Wednesday, 13 March 2013


A religious habit is a distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been folded by those leading the religious eremitic and anachoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform style. In the typical Roman Catholic or Anglican orders, the habit consists of a tunic covered by a scapular and cowl, with a hood for monks and a veil for nuns; in other orders it may be a distinctive form of cassock for men, or a distinctive habit and veil for women.

Modern habits are sometimes eschewed in favour of a simple business suit. Catholic Canon Law requires only that it be in some way identifiable so that the person may serve as a witness to Gospel values. This requires flexibility and creativity. For instance in Turkey, where religious garb is not allowed in public, a Franciscan might wear street clothes.