What Should I Wear to a Tewahedo Orthodox Church?

When we are invited to someone’s house for dinner or we are going to meet some dignitary, we would put on the best clothes that we have. When we go for a job interview we wear our best. When going to work we dress appropriately and professionally, adhering to the dress code. If we are willing to put on our best clothing for people, we should do the same for God.

When going to church we have to be respectful and adhere to the church rules.  A clean long dress or skirt with netsela that covers us from our head to our thigh/feet is required for all females. 

White is the ideal color when wearing netsela or hair covering. Many girls also use a separate head covering, as seen in the picture above. Covering of the head actually came from the Bible when St. Paul wrote to Corinthians saying:

Head Coverings
Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 11: 2- 16 (NKJV)

 Lastly, keep in mind jeans, sweatpants, leggings, shorts and tank tops are not acceptable and should not be worn to church.  However, you are permitted to wear pants or leggings under your skirt or dress as you desire. But most importantly, always come prepared with a pure heart and eagerness to worship God!

Author Selam Seyoum

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