If you are a fan of Broadway musicals, you will probably remember the Song, Easter Bonnet sang by Judy Garland to Bing Crosby in the 1948 musical entitled “The Easter Parade.” A few lines from the song go like this…
In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.
I understand that the wearing of Easter bonnets got out of hand at the turn of the last century. Wearing them became a status symbol and a sign of wealth that had negative results. People stopped going to church if they didn’t have a hat, or the right style of clothing. The problem was that the hat became more important than the person who couldn’t afford such finery.
Growing up in a small country church in the 1970’s, there were still a few senior ladies who wore hats, if not every Sunday, but always on Easter Sunday. Though they weren’t all decked out like some, they wore them, not as a show piece, but as a sign of reverence to God.
The wearing hats has been out of style for many decades, if you don’t county tobogins as somewhere today. Hates of the first half of the 20th century were the fashion. There were haberdasheries (hat stores for the younger crowd) on every Main St. across America. Not only did women wear hats, but so did men. Hats were so fashionable that this industry alone is responsible for the near extinction of several species of birds and animals. Special feather, and beaver skins were all the rage.
What I always found interesting was the fact that women were expected to wear their hats indoors and men were supposed to remove them to each show respect. Biblically references from the Old Testament do require the covering of one’s head in reverence to God. Even today, Jewish men cover their heads with a Yamaca to remind them that God is always above them in an act of humility.
Well, today, our dress has become much more casual, in church and out of church. That not necessarily a bad thing, what we wear isn’t as important to God as the way we live is.
Our lives need to be lived in reverence to God for all that He is; all that He has done; and all that He will do for us. When we do that, our dress becomes unimportant.
So, as Easter approaches - Wear a hat or not, just come as you are – that is what God wants.