Ask a friar…The Habit

Why do you wear a habit?  Is it required?

Wearing the habit is both a reminder to the brother of the consecrated life to which he has vowed himself, and also a sign to others of his commitment to Christ and the vows he has taken.  According to our Constitutions, “the brothers should wear the habit of the Order in our convents as a sign of our consecration, unless, for a good reason, the prior provincial shall have determined otherwise” (n. 51).  The friar wears the habit during his life and is buried in it at death.

In addition to prayer and Mass, most friars wear the habit when involved in ministry, such as preaching, giving retreats, teaching, attending class, etc. When wearing the habit outside the convent, one usually follows the custom of their local priory, and it is for the prior provincial to give directives in this matter if necessary.  For example in our priory, when a friar is involved in various commonplace tasks like shopping for the convent, exercising, going to the movies, it is our practice to wear regular clothes.