At a young age, My mother used to wear me a gold necklace on special occasions. I have always thought it was so valuable that I only wear it during these times. When I started working I fell in love with pieces of jewelry such as bracelets and rings. I found it fashionable especially for guys. When I started writing blogs, I came across these specific questions asked by Catholics all over the world. One that got my intention was, “Is it a sin to wear jewelry?” I was like, how come? It’s really surprising. That’s why in this blog post, we will discuss if it is really a sin to wear jewelry.
The below passages might be the reason why they think that wearing jewelry is a sin.
“Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God. For this is also how the holy women who hoped in God once used to adorn themselves and were subordinate to their husbands; thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him “lord.” You are her children when you do what is good and fear no intimidation.”
Similarly, [too,] women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds.
With the help of Bob Kirby, an apologist from AskACatholic.com, receive this great explanation.
“Scriptures merely point to the need for a Christian woman to distinguish herself from worldly women by a sense of modesty and inner refinement. In the culture of his day, Paul would have noted the practice of women who adorned their hair with braids of Gold, a show of wealth, vanity, or even class distinction.
In Christ, there are no rich or poor, and certainly not supposed to be any who put themselves above others. Paul is highlighting a spiritual lifestyle, and unity among the brethren, that can be diminished when people put too much stock in outward appearances or show their wealth on their sleeve.
So, in our own times, it is up to you to figure out how to dress yourself properly, to both honor God and feel good about your appearance. Modesty and appropriateness can be achieved rather easily without sacrificing a personal sense of style. In our times, people do not wear braids of gold, but they do other things to try and show off wealth and class. Just do you and you’ll be fine.”
Jewelry in the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church has been using jewelry for symbolism. One example is ring.
During a wedding ceremony, a ring is a reminder to engaged couples of their consent, even of their vows. The rings represent their promises to each other, symbolizing their devotion to each other.
The same is true with the Consecrated Virgins, during their ceremony, they also have a ring worn as a sign of their commitment and betrothal to Christ.
To know more about Consecrated Virgins, you might want to check this out.
In addition, Bishop has also a ring known as Bishop’s Ring or Episcopal Ring. He receives it during ordination. It is usually composed of gold, but other metals can also be used. It is worn on the right ring finger by the Bishop representing his own role and office; obedience and service to the Church, declaration of his loyalty, and also of his power over the faithful entrusted to his care.
Another one is the Pectoral Cross. It is a cross worn by the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, and even Abbots. This is attached to a chain and is designed to sit on the chest, near the heart. The cross reflects the dignity of their office.
Wearing Jewelry is not a Sin
So to answer the question.
Is it a sin to wear jewelry?
No. Wearing jewelry is not a sin. There is no official teaching from the Church prohibiting Catholics to wear any form of jewelry. Therefore, you are free to wear earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, or whatever jewelry you have.
As mentioned above, Catholic Church has been using jewelry for symbolism. So if we follow that, it is safe to say that we, the laity, as well can wear jewelry.
If you are planning to wear jewelry, fear not. It is fine and not sinful.
As Catholics, we are free to wear jewelry.
As interpreted what St. Paul had said, our culture today is far different from his culture. Nowadays, we can be modest and humble without compromising our personal style.
We can cut, dye, and braid our hair. We can wear a fine dress and we can wear jewelry.
Instead of using our energy worrying if we are sinful by expressing our style, better yet, let’s think of ways how to honor God more such as helping the poor, feeding the needy, and giving hope to the despair.
May we all remain modest and humble.
Loving Mother, pray for us.