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Veiling of Orthodox Christian Women According to the Fathers and in the History of the Church

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

By Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.


The tradition of Orthodox Christian women wearing veils is and always has been part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This tradition can be found in the Scriptures written by St. Paul, the Patristic Fathers such as St. John Chrysostom, and in Orthodox iconography which exhibits what we believe theologically. The veiling of Orthodox women during the liturgical services of the Church is one of the first things a visitor or inquirer might notice when coming to an Orthodox parish.

Russian Orthodox women wearing a veil during services.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, there are many women in the Church today who are not following this ancient and pious Orthodox Christian tradition. First and foremost, many do not know simply because they have never been taught. Additionally, many have been negatively influenced by secular culture and the unfortunate effects of modernism that is encroaching upon our parishes. Veiling is often seen as oppressive, outdated, and even irrelevant to many female parishioners who have not acquired the Orthodox phronema and have not established an experiential Orthodox ethos. Many of these women have been influenced by heretical modernist feminism, or worse, t