?

Probably the most significant reason behind the cape dress that most anabaptist sisters wear today is one of modesty. In obedience to the scriptures, they do not want to cause another person to be stumbled to lust. Nor does it glorify God to reveal what is exclusively the right of only their husband to have and to hold.

The other principles would consist of obedience to the command to not wear costly clothing or jewelry, but that they would be shamefaced, discreet, chaste, and adorning themselves with their humble submission to the Lord of Glory.

The head covering is worn for similar reasons.

What’s the difference between Amish and Mennonite?

Both the Amish and Mennonites share a rich beginning from the faithful Anabaptists of the 16th century. The Amish movement takes its name from Jakob Ammann (c. 1656–1730), a Swiss Mennonite leader. Ammann believed Mennonites, the peaceful Anabaptists of the Low Countries and Germany, were drifting away from the teachings of Menno Simons and the 1632 Mennonite Dordrecht Confession of Faith. Ammann favored stronger church discipline, including a more rigid application of shunning, the social exclusion of excommunicated members.

Today, one will find Amish and Mennonites in closer communion than in prior years, although still in limited circles.

What is a Mennonite?

Mennonites come out of the Anabaptist movement, and traditionally were those following the direction set forth by Menno Simons, a 16th century Roman Catholic priest who began to see the Truth of the scripture and came out of Roman Catholicism to encourage others to obey God from the heart according to God’s Word, not according to the doctrines of men.

Today, there are many “flavors” of Mennonites, from very conservative to shockingly liberal. We hold to the Truth of God as revealed in His Word, and reject any teaching that is contrary to His revealed will.

Are you Mennonites?

While our heritage is a mixture of Amish and Mennonite, and while we agree with the underlying principles of what Mennonite’s believe, we believe it’s more fruitful to say “Christians” desiring to love and obey God from the heart according to His revealed will from the Word of God, the Bible.

I. Basic Belief Principles

1. The Triune God

We believe there is but one true and living God, who is eternal, infinite, perfect and unchangeable; that he is the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe and all that is therein, and that He will be the final Judge of all; that He exists and reveals Himself in three persons with perfect harmony; the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Mk. 12:29, Ps 18:30, Mal. 3:6, Gen. 1:1, Neh. 9:6, Isa. 47:7,12, 18, John 1:3, 10, Gen. 1:26,27, Matt. 28:19, John 15:26.

(a) The Father: II Cor. 1:3, Blessed be God, even the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. I Pet. 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

(b) The Son: Heb. 1:8a, But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. Isa. 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called Wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. John 20:28, Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.

(c) The Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3,4, But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? ….Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. John 14:16, 17, I John 5:6, Rom. 8:16.


2. The inspiration of the Scriptures

We believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Bible as the Word of God. That the Old Covenant was in effect until the fulness of time; when Christ fulfilled the Law, established and set forth the New Covenant.
We believe the New Testament is authentic in its matter. The only infallible rule of faith and practice, and that the precepts of the New Testament supersede all other writings or commands. II Tim. 3:16, II Pet. 1:19-21, Matt. 5:17, Rom. 10:4, Gal. 3:24.


3. The New Birth

We believe in the New Birth as the only means of entrance into Eternal life, which is manifest by the change of heart, life, and nature, making the individual a child of God. John 1:18, 3:3-8, James 1:18, I Pet. 1:23.


4. Discipleship

We believe that God expects His children to literally follow the teachings of the New Testament, faithfully to the end of life. John 8:31,32, II Pet. 1:19, Matt. 10:37-39.


II. Separation

The Bible teaches separation from the world by separation unto God. I John 2:15, II Cor. 6:17,18, II Cor. 7:1, Phil. 2:15.


1. Church and State 

The Scriptures teach that church and state are distinct and separate. John 18:36; Rom. 12 and 13. So we believe that as Christians we cannot participate in military service or politics, either by holding public office, by voting, or in applying pressure upon the government in the regulation of their affairs, but rather that we should give ourselves to prayer on their behalf. I Tim. 2:1,2.
We further believe that we should keep aloof from all movements which seek the reformation of society independent of the merits of the death of Christ and the experience of the New Birth.


2. Non-conformity 

Rom. 12:2, Be not conformed to this world: But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. I John 2:15-17, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.


3. Non-resistance 

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Matt. 5:38-42.


III. Ordinances


1. Baptism 

We believe the Scriptural mode for water baptism is pouring and is a type of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 3:11, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:1-22, 10:44-48, 11:15,16.
We expect an applicant for baptism to give evidence of repentance and expression of his faith. Acts 2:38, 8:37, Mk. 16:16.


2. Communion 

We believe the communion service, which signifies the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His coming again, also the unity of the believers, is to be literally carried out by partaking of the breaking of bread and the cup (the fruit of the vine) often enough to keep these truths vividly before our minds.
Members should endeavor to be at peace with God and their fellowmen at all times, and especially when taking part in the communion service. If peace is not accomplished until then, they should stay back from communion.
We believe in close communion, only with those who are of like faith and practice with us; neither shall our member’s commune with church groups not in harmony with our faith and practice. Matt. 26:26-28, I Cor. 11:23-26, Lk. 22:19, I Cor. 10:15-22


3. Feet Washing 

We believe feet-washing is to be a humble service, literally carried out by washing one another’s feet, in connection with the communion service, as taught and exemplified by Jesus. John 13:1-17, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.


4. Devotional Covering 

A headship prayer-veiling is to be worn by our sisters while praying or prophesying and is to be a sign of her relationship to God, in God’s order, (God, Christ, Man, Woman). We expect our sisters to wear the headship prayer-veiling at all times, making it neat, and large enough to cover most of the hair (head). I Cor. 11:2-16, 14:3, Eph. 5:23, I Tim. 2:11-14, Phil. 2:5-15.


5. The Holy Kiss 

This salutation is meant to express Christian love and peace and is to be taught and practiced. Rom. 16:16, I Pet. 5:14


6. Anointing With Oil 

We encourage our members to call for anointing with oil for the healing of the body in time of sickness, as taught in James 5:13-16, Mk. 6:13. This ordinance shall be administered by the ministry.


7. Marriage 

a. Marriage is an institution ordained by God and is binding for life, and should be only in the Lord. It is expected of our members, when seeking a life companion, to select or accept one from those of like faith, Amos 3:3, and never for a child of God to marry an unbeliever. I Cor. 7:39.
Young people are expected to seek counsel and advice from their parents and/or the ministry concerning courtship and marriage. Also, we expect couples planning to be married to arrange an interview beforehand with the church leaders in charge.

b. Church leaders shall not officiate at marriages where either one or both are not of the Christian faith, neither where one or both do not uphold the doctrines of non-conformity and non-resistance.

c. The bride shall not adorn herself according to the fads and fashions of the world but shall keep herself in harmony with the practice of the church and the teachings of the New Testament. I Pet. 3:1-6.


III. Mennonite Confession of Faith

We accept the Dortrecht Confession of Faith and also the Supplement as endorsed by the Conservative movement of the Mennonite Church in 1964.