Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to respectfully decline yarmulke at wedding?

My husband and I are Catholic and will be attending a Jewish wedding (first time).  I understand they traditionally offer a yarmulke  for the male guests to wear.  How or what is a polite way for my  husband to decline this? The ceremony is not in a synagogue.  
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Re: How to respectfully decline yarmulke at wedding?

  • My husband and I are Catholic and will be attending a Jewish wedding (first time).  I understand they traditionally offer a yarmulke  for the male guests to wear.  How or what is a polite way for my  husband to decline this? The ceremony is not in a synagogue.  
    Just a question - do you need to decline it? Close friends of H & I got married a few years ago at an estate. She is Catholic and flew her family priest down to officiate the wedding, and he is Jewish and had his family's rabbi officiate as well. On the way into the ceremony the bride's priest took a yarmulke out of respect. 

    I'm hoping others weigh in, but I think there is a way your husband can take a yarmulke out of respect, but not wear it.
    MairePoppy
  • Good point.  I guess that makes sense.  I didn't know if it was disrespectful to take it and then put it in your pocket ???  Just didn't know if a simple "no thank you" would be appropriate?  
  • Interesting.  I looked it up elsewhere and saw in articles written by men of the Jewish faith stating it was not seen as disrespectful.  I was curious to see what folks had to say here.  As mentioned, it's not at a temple, though I realize it is a Jewish event as someone previously mentioned.  My husband and I are Catholic and our Jewish friends attended our wedding mass at a Catholic Church but did not "participate" in the religious elements of the mass. I didn't see that as disrespectful.  Many of the men at my sister in laws wedding to a Jewish man opted not to wear the yarmulke either.  Thanks for weighing in everyone.  Much appreciated.
  • Interesting.  I looked it up elsewhere and saw in articles written by men of the Jewish faith stating it was not seen as disrespectful.  I was curious to see what folks had to say here.  As mentioned, it's not at a temple, though I realize it is a Jewish event as someone previously mentioned.  My husband and I are Catholic and our Jewish friends attended our wedding mass at a Catholic Church but did not "participate" in the religious elements of the mass. I didn't see that as disrespectful.  Many of the men at my sister in laws wedding to a Jewish man opted not to wear the yarmulke either.  Thanks for weighing in everyone.  Much appreciated.
    It's different than taking the eucharist for example, because to do that you have to be a fully initiated before taking communion (religious part of the service) while any man in the sanctuary should have their head covered, no matter if they're participating in any part of the religious service or not.

    That said, if it makes you uncomfortable for some reason and this wedding isn't in the sanctuary I think you should be fine not to wear it. Ours was an outdoor wedding and a lot of non-Jewish men didn't wear them even though we provided them. 

    Though someone might need to jump in and correct me that for a ceremony in a non-sanctuary it doesn't matter. It might and I just might not know any better. 

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    redoryx
  • lyndausvi said:
    If a Catholic Priest enters a temple he would put on a yarmulke.  A CATHOLIC PRIEST, now I ask, why would it be wrong for an "ordinary" Catholic refuse to wear one because they are Catholic?

    It's a sign of respect, I think he needs to suck it up and wear one.    If he really doesn't then head on over to a non-baseball hat store and buy a hat.


    ETA - Jewish friend didn't participate in mass - you are comparing apples and oranges.   Wearing a yarmulke is the like woman wearing a pashmina because the church requires shoulders to be covered.  Or taking off your shoes entering a Buddhist temple.
    EXACTLY THIS. My friend's priest wore a yarmulke during her wedding ceremony - which was neither in a temple nor a church.
    TheDeathLlama
  • My H and I were raised Catholic but my H has a step-family that is Jewish. At every Jewish event we attend at their temple, my H wears a yarmulke and I wear the provided head/hair covering for married women. It's required at their temple, and it shows respect. I would never refuse to wear it. I really don't see what the big deal is to put one on. 
    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • I agree with PP the respectful thing to do is to just accept it and wear it. It's not saying that you are turning your back on your God or converting to Judaism, you're just being respectful. I'm not religious but when my parents pray before meals I bow my head and sit quietly during it out of respect. When I enter someone's house I take off my shoes unless I'm told not to out of respect. This is no different and shouldn't be seen as an offense to your husband to wear one. 
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    [Deleted User]madamerwin
  • As a Catholic, I agree with PPs.  

    Here's an answer from a Catholic apologist on Catholic Answers regarding this:

    "kippah, for those who don't know, is a Jewish skullcap and is also known as a yarmulke. If a Catholic has just reason to wear a kippah -- such as visiting a synagogue that requires men to wear one while on the premises -- then certainly he may do so. But otherwise a Catholic should not presume to co-opt the traditions and customs of non-Christians when there is not just reason to do so."     http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=493362

    OP, I think a fair comparison would be if a Jewish friend were attending a Catholic wedding and didn't want to stand up during the Gospel.  It would be disrespectful.  
    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • PPs have it covered. He should wear it out of respect if it is handed to him. That's not something you say "no thanks" to. 
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    [Deleted User]
  • MegEn1 said:



    Interesting.  I looked it up elsewhere and saw in articles written by men of the Jewish faith stating it was not seen as disrespectful.  I was curious to see what folks had to say here.  As mentioned, it's not at a temple, though I realize it is a Jewish event as someone previously mentioned.  My husband and I are Catholic and our Jewish friends attended our wedding mass at a Catholic Church but did not "participate" in the religious elements of the mass. I didn't see that as disrespectful.  Many of the men at my sister in laws wedding to a Jewish man opted not to wear the yarmulke either.  Thanks for weighing in everyone.  Much appreciated.

    It's different than taking the eucharist for example, because to do that you have to be a fully initiated before taking communion (religious part of the service) while any man in the sanctuary should have their head covered, no matter if they're participating in any part of the religious service or not.

    That said, if it makes you uncomfortable for some reason and this wedding isn't in the sanctuary I think you should be fine not to wear it. Ours was an outdoor wedding and a lot of non-Jewish men didn't wear them even though we provided them. 

    Though someone might need to jump in and correct me that for a ceremony in a non-sanctuary it doesn't matter. It might and I just might not know any better. 

    The mass and wearing a yarmulke are two different things. The Mass is restricted to Catholics and some other religions. There's no "opt-in" for anyone else, such as Jews. Whereas, the rules about covered heads at synagogues and Jewish events apply to all males; that is, there's no "opt-out."
  • Jen4948 said:
    Interesting.  I looked it up elsewhere and saw in articles written by men of the Jewish faith stating it was not seen as disrespectful.  I was curious to see what folks had to say here.  As mentioned, it's not at a temple, though I realize it is a Jewish event as someone previously mentioned.  My husband and I are Catholic and our Jewish friends attended our wedding mass at a Catholic Church but did not "participate" in the religious elements of the mass. I didn't see that as disrespectful.  Many of the men at my sister in laws wedding to a Jewish man opted not to wear the yarmulke either.  Thanks for weighing in everyone.  Much appreciated.
    It's different than taking the eucharist for example, because to do that you have to be a fully initiated before taking communion (religious part of the service) while any man in the sanctuary should have their head covered, no matter if they're participating in any part of the religious service or not.

    That said, if it makes you uncomfortable for some reason and this wedding isn't in the sanctuary I think you should be fine not to wear it. Ours was an outdoor wedding and a lot of non-Jewish men didn't wear them even though we provided them. 

    Though someone might need to jump in and correct me that for a ceremony in a non-sanctuary it doesn't matter. It might and I just might not know any better. 
    The mass and wearing a yarmulke are two different things. The Mass is restricted to Catholics and some other religions. There's no "opt-in" for anyone else, such as Jews. Whereas, the rules about covered heads at synagogues and Jewish events apply to all males; that is, there's no "opt-out."
    Just to clarify, only the Eucharist is reserved for Catholics and Orthodox Christians.  Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, or anyone else is welcome to attend Mass.  They can sing, exchange the sign of peace, sit, stand, kneel ... it is just not appropriate for them to receive the Eucharist.


    STUCKINBOX

    Some Protestant Christians also serve communion and though all are welcome to partake (we view it differently, though no less solemnly as Catholics), I would not feel comfortable partaking in a church that was not my own.

    As a non-Catholic, that was married Catholic, I made an effort to be respectful of all the faith as I prepared for my marriage (and during the ceremony).  I have also attended several Catholic masses.  I do stand/sit as necessary, but I do not kneel (I do bow my head respectfully) nor partake of the Eucharist.

     

  • Ditto the others that if he's conflicted he can ask a priest.   But as others said, I think not wearing the head covering is comparable to entering a Catholic church wearing inappropriate clothing.   
    JediElizabeth
  • PPs have it covered. 

    Just an aside, I was raised agnostic. My father coached basketball in a largely Jewish area, oftentimes he and my mother went to events where they were asked to cover their heads. It had nothing to do with religious belief but respect for the environment and sanctimony of the event. 
    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • LD1970LD1970 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2015
    I'm Jewish.  My husband is atheist-raised-Catholic.  He and I have been to a slew of my friends' kids' bar/bat mitzvahs.  He does not wear a kippah.  "No thank you" is FINE unless it's an orthodox shul.

    By the way, when in church for something, I'll stand and sit with anyone else, but will not ever kneel.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44canadianteacher
  • LD1970 said:
    I'm Jewish.  My husband is atheist-raised-Catholic husband and I have been to a slew of my friends' kids' bar/bat mitzvahs.  He does not wear a kippah.  "No thank you" is FINE unless it's an orthodox shul.
    t
    By the way, when in church for something, I'll stand and sit with anyone else, but will not ever kneel.
    Actually, it's not "FINE."  It's just that no one says anything to him. 

    Probably no one ever will interrupt a service to ask someone to cover their head.  But choosing not to follow the rules, knowing what the rules are, is a deliberate gesture of disrespect.
    InLoveInQueens
  • I'm surprised people are taking such a hard line on this. I attend Jewish weddings often and there are usually at least a handful of men not wearing a kippah, and my Jewish friends all say it's totally fine (none of them are Orthodox). I'd say "no thanks" or just not taking one would be fine.

    I also find it interesting that a couple people have mentioned that some Catholic Churches provide head coverings and shawls for women. I have no problem covering my shoulders and boobs, but would decline a head covering if offered.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I'm surprised people are taking such a hard line on this. I attend Jewish weddings often and there are usually at least a handful of men not wearing a kippah, and my Jewish friends all say it's totally fine (none of them are Orthodox). I'd say "no thanks" or just not taking one would be fine. I also find it interesting that a couple people have mentioned that some Catholic Churches provide head coverings and shawls for women. I have no problem covering my shoulders and boobs, but would decline a head covering if offered.
    I'm thinking that this is a "when in Rome" thing as well as a respect thing.   My Catholic parish does not provide head coverings for women.   We are a bit more relaxed with attire in the summer (our town population swells in the summer with cottage dwellers) so shorts are rather common.   

    However, the attire that is permissible in the parish isn't permissible in many European churches especially if you intend to travel to Vatican City.   There you'll actually be turned away if you don't follow the rules.

     
    Maggie0829hellohkb
  • banana468 said:
    I'm surprised people are taking such a hard line on this. I attend Jewish weddings often and there are usually at least a handful of men not wearing a kippah, and my Jewish friends all say it's totally fine (none of them are Orthodox). I'd say "no thanks" or just not taking one would be fine. I also find it interesting that a couple people have mentioned that some Catholic Churches provide head coverings and shawls for women. I have no problem covering my shoulders and boobs, but would decline a head covering if offered.
    I'm thinking that this is a "when in Rome" thing as well as a respect thing.   My Catholic parish does not provide head coverings for women.   We are a bit more relaxed with attire in the summer (our town population swells in the summer with cottage dwellers) so shorts are rather common.   

    However, the attire that is permissible in the parish isn't permissible in many European churches especially if you intend to travel to Vatican City.   There you'll actually be turned away if you don't follow the rules.

     
    Yep.



    When I was in Turkey visiting the house of the Virgin Mary, they had a basket of shawls before you entered.  If your shoulders or knees were bare, you would have to cover them or you were not permitted to enter.  
  • LD1970 said:
    I'm Jewish.  My husband is atheist-raised-Catholic husband and I have been to a slew of my friends' kids' bar/bat mitzvahs.  He does not wear a kippah.  "No thank you" is FINE unless it's an orthodox shul.

    By the way, when in church for something, I'll stand and sit with anyone else, but will not ever kneel.
    Just curious, but why is that the line?  What's the difference between standing out of respect for the service and kneeling?  It's not like you are going up to take the Eucharist. 

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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