VIDEO: The Chapel Veil

A nice young lady sent me a note and link to a video.

Dear Fr. Z,

I am entering my sophomore year at Christendom College, and I recently made an 8 minute video on the chapel veil to explain why women wear it and to encourage women to wear it. I think you would appreciate the content and the quality. If you like it, perhaps you can share it with the women who read your blog.

If you can, I would appreciate any feedback.

I can pretty much guarantee some feedback.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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124 Responses to VIDEO: The Chapel Veil

  1. Stephen McMullen says:

    Wow. Makes me wish men could wear something that could cause us to focus like that.

  2. StJude says:

    I want to wear one now!

  3. majuscule says:

    I saw that video the other day. It’s beautiful!

    I am one who has started to wear a head covering, not necessarily always a veil. I should say, started again. I am of an age where we always covered our heads in church. I didn’t stop wearing my mantilla, I stopped going to church. When I came back, none of the women (outside of an occasional visitor) wore a head covering.

    But I found my original mantilla and wore it to the EF Masses I was attending. Now I wear it to the OF Masses, too.

    To the young lady who made the video–thank you for putting together, in such a beautifully reverent manner, the heartfelt reasons why women veil! May God bless you!

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    That couldn’t have been done any better, just brilliant and inspiring, so beautifully done. The young lady is a picture of authentic femininity. What a shining example. To see the baby in the veil, and her being instructed, oh my goodness.
    All the ladies made superb comments. I never really considered all the representations of Mary and the saints in which the women are always veiled. Of course!
    This will rile Satan, and you will get ugly comments, which only proves how compelling a video you made.

  5. APX says:

    Why is it that those of us who choose not to veil cannot be left in peace, but rather must have the topic of veiling rammed down our throats? [?] Veiling was not the custom in NA, veiling originated in Rome as a means for women to identify her status (ie: married, virgin, widow, etc) and has nothing to do with humility or veiling sacred vessels, etc. [And the vestments themselves eventually developed their spiritual meaning over time. That's how this works.]

    If the me not veiling makes me proud, unfeminine, less of a woman, etc, then so be it. There’s a paradox in advertising one’s “humilty” by veiling.

  6. slainewe says:

    The video is well done and I applaud the attempt to encourage the wearing of the veil. However, is it prudent to portray the wearing of the veil as (primarily) a personal choice that makes us feel good? (Many of the reasons given could make a man ask, “Why shouldn’t I cover my head as well?)

    There are deep theological reasons why a woman SHOULD be veiled (and a man should not) and I think women miss out on spiritual growth if they do not tackle them. My impression was that the video was subtly trying to say that women veil ONLY for God and themselves and it has nothing to do with man’s authority over them, which would be false. [Aaaaaand... THEY'RE OFF!]

    Then again, perhaps most women need the personal choice approach first to wean them into investigating the theological basis of the veil? (In which case, I may not be a good critic of this video because I wear the veil solely because it pleases Heaven.)

  7. blessedtolivenow says:

    Thank you for sharing your work with us! I am a new Catholic and within months of attending Mass I felt very called to wear a veil, but felt self conscious since no one else was veiled. After coming into the church this Easter and being able to receive our Lord it became even a greater calling. At first it was odd being the odd one, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.

    Pray if you will for safe travels as I will have an opportunity to go to a Solemn Latin Mass tonight, my first. It will be a 3 hour journey…

  8. gracie says:

    I get a little nervous when I hear a girl saying that God is pleased with her for wearing a mantilla. My generation spent their entire childhood and adolescence (I’m 64) wearing head coverings but we certainly never felt we did it as an act of modesty. It was more a sign of showing respect before God; for similar reasons we wore hats in public (which, btw, parallels Jewish custom at the time of Jesus when women wore head coverings out in public, not just at the synagogue). In fact, if someone told us our hats – very few women wore mantillas – were pleasing to God, the words of Matthew 23: 2- 5 would have popped into our heads (thanks to the nuns): “The Scribes and the Pharisees . . . they do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.” We truly would have been appalled at the idea that wearing mantillas made us more pleasing in the eyes of God. If you want to wear mantillas, fine, but what’s pleasing to God is veiling your hearts, not your heads.

  9. Mike says:

    @blessedtolivenow: Praying for a safe and uneventful journey for you — and that a parish in your locality may soon be blessed with the restored Mass of the Ages.

    In any event, as the focus of our worship returns from dated political huggery-thuggery back to the timeless truth of what and Whom the Mass is about, one suspects you will not be “the odd one” for very much longer.

  10. skvie5738 says:

    This video is a much better evangelization tool than any comments I have ever heard or read on the subject of veiling in church. Very well done, beautiful, and honest.

  11. DFWShook says:

    I LOVE the remark about women wearing veils are a road sign. Mark 16:1-7 immediately came to mind. In the New Testament, it seems that Christ is always revealed to women first. Men need women to direct them to Christ. The veil is a great reminder to men that Christ resides in the Tabernacle and that we are in His Presence when we enter into a Church.

  12. APX says:

    Slainewe,

    Men do NOT have authority over women. Husbands have authority over their wives, but men, in general, DO NOT, have authority over women. Some man at church tried to insist that he had authority over me because he was a man and I am a woman. Our priest (FSSP) assured me that this man was very mistaken and that it is only husbands who have authority over their wives.

  13. lmo1968 says:

    My grandmother had a wonderful assortment of hats that I used to love to go through and try on when I was a little girl. If my grandmother was still alive she’d be 101. She never wore those hats to church but I saw pictures of her wearing them pre-Vat II.

    It seems that hats were the preferred head covering in North America pre-Vatican II. Mantillas were worn in Latin America, Southern Europe, etc. There’s no real tradition here of them so no tradition to recover.

    I do not find the arguments in favor of “veiling” compelling. Making a show of humility is not humble. Finding the most fetching chapel veil you can afford to look just like the other women at the EF Mass doesn’t make you humble. If you want to truly be humble, wear a baseball cap. Better yet, shave your head! I can tell you from first hand experience, there is nothing like hair loss to give you a bit of humility as a woman. You’ll have male bloggers snarking on your short hair. And people will go out of their way to try and not notice you. As somebody said above, veil your heart.

  14. lmgilbert says:

    Young lady, make more videos! You know what you are doing.

    Given the gradual return to the veil, one could almost be grateful for the fact that women abandoned hats after Vatican II. There was simply no end to the invention they put into rendering themselves even more beautiful with their hats, but it was distracting to the max. For one thing the hats were very often beautiful in themselves, but they could also make an ordinarily beautiful woman drop dead gorgeous, which did nothing to help one keep his eyes on the altar. And for another, if one were at the back of church, he could only view Mass through a millinery forest of flowers and feathers and whatnot. So there is reason to be grateful even to “the spirit of Vatican II” if it swept all that away.

    Beyond that, however prayerful and reverent one might be at Mass, the beauty of women can be distracting even without the millinery enhancements, so their veiling helps us all focus on the Lord. Too, it renders the congregation more anonymous for a time, which again deflects attention from people to the Lord. In short, both for the Lord, His people in general and women in particular, it seems a win-win-win development.

  15. Monica says:

    I’ve worn a mantilla to Mass, both OF and EF, for about 6 years. Even now I ‘struggle’ with the veil as a sign of my husband’s authority (no confusion about the theology of veiling here.) Sometimes his actions and decisions are wrong, darn it! But he is the head of our family and most of the time I can be grateful for that; sometimes I’m amazed at the goodness of the Lord in giving him to me and vice versa.
    Also I realize that others may see my veil as a pious-church-lady stunt as per Matthew 23:25, as quoted above. I admit that there is vanity involved (mantillas are pretty) and that my heart is not perfectly ‘clean.’ Nonetheless I will continue to veil, and to offer up my anxieties on these accounts.

  16. Mrs. G says:

    I’m a couple of years older than Gracie, and remember pre-VII head coverings as she does. It was hats and scarves and the occasional square of kleenex. Mantillas didn’t begin to show up in the U.S. until Jackie Kennedy popularized them during JFK’s presidency. So all the ideas about mantillas as “pleasing to God” are a much, much later importation. Originally, ladies, it was a fashion statement! That said, they are convenient and comfortable – just not, in themselves, conducive to or indicative of holiness.

  17. VexillaRegis says:

    In my part of the world (Scandinavia) mantillas were never the custom, not even for Catholic ladies. You either had a hat or a scarf on. Synthetic (white) lace curtains are considered tasteless and black lace is almost exclusivly used for lingerie!!! (Or properly lined evening gowns.) Most women here would feel like we had underwear fabric on our heads in church if we had to wear a mantilla. Ghastly.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    Edit: exclusively

  19. 1tiredmomma says:

    I interpreted “pleasing to God” to mean that the young lady felt that she had said “yes” to God’s request of her to veil. This was her little fiat and is not a reflection of any other woman’s choice to veil or not to veil. I don’t think she is or thinks she is holier for doing so. She simply believes that God asked something simple of her. She wants to encourage others to also say yes to God in whatever way He is calling them. The real question we should all be asking ourselves (and God in Adoration) is what is He calling me to? And then we should say “yes” and do it.

  20. slainewe says:

    How can one deny the authority of Man over Woman without ignoring Scripture?

    Genisis 3:16
    “To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception: in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.’”

    1 Corinthians 11:2-12
    “Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. The man indeed ought not to cover his head: because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. For the man was not created for the woman: but the woman for the man. Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God.”

    An individual man does not have practical authority over a particular woman with whom he has no relationship, but a woman should respect all individual men in general (even the difficult ones) because God became an individual man (and not an individual woman).

    [Okay... let's close off this rabbit hole.]

  21. gracie says:

    Mrs. G,

    Yes, and remember that the “let’s look like Jackie in a mantilla” fad that was picked up by a *few* women was WAY! outpaced by the “let’s look like Jackie in a pill box” fad that swept the nation – and Churches – everywhere in the ’60′s.:

    American women usually want to look smart as well as respectable. Why do we suddenly have to adopt a Spanish head covering to “look holy” and “keep men’s minds on God”? The truth is that most men today are not distracted by women’s hair – I base that on not seeing men turning their heads every few seconds to stare at a passing woman’s hair. What they *are* distracted by is cleavage and skirts that cut off at the underwear line. That truly is immodest because it’s calling attention to the reproductive parts of a woman’s body and it really isn’t fair to men to do that (men being – ahem – biological creatures).

  22. JesusFreak84 says:

    They touched on something that’s been true for me, surprised me, actually, but is part of why I’ve veiled for so long now: it really does settle down so much of the ADD. “OK, time to focus!” I’ve veiled at OF, EF, and even at the Divine Liturgy. (Whether or not it’s customary at the DL isn’t really a concern of mine; I am canonically Roman Rite, and St. Paul’s commands in Scripture really don’t care about which lung of the Church I happen to be inhabiting at the moment.)

  23. teejay329 says:

    Wow…firestorm on this one. Really??? I expected more out of my fellow Fr. Z groupies… [?]
    So, for those of you thinking that this lovely young woman and her veiled companions are just trying to pull the piety card on this one…the habited sister is just trying to look more pious that her pants-suited LCWR counterpart? The young priest wearing the cassock daily is just trying to look more humble than the casually dressed Monsignor? No…I don’t think so.
    The lady at daily Mass with her Magnificat should really put it in her purse…she’s making all the other folks look like they don’t care…
    Really??? I don’t think it’s for any of us to say how Jesus and his Blessed Mother keep score. For me Mass is my daily workout for my soul. Just like the gym is for my body. I like to do my workout the way I respond best mentally and physically. I might like to run on the treadmill…you might like Pilates. We are doing the same thing…training our bodies and keeping them fit for the toils ahead. The same goes for the soul. If my soul gets a better workout with a mantilla, then I’m going for it! If that’s not your style, then I’m sure you get your spiritual exercises accomplished with some other aide.
    But, on another note, it is nice to see the modesty returning to the pews. I cringe when I see the muffin-tops spilling over tight hip-hugging jeans, bare shoulders in tank tops and short dresses that leave little to the imagination in Church.

  24. slainewe says:

    I fail to understand why some posters are upset with the concept of doing something which “is pleasing to God.” It does not mean the soul sees HERSELF as pleasing to God, but that she is performing an ACTION which, in itself (according to Saint Paul), is pleasing to God.

  25. teejay329 says:

    “Wow…firestorm on this one. Really??? I expected more out of my fellow Fr. Z groupies… [?]”

    To clarify…I just thought more readers would be more receptive of her video and her position. No disrespect intended there…

  26. sunbreak says:

    It’s great that the young lady wants to wear a veil. It’s also fine that some of us don’t want to. I grew up in the days when it was required – and that’s all it was – a “have to” – not a sign of respect or devotion or femininity. So, wearing a veil is not going to happen with me.

  27. APX says:

    Now that I the time to properly respond to this, I will.

    First, as Gracie pointed out, wearing a chapel veil isn’t what makes one pleasing to God. It is sanctifying grace that makes us pleasing to God. Furthermore, we have no way of judging the state of someone’s soul, so men and women need to stop judging a woman’s interior state/relationship with Christ, etc. based on what she wears or does not wear on her head. Contrary to popular belief, women can be just as pleasing to God and have a deep and intimate with Christ without wearing something on her head.

    Some women sense a call to veil, some don’t, and since the Church no longer mandates it, that’s okay and people need to respect that. If God is calling you to veil, then go for it. Right now God is calling me to something else that most people aren’t privy to know about, and it doesn’t involve wearing a veil at this time.

    Also, wearing something on one’s head doesn’t automatically make one humble, even if she says she humbles herself by covering her head. Pride is tricky thing and gets into everything. A real test for headcovering and humility is how a woman would respond to being asked or told by either her pastor, confessor, spiritual director, etc to forego covering her head for whatever reason (and yes, I know the door swings both ways for this, and if the aforementioned asked me to wear a veil despite my repugnance to wearing one, I would because I know even the tiniest amount of obedience is by far more pleasing to God than doing my own will in the name of humility, etc).

    Finally, since someone felt compelled to bring it up (women covering themselves as to not be a distraction to them during Mass because of their beauty), I’m going to counter it with this: Men, my female friends and I would appreciate it if you all stopped wearing tailored suits to Mass as well as keeping your forearms covered as to not be a distraction to us at Mass since we’re all hardwired by God to seek out men who can protect and provide for us, so when you wear a tailored suit it makes us think you have the financial means to provide for us, and when you show off your strong forearms, it makes us get caught up on thoughts of you using them to protect us and our children, and then we can’t focus on God and the Mass. I know this sounds ridiculous; so does women covering up in order to not be a distraction to you.

  28. Pingback: VIDEO: The Chapel Veil | crucesignatiblog

  29. Bea says:

    To veil, or not to veil, “that is the question”:
    whether to veil for God, for ourselves, or for others.

    IMHO

    the veil makes a statement:
    whether to God, to ourselves or others in wearing it
    and whether to God , ourselves or others in seeing others wearing it.

    for me, wearing the veil is my statement
    to myself: that I belong to God and that I cut the world out, that I am in His House
    and that I honor, adore and am submissive to Him
    to others “Ce m’est egal” (who cares what they think)
    Admittedly, I don’t always wear one. Sometimes I’m in a hurry and forget it or my hair is wet and smashes my hair down; vanity of vanities and then I feel bad that I didn’t wear it.
    For a TLM Mass I ALWAYS wear one. The holiness of the Mass demands it.

    In seeing others wear it:
    Maybe it’s a “holier than thou” statement, maybe it’s a devotion to Our Lord (who am I to judge?).
    Either way it elevates my heart to see that their mind is on God.
    Unconsciously, I think they are making the statement between Femininity and Feminism, but who am I to judge. That’s between them and God and has nothing to do with me.

  30. Pingback: Calling All Catholic Women: A Video Which Explains Why Some of Us Veil - Catholic Catholic Customs Catholic Identity - Catholic Catholic Identity Chapel Veils - AlwaysCatholic.com

  31. FloridaJoan says:

    I think the video was extremely well done.

    I remember wearing a small round chapel veil as a young girl ( and a kleenex when the chapel veil was not available !). Then for a very long time time I wore nothing on my head; until during a visit to the Holy Land when I sensed a deep calling to veil out out reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. I have veiled ever since .

    pax et bonum

  32. TawdryPenitent says:

    I too am surprised at this firestorm.
    A few years back I read a beautiful article (of course, I cannot find it now) that basically said the Church veils what it loves, and the veil is a gift from the Church to women. Never once, in all my years of reading on this subject did I run across anything even alluding to “‘man’s authority over women”.
    I wear a veil because I want to. It is an outward sign of inner grace, with which the Church is replete (good examples from Teejay329) . And, for me, as someone who is eaten up with four of the seven deadly sins, Pride being the first, my veil reminds me that I need to approach God with humility and humbleness.

  33. danhorse says:

    I thought this was a lovely video. I appreciated the comments made by the women and in some cases, I have never heard veiling presented in quite this way. Much of what was expressed was beautiful.

    We all have a unique call to be holy, to say yes to God and the ways He asks us to direct our attention to Him. God makes His desires known to us as the individuals he created us to be. We are not all the same so the way in which God asks us to serve Him isn’t either.

    For these women, veiling is their response for what they feel God is asking of them, and it seems to be working for them because the result has brought them closer to God. I thing that’s great. I understand where they’re coming from and I know that it hasn’t added or detracted to the way I have been called to serve Our Lord because it’s my yes to what He’s asked of me, in whatever He asks, that pleases Him and strengthens the Church.

    Personally, veiling is not something I feel called to do. God has called me to witness to Him in other ways. What I see is that these women have responded positively to what they feel God is asking of them and I certainly can’t fault them for that. I say, God bless ‘em and carry on ladies!

  34. lsclerkin says:

    Yes, ladies.
    You DO want to wear one.
    I didn’t. Then I did.
    Then I didn’t.
    Now I have bee veiling for 4 years in any church I walk into.
    Ladies.
    You will just love it.
    Pretty pretty pretty.
    Because we are brides.
    His loves.
    His brides.
    Try it.
    You won’t be sorry. :)

  35. catholiccomelately says:

    I began wearing a veil to Mass and Adoration a year ago at Easter. We attend a NO Mass at which many people are casually dressed, though maybe a third of the women are in dresses or skirts. I am usually the only woman there who is veiled, and friends will ask me where my veil is if I have forgotten it! A few women from African or Caribbean cultures wear hats or scarves or headdresses.

    My husband encouraged me to veil if I felt I should; I think he finds it feminine (he has never said!). I felt very conspicuous for a while but realized that I honestly don’t care if others approve or disapprove, if they understand or not. I veil because it helps me draw closer to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

    My husband and I usually sit in a section of the sanctuary where there are others, with us, who kneel during Mass. Our church doesn’t have kneelers (by the intention of the founders, back circa 1975), but we are part a small but growing group of more traditional Catholics in the parish. ( and, yes, Father Z, we are active in hands on ministries of the parish. …. and not as EMHC’ s!) Veiling helps keep me focused on the Mass and not on some of the distractions around me.

  36. GHajdu says:

    I am one year younger than Gracie, and like her, I grew up wearing hats to church. Mantillas were not worn in our Midwest town. It was a sign of a properly dressed woman to wear a hat that matched her dress, along with gloves on her hands, dress shoes and/or boots to church on Sunday whether Catholic or not. During the week, we donned a hat to cover hair that was tussled for lack of time to comb it or a perm that was growing out. Never in our wildest dreams would we have thought of wearing a hat simply to please the Lord.
    Modesty meant always wearing dresses with sleeves to church and school, and skirt lengths two fingers below our knees. Our necklines were high, sometimes with Peter Pan collars. I remember sitting in the pew behind some women whose hats had wide brims…it was difficult to see around them in a packed pew! Some of us tried brimless hats and added a silk or crocheted flowers. We learned that a woman’s beauty is reflected in her modesty. I think that many of today’s women are struggling with the concept of modesty. Covering the head may make them more aware of who they are in relation to God. Our hearts should be open to what the Lord is asking each of us to do.

  37. OrthodoxChick says:

    I think the production value of this video was of a pretty high level. I liked the general format of it, with regular women commenting on why they veil. I would love to see this young student do another video (second in the veil series, if you will), if I might be so bold as to make such a request. I would like to see a second video done the same way but with young girls and teens talking about why they veil. I would also hope for some footage or some clips of women and girls at a Novus Ordo veiling. I am assuming that some of the footage in this video was from an EF Mass based on the altar rails and shots of several veils in the pews. One is not likely to see that at an OF Mass these days. It would be nice to find the OF exception, where veiling is more common, and include some footage from that Mass. Lastly, I would really love to see a discussion of nuns who wear traditional habits discussing how veiling as children/young girls may have helped them be open to a vocation with traditionally habited orders, if the young lady who made this video might know of any nuns who feel this way.

    That’s just my feedback because she asked for some, but really, I like this video very much just the way it is. I still haven’t quite worked up the courage to veil, even though I would like to. And I’m usually someone who couldn’t give a rip what other people might think. But in the case of veiling, at any/all of the N.O. parishes in my area (where we still have guitars, and tambourines every weekend) and where people already ignore me because they think I’m holier than though for receiving on the tongue, veiling will definitely be humbling. It will make my fellow parishioners like me even less than they already do. I would feel much more comfortable veiling at an EF Mass because I would never stand out there, but it’s been months since I’ve been able to get to one. I’m still lacking the guts to veil or ask my daughters to veil at our local N.O., but this young lady’s video has got me to thinking about it again. That’s quite an accomplishment. I’m pretty stubborn, as stubborn folks go.

  38. magdalena says:

    From APX:
    “Finally, since someone felt compelled to bring it up (women covering themselves as to not be a distraction to them during Mass because of their beauty), I’m going to counter it with this: Men, my female friends and I would appreciate it if you all stopped wearing tailored suits to Mass as well as keeping your forearms covered as to not be a distraction to us at Mass since we’re all hardwired by God to seek out men who can protect and provide for us, so when you wear a tailored suit it makes us think you have the financial means to provide for us, and when you show off your strong forearms, it makes us get caught up on thoughts of you using them to protect us and our children, and then we can’t focus on God and the Mass. I know this sounds ridiculous; so does women covering up in order to not be a distraction to you.”

    CAN I GET AN A-MEN?!?!

  39. Gabe says:

    First off, I have to admit that I am a man, so here’s my thoughts… take em or leave em.

    I have to say that the quality of the video is outstanding! We must embrace technology and produce things like this if we’re really going to make this “New Evangelization” thing work. So, bravo!

    I think the video misses what is perhaps one of the most profound meanings of the veil, and the probably the biggest reason why my wife began veiling. I haven’t seen this in any of the comments, so I feel compelled to chime in.

    The veil, when properly understood, signifies a “life bearing vessel.” This is why the chalice is veiled on the alter when not in use, because it is used to hold the blood of Christ, i.e., something that is alive. This is also why tabernacles usually – or used to – have a covering or veil, at least something that covers the door, because they contain the living body of Christ. All the other stuff about increasing spirituality and such is all fine and good, but I think that can sound very selfish and overly pious to some women, as some of the comments here prove.

    But in the context of signifying a “life bearing vessel,” the veil takes on a profound new meaning; one that can help women connect themselves to Our Lord, and especially to Our Lady, in ways that men cannot. Thought of in this way, the veil is much more of a blessing than just a spiritual “power-up.”

    Personally, I think blows away any other reason for veiling. It really sets women apart as something special, and should remind men why women are to be respected. As a side note, I think I first read this reason in Martin Mosebach’s book “The Heresy of Formlessness” (I could be remembering in correctly though). It’s a great book.

    But again, I’m a man. You don’t have to take my word for it.

  40. capchoirgirl says:

    We’re only to be respected because we can give birth? I’m not a feminist in any way, shape, or form, but I can’t have children, so….what does that make me? And other infertile women?

  41. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I heard no erroneous claims (the few that came close could be understood as being the speaker’s opinion, so…) and no one asserted that chapel veils were mandatory (in either form of the rite) so, video seems fine to me.

  42. Suburbanbanshee says:

    1. There is nothing wrong with thinking up new devotional meanings for a relatively new, or new-to-you, item. OTOH, it is best if people using these new devotional meanings know that they are new ideas and not ancient.

    2. There is nothing wrong with using a piece of your outfit as a prayer focusing device. Many previous generations of women used rosaries for this purpose. It is possible that contemporary women find it more calming because it isn’t used to wearing hats, scarves, kerchiefs, etc.

    3. The reason a lot of Catholic women are jumpy about this is because there often seems to be no clear theological distinction (as there clearly seems to be in black churches with the “crown” concept) between wearing something on your head in church as a Christian, and wearing something that covers your hair, head, and face because you’re a Muslim woman, ground under all men’s authority and continuously tempting all men. Heresy’s bad, so clarification of this point would be an aid to both men and women; and it would probably make a lot of women more willing to add a topper at Mass.

    4. I can get behind the “crown” concept, but it’s new too, and based on a Biblical reading of Paul which may or may not be correct.

    5. Personally, I think I need a Space Princess hat.

  43. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “because the current generation isn’t used to wearing hats, scarves, kerchiefs, etc. in church.”

  44. 5. Personally, I think I need a Space Princess hat.

    Me too.

    Or a matador hat. I love the look of them.

    I tried a mantilla a few times, but it kept falling off because I have short hair. Which makes covering it up to avoid tempting men kind of a moot point.

    Do what you like with your heads, ladies. I won’t stare, and I won’t nag, and I won’t judge.

  45. capchoirgirl says:

    I would go for the Space Princess hat!

  46. wmeyer says:

    I’m 65, and cannot recall my mother and grandmother ever attending Mass with bare heads. It would have been, for them, unthinkable. Similarly, my father (a Lutheran, in fact) when he attended, never failed to wear suit and tie.

    Decorum. Apparently an ancient term now, in this age of football jerseys, cut-offs, and scoop-cut blouses.

    The chapel veil may be a new tradition, but it seems a worthy one, and as Dr. Peters points out, the video commits no errors in what it portrays.

    APX, I see nothing here of anyone shoving anything down anyone’s throats. Why so sensitive?

    Decorum. Can we get a revival?

  47. NoraLee9 says:

    Hi all:

    I beg to differ with those who don’t remember mantillas being used in North America until Jackie Kennedy made them popular. My dear aunt Rena and my mother both had white mantillas, (as did Anne Pepper and the whole St. Margaret’s/ St. Mary’s crew from Homer/Cortland, NY). Being upstate New Yorkers, hats were worn during the winter and mantillas during the summer, although there was no fast and hard rule. (Sheesh, I even remember one of my English teachers wearing a veil- She became principal later…. after bearing 8 children).
    The veil is about “covering one’s glory before the Lord.” I am glad I am just old enough to remember the church before the disaster.

  48. gracie says:

    NoraLee9,

    I remember some older Italian ladies wearing long black scarves to the 7 a.m. Mass – sometimes mantillas and sometimes made out of wool. They were all women who had come from Italy at some point in their lives.

    A custom from the past that would, imho, be far more meaningful for both sexes would be the reappearance of the rosary at Mass. It was not uncommon to see people (even a few men!) praying it during Mass. I’m not saying everyone did it but it certainly raised no eyebrows – it was a quiet meditation that went along with – not in contradiction to – what was going on at the altar. Today we’d call it multi-tasking. It goes against the grain of the Protestant-style active participation demanded of the Novus Ordo. Otoh, it’s quite useful to say during the more dreadful versions of the NO.

  49. Salvelinus says:

    Wow. There is some 1980s style feminism going on in this combox,

  50. VexillaRegis says:

    Dear Salvelinus, no there isn’t. We are all guests in Fr. Z’s salon/saloon and wouldn’t be here if we didn’t behave like ladies and gentlemen. And, after all, women are not obliged to wear any head gear in church under the current law.
    I still think gorgeous, radiant men should be covered in church and not sit there and tempt the weaker sex. ;-)

  51. Chon says:

    lmgilbert: Men are also distracting to women. For example, they need to stop wearing jeans, especially to serve Mass. I have in mind a certain hunky tall guy at my parish. You can imagine what body part is at eye level when he puts the paten under ladies’ chins when they kneel for communion.

    JesusFreak84: If you want help with ADD, a hooded cloak works much better, and is more humble. Think: peasant-wear vs. fine lady.
    (e.g. you can easily order a nice Tara cape from Kerry Woollen Mills in Ireland).

    Salvelinus: No, there is thinking going on here. The Church does not require women to wear any specific garment. Here’s something to think about: Many women refuse to wear cloth on their heads because they do not want to encourage sharia in the U.S. It has become a survival issue.

    Magdalena and Gracie: Amen!

    wmeyer: some of us feel this topic is shoved down our throats on this blog because there are never any articles from people trying to give some balance to the discussion.

  52. Chon says:

    Stephen McMullen: Try a hooded cloak.

  53. Chon says:

    Salvelinus: No, there is thinking going on here. The Church does not require women to wear any specific garment. Here’s something to think about: Many women refuse to wear cloth on their heads because they do not want to encourage sharia in the U.S. It has become a survival issue.

    (my comments made a long post that went into moderation, so the above is an excerpt)

  54. Chon says:

    JesusFreak84: If you want help with ADD, a hooded cloak works much better, and is more humble. Think: peasant-wear vs. fine lady.

    (e.g. you can easily order a nice Tara cape from Kerry Woollen Mills in Ireland).

  55. Chon says:

    wmeyer: Some people feel this topic is shoved down their throats on this blog because all the articles on veils are from one viewpoint–trying to convince women to wear veils. Where are the articles with legitimate differing thoughts?

  56. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Okay, let’s do what the medievals did and ask St. Isidore about the early Christian world!

    Right after his chapter on ornaments for men’s heads, Book 19, chapter 31 is about ornaments for women’s heads. He lists the “diadema” which is for matrons (and in the Greek seems related to the word for “power” which Paul uses about heads, not that Isidore says that), the “nimbus” which is a linen headband ornamented with gold and worn across the forehead; the hood (“capitulare”, “capitulum,” or “cappa”); the “mitra” which was worn by women who’d taken religious vows, and which looked like a men’s Phrygian cap except made out of wool instead of leather, and which was tied on by “redimicula” strings; and the “ricula” which was some kind of small veil, and marked a virgin who’d taken religious vows. Women also wore crowns on occasion (“corona”), which were tied on by the same kind of ribbons/threads and fillets that were sewed through hair to keep hairstyles together.

    From other sources, we know that matrons confined their hair with “vittae,” which were thin woolen strips.

    The “stola” was regarded as an article of clothing by Isidore, rather than as headgear. (Every married woman and widow in the Empire was supposed to wear one, by law coming down from pagan imperial times, and not wearing one marked you as a prostitute then; and most married women in Europe continued to wear them until after Carolingian times.) So you have to go back to Book 19, Chapter 25. He tells us that the “palla” was a cloak, and that the “stola” covers the head and shoulders, that the right side is pulled over the left shoulder (in a nice curve), and that it’s also called “ricinium” (which he associates with how it’s “pulled back”) or “mavors” (a bad pun mixing Greek “mafortis” with the old Latin name for Mars). He says that in Spain in his day, women wear the “amiculum” or linen cloak as a mark of respectability, although in ancient times it was a prostitute’s cloak. The Arabian or Mesopotamian veil is a “theristrum.” (And a bunch of other info about cloak styles.)

    It seems from other sources that as time went on, the square, dark ricinium went from being the pre-stola equivalent of the man’s toga, to being the mourning garment, and then the widow’s garment. Then it got replaced by the “mafurtium,” which was a short little mantle or palla. We also know that a stola was originally a strappy wool outer robe, and that the head and shoulders thing in ancient times was the “palla.” Isidore also doesn’t get into the wedding veil or “nubes” (“cloud”) except in reference to other terms, or that it was a sort of flame-colored red-orange and covered the face.

    Anyway, the closest thing to the modern chapel veil would appear to be the “ricula,” but nobody seems to have pictures. You’ve probably seen plenty of statues of Roman women wearing the palla in various styles.

  57. Luvadoxi says:

    Just a few brief thoughts:
    1. I think the veils in the video were beautiful, and so was the joy in the women speaking.
    2.I interpret the passage in Genesis as a fruit of the Fall, not a command to men to be over women.
    3. I honestly have no idea what St. Paul meant about the angels and all that. Could this have been a local order issue and not a universal command?
    4. I truly think some young Catholic men with issues would really like to see us covered head to toe in burkhas.
    5. I’m a convert to the Catholic faith, and in all my years in ecclesial communities, I’ve never seen so many people making judgments about what other congregants are doing during the worship service/Mass.
    6. Please for the love of Pete will people stop using “veil” as a verb?

  58. awmnathome says:

    Great video! It’s good to see women of different shapes and sizes sharing about covering their heads. I think it is very well done. I’m surprised at some of the comments here. I cover my head not for my husband, not for you, but for my God! I humble myself before God not to show you my humility (which I don’t have much of ;) but in an attempt to realize that I am not God. I did ask my husband if he minded if I covered my head not because he demands it but because I respect him and his opinion. I do like the “life giving vessel” reason. We as women do have that gift, not just as it relates to having children (I have struggled with infertility) but how God has made us, who we are as women. I do consider myself a feminist, I value, appreciate and am glad to be a woman, that is how God made me!

  59. wmeyer says:

    The use of a chapel veil has nothing to do with burkhas; that is a red herring. And no one here has said in any commentary that I have seen that it should be a requirement. I can think of many things which ought to be made mandatory long before that: not arriving dressed for the beach, not arriving halfway through the Gospel, not dashing for the door right after receiving, to name a few. Oh! and not receiving in the hand. Those ought to be mandatory. And I am still not shoving even those things down anyone’s throat.

  60. slainewe says:

    Salvelinus says:

    “Wow. There is some 1980s style feminism going on in this combox.”

    Yes, and it breaks my heart. I test the waters occasionally and all I learn is that the heresy of unisexism is still thriving even in the “conservative” Church.

    Catholic women covered their heads for some 1960 years because the Church believed the words of Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. Had it been simply a matter of “personal choice,” how would it have reached the status of Canon Law? To now throw away the Apostle’s words and bring back the head covering on our own terms is (IMHO) to clean the house for new demons.

    [This is not to take away from the good intentions of the video makers. I am responding to some posters’ reaction to the teachings of Saint Paul. It is fine to emphasize the personal blessings received from wearing the veil as long as this does not replace its main purpose in helping women understand God's role for them in relationship to men.]

    @Luvadoxi:

    One explanation of Saint Paul’s admonition for women to cover their heads “for the sake of the angels,” is that the angels see the full reality of the plan of salvation. They see the unfathomably humility of God becoming and serving man. The angels accepted their own role of serving man even though they are superior in nature to us. So when they see Woman, who was created from the substance of Man to be his helpmate, refuse to humble herself before him (which sign is a covered head), they grieve.

  61. snoozie says:

    Been veiling for about 4 months now, and I love, love, LOVE it!!! It’s made a significant difference for the better in my prayer life…yes, that’s right!

    For those that are getting all worked up about a veil vs. a hat, please, grow up. Let’s call it ‘covering’, and that covers both; but truly, there is something different about the veil….nobody is saying that anyone HAS to do it, but for those who haven’t shut themselves off from the idea, ladies, I urge you from the bottom of my heart….try it. And I mean give it a try with a sincere heart…not just one day; commit to a month, and I can almost guarantee you, you will be kicking yourself for not having done it sooner.

  62. chantgirl says:

    Wearing a veil to Mass reminds me that I am to be a bride of Christ, and that I am witnessing the Lamb’s Supper at Mass. I am a headstrong woman who has difficulty being gentle and docile as a bride of Christ, and even more difficulty being a gentle and docile bride of my husband .The veil helps to remind me of what I should be. It reminds me to ask for the graces I need in this regard.

    This comparison to the burka reminds me that the beautiful things in Catholicism are twisted into something evil in Islam. We veil out of love because we are beloved. Islam views women as inferior, objects to be used and owned by men on earth and even in the Muslim concept of Heaven.

  63. Chon says:

    wmeyer: No, talking about burkhas is not a red herring. In some Protestant circles women are forced to wear head coverings as submission to all men. Some of those women have converted to Catholicism, still bearing wounds from this practice. The burkha is the same idea. And people like ISIS are out to force the burkha on all women in the world. They have plans to take over the United States and impose sharia law. Have you spent any time on Robert Spencer’s website, jihad watch . org ? Some of Fr. Z’s posts come from there. This is not a far-fetched fear. Many women who will not wear a head covering do it as a statement against the Islamization of America. Wake up. Times have changed radically. A veil in America in this decade sends a powerful signal.

  64. churchlady says:

    From Bea: “For a TLM Mass I ALWAYS wear one. The holiness of the Mass demands it.”

    Isn’t every Mass holy? Bread and wine are changed into Our Lord at every Mass; should not every Mass demand the same reverence?

  65. Chon says:

    slainewe: That same canon law also said that men and women should sit on opposite sides of the church. Are you doing that? Or do you sit on the same side as men? Another example: are you fasting from midnight before you take communion? Or are you picking and choosing your old canon laws? (I guess one could call that being a cafeteria canonist :-)

  66. Chon says:

    wmeyer: I forgot to mention that there is enormous pressure to wear a chapel veil in the FSSP parishes I have visited. Yes, burkha comes to mind.

  67. churchlady says:

    Chon: “A veil in America in this decade sends a powerful signal.”

    This particular statement, I couldn’t agree more, but our context differs, I’m sure. How beautiful are our Sisters and Nuns in their veils! Aren’t most of us readers here hoping that Sisters/Nuns all go back to wearing their habits and veils? They certainly send quite a signal!

    As far as a chapel veil and a burka – completely different items and meanings. We are not wearing chapel veils in the streets, we are wearing them only where Our Lord is present. Now that’s a powerful statement. Wearing a veil in our beloved Catholic churches and where Our Lord is present is a very personal decision. However, with the increase of TLM and ancient Masses, more women are doing so. For those who do not attend a TLM parish and are curious, it is nice to see more information out there about veiling. So, thank you to the young lady who made this video.

  68. Chon says:

    churchlady: I am concerned about making converts to the church. I would never bring a visitor to a parish with ubiquitous veils. For my reason, see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Because of differing contexts, which are often inside of people’s heads, this veil movement is ill timed.

  69. APX says:

    I am not a Bride of Christ, therefore I won’t veil and take something so meaningful to consecrated virgins, nuns, and sisters and diminish it into something common to all Catholic women. They have been called by Christ to be His bride and their veil is a sign of their consecration.

  70. wmeyer says:

    Chon: First, we are not Protestants. Please do not conflate their notions with the tradition of head coverings in the Catholic Church. Second, yes, you did fail to mention the FSSP, and yes, people in TLM parishes — with or without the FSSP — tend to follow pre-Vatican II practices, which still have nothing to do with the burkha.

    We know who we are. If you lose your sense of self when you put on the veil, and feel oppressed, believe me, it is not the veil itself. Instead of recoiling, you might try discussing with some of those women who wear it. I suspect you will find they offer comments similar to those on the video. And I will be very surprised if any of them feels oppressed by it.

  71. wmeyer says:

    To your last point, Chon, that the veil “movement” seems ill timed to you relates to you. It does not make the use of the veil any less appropriate to others.

    We do what we do in God’s time. As we are moved, or called, we act. Clearly, you do not feel such a call.

  72. wmeyer says:

    I should not have closed without sayin, Chon, that I will pray for you, and pray you may discern right action for your own situation.

  73. slainewe says:

    Chon,

    But not all canon laws are a confirmation of a specific teaching of Saint Paul that is contained in Holy Scripture.

  74. The Sicilian Woman says:

    I’ll give the video credit on its professional production quality.

    Beyond that, it reminded me of TV-salesman pitches for kitchen products that could accomplish innumerable feats for such a nominal fee! I was expecting someone in the video to say that the chapel veil cures cancer, too, for all that was attributed to doing so.

    As capchoirgirl said, some of us “life-bearing vessels”…will never bear life, for whatever reason(s) and I share all of her sentiments. I also noticed no one responded to her question about how we infertile or never-had-the-opportunity-to-conceive women (who will become infertile and childless as of menopause) are regarded.

    My friend VexillaRegis, ditto to what you said. Try living in a military town. Gorgeous, radiant (and buff!) men abound, and some of them attend Mass. (PS Thanks for your saintly prayer army! Some good news on Friday, but still an ongoing battle.)

    Just remember, Nancy Pelosi (74 years old), and those women of her generation like her, must have grown up wearing a veil or other head covering. Did so much good, didn’t it? Come to think of it, those in my “Catholic” family and (most family friends of whom I can think) who grew up wearing a veil or head covering pre-VII and long before it, all have either a) fallen away from the Church completely, or b) are part of the Pelosi branch, i.e., calling themselves Catholic but outright disagreeing with Church doctrine in the usual areas. Chew on that for a bit.

  75. The Sicilian Woman says:

    *for all that was being attributed to it.

  76. slainewe says:

    In the 90′s I was living in a parish that had a high school. I was in the church praying one morning while a rehearsal was taking place for the upcoming Mass for the graduates. The teacher told the boys that they were to remove their graduation caps during the Consecration. All the girls were genuinely puzzled. They didn’t understand why they didn’t have to remove their caps as well. And the Catholic teacher had no answer for them other than it was just the way it was done.

    I guess there was some discussion of it afterwards because the next year I attended the Mass for the graduates and, during the Consecration, the boys left their caps on. I was shocked at the time but I guess it follows that if Saint Paul was wrong about the heads of women being covered, he must also be wrong about the heads of men being uncovered.

  77. slainewe says:

    Sicilian Woman:

    When the woman cried out to the Lord, “Blessed is the Womb that bore Thee and the Breasts that nursed Thee,” He replied, “Blessed, rather, are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

    Physical motherhood is only one aspect of woman’s dignity as a “life-bearing vessel.” More important is her role to birth mankind into Heaven by fulfilling her role as keeper of the Faith in her home and community. She bears mankind primarily in her heart, not her womb.

  78. Bea says:

    Well, yes, Churchlady, in the NO Mass Transubstantiation takes place, as well as the TLM Mass.
    In that perspective the NO Mass is just as holy.

    However, the TLM focus is on God and draws us to a closer more personal awareness of the presence of God. This awareness of HIM draws us to each other in unity with HIS Presence.

    In the NO Mass I find too much focus on community as if being in the presence of the community with God’s Presence as a goal were the goal of the Mass. This has it all in reverse.

    Community is not a demand on me to wear a veil, the sense of the presence of God does.
    The sense of Sacrifice is more prevalent in the one and not the other.
    This is just a personal opinion, of course

    As you said:
    “should not every Mass demand the same reverence?”
    Yes, it should, but unfortunately the distractions of the NO Mass detracts from this reverence and does not demand it.
    I spend half my time at the NO Mass fighting distractions instead of focusing on God.

    Luvadoxi:
    “6. Please for the love of Pete will people stop using “veil” as a verb?”
    Veil is both a noun and a verb
    from merriam-webster dictionary:
    2veil verb
    : to cover (something) with a veil or with something that is like a veil : to hide or partly hide (something)
    Full Definition of VEIL
    transitive verb
    : to cover, provide, obscure, or conceal with or as if with a veil
    intransitive verb
    : to put on or wear a veil

    wmeyer
    “Decorum. Apparently an ancient term now, in this age of football jerseys, cut-offs, and scoop-cut blouses.
    …..
    Decorum. Can we get a revival?”
    I wish we could. My husband remembers NYC baseball games attended by men in ties and/or suits and travel by men and women in suits and women in hats and gloves.
    A beautiful time lost by men and women with self-respect that showed in their attire.

  79. Marissa says:

    Wow. There is some 1980s style feminism going on in this combox,

    Sometimes I think places like this will not be so full of such nonsense, but then I’m proven wrong.

  80. Marissa says:

    To clarify, the nonsense was not the comment itself, but the feminism.

  81. Chon says:

    wmeyer: You do not understand my point at all. I am not conflating anything. I KNOW women wear veils at TLM Masses for reasons that have nothing to do with the burkha. That is obvious to any reader of this blog who has a pulse. My point is that OUTSIDERS don’t know that. Have you accepted my invitation to read 1 Cor. 9 in an attempt to maybe look at this issue from another angle?

  82. Chon says:

    wmeyer: You assume I am a woman. What gave you that idea? By the way, my parish has TLM Masses. Very few women wear head coverings. My priest rolls his eyes at all this veil hype. And no thanks, I do not need your prayers to discern anything about this lace fad. I already have discerned. Let’s lose the sanctimoniousness, ok?
    Regarding your suggestion: Of course women who wear veils don’t feel oppressed by it. If they did, they wouldn’t wear one.

  83. snoozie says:

    Chon, seriously….what’s wrong with you?

  84. gracie says:

    Chon,

    To your point, I’ve seen a few comments elsewhere saying that if we show Muslims we also are devout by adopting some of their practices – like wearing head coverings – that it may encourage some of them to be attracted to Catholicism. I’m mentioning it because it appears that some posters here are not aware that this reasoning is being put out there by at least some people. If that *is* the thinking of anyone reading this blog article, all I can say is that the head coverings that Christian women of Iraq commonly wear are not stopping the Muslims from slaughtering them – apparently we Christians are infidels even with our heads covered.

  85. Chon says:

    Marissa, the readings at Mass today included the fact that what the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. The Church has loosed women from head coverings at Mass. And you call it feminist nonsense to point that out?

  86. Chon says:

    snoozie, nothing is wrong with me. What is wrong with you?

  87. Chon says:

    gracie, yes! All this obsession about fabric is just darn silly. The Muslims who kill Christian women seem to know better than some readers of this blog that what one believes is the real issue, not what one wears on one’s head. Thanks for your support and understanding of what I am trying to say. And thanks for the info; I did not know that idea was floating around out there. What’s next after the veil–should we also practice female genital mutilation to attract Muslims to what used to be Catholicism before we started imitating the Muslims?

  88. StWinefride says:

    Luvadoxi: it is believed that the Angels are present in the Sanctuary during Holy Mass. Here are a few quotes from the Saints and one from the Mass itself:

    From the Incensing of the Offerings at High Mass:

    “May the Lord, by the intercession of blessed Michael the Archangel, who standeth at the right side of the Altar of incense, and of all His Elect, vouchsafe to bless + this incense and receive it as an odour of sweetness: Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    “One day, when I was assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, I saw an immense number of Holy Angels descend and gather around the Altar, contemplating the Priest. They sang heavenly canticles that ravised my heart; Heaven itself seemed to be contemplating the great Sacrifice.” (St Bridget of Sweden)

    “When the Mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the Altar”. (St John Chrysostom)

    “The Angels surround and help the Priest when he is celebrating the Mass”. (St Augustine)

    “The Heavens open and multitudes of Angels come to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”. (St Gregory)

  89. StWinefride says:

    Sorry, it’s “They sang heavenly canticles that ravished my heart”. Not “ravised”.

  90. VexillaRegis says:

    Fr. Z, don’t bring in the fire extinguisher just yet, please! :-)

    Dear Sicilian Woman, good to hear. Pray for me too.

  91. lampada says:

    Thank you, Chon, for pointing out that the old canon law on wearing headcoverings also stated that men and women were to be segregated in Church (same canon!). If people are so wedded to tradition and the old laws, they should separate men and women at Church, fast from midnight, and observe any number of obsolete disciplinary laws.

    Why don’t I personally wear a headcovering to 99.99% of the Masses I attend?

    1) Because it reinforces the erroneous idea that women are submissive to all men. The male chauvinists – yes there are some very dyed in the wool chauvinists at TLMs and elsewhere – like to make their wives and daughters wear headgear. Shunning and other techniques help isolate non-covering women from the covered, especially in certain TLM parishes where people abhor slacks on women and pretty much say it’s a sin for women not to cover in church. Yes, I have been in parishes where there was strong disapproval of women not wearing headcoverings and if they perchance wore perfectly modest slacks. I refuse to pander to that.

    2) I will not wear anything that can make me look like a religious (cloth veil), Amish (kerchief), or scarf in a manner that makes me look like a Muslim. I will not disrespect the blood of the martyrs or victims of sharia law by wearing headcoverings that could be mistaken for a Muslim’s. I have nothing against people in a Christian culture who wear headcoverings as a normal cultural expression but in my country, it is NOT the fashion to wear headcoverings.

    3) All laypersons are equally brides of Christ. By that logic, men should also cover in church. Likewise, all baptized lay men and women equally share in the priesthood of Christ. Does that mean we shouldn’t cover our heads if we happen to be female at Mass?

    4) I do not appreciate people who canonize their private “devotions” that are not considered devotions by the Church. To claim- as some do- that one feels “called by God” to wear a headcovering is tantamount to saying that it is intrinsically better or more virtuous to do so, which implies that those of us who don’t are missing out on special graces and blessings. Hats, snoods, mantillas, prayer caps, hoods, and the like are not sacramentals the last time I checked. Believe me, were I to find that headcoverings are sacramentals approved as such by the Church, I would rush to wear one. But somehow I must have missed the memo :)

    5) Some women claim to have better attention and focus on the Mass. That’s fine by me. We put blinkers on horses to help them focus. I guess this is the equivalent for some women. I’d rather have the choice, thank you very much. The Catholic woman should be able to focus on the liturgy without the aid of a hat. Women over the centuries used headcoverings as a fashion statement more than a religious gesture. Look at all the paintings, and you’ll see a variety of unique hair sculptures and jewels and all kinds of hair art for the wealthy. The feather or the jewel and a tuft of satin was never meant to be a blinker that blocked one’s peripheral view.

    6) The idea that the sacred is veiled is bruited about by people who love headcoverings on women. Okay. Let’s run with this a little bit. ALL the baptized are sacred. Some baptized are more sacred than others and are known as sacred persons. I’m one of them. The consecration bestowed on me by my bishop made me a sacred virgin, a “sacred person”. It is a sacrilege to lay violent hands on me (as with religious, priests, and other consecrated persons in the consecrated state of life). Yet, I received a bridal wedding veil at my solemn consecration as a bride of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. NOT a veil to wear on a daily basis because I am expected to wear the customary attire of my fellow women in my country who do not wear headcoverings except outdoors as protection against the elements. I am nowhere obliged to wear headcoverings in Church as a consecrated virgin. It is not part of my Church defined vocation. If I, who am, however unworthily, an icon of the Church, and a sacred person, am not required or expected to wear a headcovering in Church, why do laywomen rush to wear one under the guise that it marks the sacred woman? If the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first sacred virgin, were to live in this century in the USA, I would bet that she would not wear a headcovering because it is not a custom of the women. If people could mistake Jesus the Son of God as a “mere carpenter”, it was because He looked and behaved like a poor carpenter would in His day and age. Likewise, Mary blended in with her culture and was the carpenter’s wife.

    7) Much of the virtue of modesty has to do with not making a spectacle of oneself for one’s station in life. Hence, if we read St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis deSales, we would understand that for Americans to buck cultural norms and wear lacy headgear would not normally be considered modest because it is not consistent with the social mores.

  92. jflare says:

    APX, Chon, Vexilla,
    I agree with Salvelinus, there IS quite a lot of 1980′s vintage feminism going on here. Even the mere mention–and video–of using chapel veils has some of you screaming about something being rammed down your throats. You’re actually behaving as though the USCCB and other conferences were on the verge of mandating that women must wear veils for Mass or become mortally sinful. I see no indication that anyone has required you doing anything you don’t wish yourself.

    To be quite blunt, this kind of response seems to me precisely why many men not so different from myself have simply vanished from the Church’s doings. After so long, if women insist on screeching incessantly over something that’s fairly minor, men begin to understand that you’ll ultimately do what you darn well please anyway, so they may as well simply quit and let you go to it.

    We can take lots of static if needed, but if it’s not critical, we probably won’t waste energy on a fight that’s already essentially lost.

  93. VexillaRegis says:

    The Sicilian Woman said: “I was expecting someone in the video to say that the chapel veil cures cancer, too, for all that was attributed to doing so.” Hilarious!
    I would consider wearing one if it helped against going grey.

  94. Volanges says:

    I’m old enough to have had to cover my head until I was in my teens. I don’t remember any deep theological or spiritual conversations surrounding the practice, we wore something on our head because the Church said we had to. Recently discovered photos from my brother’s First Communion, just prior to the lifting of the obligation, show a church full of women with covered heads and nary a veil/mantilla in sight. Women wore hats to most social occasions in those days.

    The Church document that removed the obligation for women to cover their head recognized that the practice was no longer socially relevant as there was no longer a societal expectation that women wear head coverings to social events, tea with the Queen and Ascot notwithstanding.

    Should the Church again require us to wear something on our heads I doubt I’d opt for the ‘veil’. I didn’t do it back then, I’m unlikely to do it now. I’ll wear whatever I happen to have which will likely be a kerchief in the summer and my polar fleece hat in the winter. I remember wearing a fake fur helmet to Mass, it’s what girls who lived in cold climates wore in the winter in the 60s.
    http://mattsko.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/60shats502.jpg

  95. Marissa says:

    Marissa, the readings at Mass today included the fact that what the Church looses on earth is loosed in heaven. The Church has loosed women from head coverings at Mass. And you call it feminist nonsense to point that out?

    I’m calling the posters here on there feminist nonsense, the hysterical shrieking about burkas, the absurd “I can be as crude as a catcalling construction worker against the hot altar servers” competition with the male sex drive. Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m certainly not criticizing the church, Screwtape.

  96. KAS says:

    The video is lovely. Could have used something additional on the theological side, but what it does is very well done. I agree with the sentiments expressed in the video completely. A very good practice.

    We are not fundamentalists. In the team of our family my husband may press into the harness a tiny bit stronger, thus making him the “lead” but we are both under the authority of God who is the driver, and it is my job to balk if the lead is going wrong, and to obey God before I obey my husband. A subservient woman is useless. A good woman remembers proverbs 31, as well as the admonition that husband and wife are of equal dignity before God, and I doubt very much such a woman was a doormat as the “submission” theorists imply with their plucking of one passage from the Bible.

    Women veil to please God the same as some people fast extra days, or pray novenas, or make special trips to Adoration, or say the daily office, or any number of other worthy practices. It is a very good pious practice and well worth doing.

    Catholics have all sorts of lovely practices from which to choose, and it seems rather odd that so many feel called to snark about this one. If it is nothing to you, then say nothing. Why join a conversation simply to complain that the practice makes you feel bad, or you hate it? Everyone knows there are people who hate veiling. There are also people who hate the Extraordinary form of the Mass, altar rails, beautiful icons of Saints, the Rosary, communion on the tongue or kneeling, celibacy for priests, and no end of other wonderful things relating to our Faith. No conversation online about the delights of these traditional things and practices is left unmolested by those who feel obligated to jump into the conversation just to spit on the practice and accuse those who love them of some nefarious desire to force everyone into some straw man mould. Pious practices are GOOD practices even if not requirements of the Faith. Mass is obligatory, a veil is not– so why all the posts complaining about it?

    Downers on the topic of pious practices really need to ask themselves whose side are they on?

  97. snoozie says:

    You want theological content?…. this is even better…..

    http://www.veilsbylily.com/the-theological-significance-of-the-veil/

  98. VexillaRegis says:

    KAS said: “Downers on the topic of pious practices really need to ask themselves whose side are they on?”

    That’s really low.

  99. Kati says:

    Gabe,

    I want you to know that I registered for Fr. Z’s website (though I’ve been reading it for years) particularly to thank you for the beautiful and profound perspective that you shared regarding veiling. You stated: **The veil, when properly understood, signifies a “life bearing vessel.” This is why the chalice is veiled on the altar when not in use, because it is used to hold the blood of Christ, i.e., something that is alive. This is also why tabernacles usually – or used to – have a covering or veil, at least something that covers the door, because they contain the living body of Christ. All the other stuff about increasing spirituality and such is all fine and good, but I think that can sound very selfish and overly pious to some women, as some of the comments here prove.

    But in the context of signifying a “life bearing vessel,” the veil takes on a profound new meaning; one that can help women connect themselves to Our Lord, and especially to Our Lady, in ways that men cannot. Thought of in this way, the veil is much more of a blessing than just a spiritual “power-up.” …snip… Personally, I think blows away any other reason for veiling. It really sets women apart as something special, and should remind men why women are to be respected.**

    Thank you so much for this and I think that if the lovely young woman who made the video does indeed create a sequel (and with her obvious talent, I hope that she does so), she should definitely use your wonderful contribution. I LOVE the notion of women as ‘life-bearers’ in this special way and the whole notion of being a SACRED vessel. Truly beautiful! Thank you again.

    PS I believe that I may have to check out that Martin Mosebach’s book “The Heresy of Formlessness.”

  100. JesusFreak84 says:

    Don’t tempt me with a hooded cloak ^_~ Granted I’m now picturing mage robes from Standard Fantasy RPG #4905493934…

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  102. Chon says:

    Okaaaaaay…Marissa has called me a demon, Snoozie has said something is wrong with me…WHO is screeching?

  103. Chon says:

    lampada….lovely post!
    And once again, why are some of you men assuming Chon is a woman? There are men out here who do not like legalism, which is one thing the women are objecting to.

  104. Chon says:

    KAS: We don’t hate veiling. We think the ideas some people have about veiling are spiritually dangerous.

  105. churchlady says:

    Chon: “We think the ideas some people have about veiling are spiritually dangerous.”

    Was anything said in this video spiritually dangerous? Have you asked women at your parish who veil why they do so?

    I doubt you are going to find any of them saying their husbands made them, (And what about the single women who do?) in fact, with those who don’t, you will probably find the opposite, some husbands will not allow it. Isn’t that just as oppressive?

  106. jflare says:

    “And once again, why are some of you men assuming Chon is a woman? There are men out here who do not like legalism, which is one thing the women are objecting to.”

    If you’re a man, Chon, you’re the first I’ve ever encountered who would throw a fit over whether women should veil or not. Most of those who howl most loudly most quickly are women. Mostly, they’re raging because they don’t like the rules as they stand and don’t wish to understand why the rules exist. Ironically, somewhere along the line, they’ll insist that Vatican II did away with such archaic nonsense. Vatican II did not do so, but provoked everyone to..think about why this or that practice exists….

  107. jflare says:

    “We think the ideas some people have about veiling are spiritually dangerous.”

    I would contend that such attitudes need to be examined very carefully. If you think the ideas about women veiling are spiritually dangerous, you’d best be thinking about many, many “innovations” in the Church that reflect the “Spirit of Vatican II”. Talk about dangerous ideas!

  108. alanphipps says:

    Sicilian Woman said:

    “I also noticed no one responded to her question about how we infertile or never-had-the-opportunity-to-conceive women (who will become infertile and childless as of menopause) are regarded.”

    I believe this relates to the general principle of women having the awesome capacity to bring forth new life, which is also true of marriage in general, even though many couples struggle with infertility. Otherwise it would make no sense for unmarried women or religious sisters to wear a veil. In this sense, what Gabe says is absolutely true “in principle”, in spite of the fact that there are many holy women who struggle with infertility or otherwise will never actually bear children of their own. Peace be with you.

  109. lampada says:

    Kati: Women are “life bearing” vessels, yes. But we shouldn’t be respected because we’re “life bearing”. We should be respected because we are living daughters of God, created in His image and likeness. One shouldn’t take too much meaning out of covering objects. We veil statues in Lent. Is that because they are life-bearing? The corporal/pall covered the chalice. That was meant to symbolize the tomb of Jesus Christ. In real life, St. Joseph the spouse of Mary wore a “veil” just like she did. Was this because he was a “life-bearing” vessel or did it just so happen to be that men those days wore headcoverings because of sun and sand and the women did as well?

    When we start pinning the respect men owe us as humans made by God onto flimsy objects like headcoverings of any kind, we are in sad shape. I will reiterate that I will not wear a headcovering that resembles Muslim-wear. Why? Because it symbolizes all that Christianity is against in disrespecting women as mere man-child-bearing slaves who cover because their lord and masters lust with no self control and who don’t expect other men not to lust over their property. Muslim women aren’t even expected to go to religious services because they were created to serve their owners (husbands and male relatives) and use Fridays to cook feasts for them.

    Churchlady: I have encountered families at TLM parishes in which the men have imposed the mantilla on the women. They may do it because of “religious reasons” but the fact that they are imposing it upon their wives and daughters goes against their dignity.

  110. alanphipps says:

    Chon said,

    “slainewe: That same canon law also said that men and women should sit on opposite sides of the church. Are you doing that? Or do you sit on the same side as men? Another example: are you fasting from midnight before you take communion? Or are you picking and choosing your old canon laws?”

    Of course, slainewe never actually said that we had to observe the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Slainewe only said that it at one time had reached the status of canon law, and therefore because it had been something of canonical significance in the past, it is good to examine the question of wearing the veil today rather than brush it off. Let’s not mock an obviously reasonable question.

  111. Chon says:

    alanphipps: I was not mocking. Please do not jump to conclusions about my motivation.

  112. Chon says:

    churchlady: “Was anything said in this video spiritually dangerous?”

    I was responding to KAS’s general statement, “Everyone knows there are people who hate veiling….” KAS was not talking specifically about the video.

    “Have you asked women at your parish who veil why they do so?”

    Why should I? I have heard zillions of reasons why lay women wear veils. I have done a lot of research on this topic. That is why I told wmeyer that I have already discerned.

  113. Chon says:

    To Whom It May Concern:
    This dialogue is becoming way too shrill, so I am signing off.
    One last idea: Perhaps to be really humble we should all imitate the apparel of St. Mary of Egypt.
    (And if you don’t take that as the simple joke that it is, please lighten up).

  114. Mary Jane says:

    I find it interesting that women who prefer not to wear a veil have such strong opinions about the women who wear veils (and their associated motivations). I also find it interesting that women who wear veils appear to (mostly) just have opinions about veiling (and not about the women who don’t wear veils).

  115. JesusFreak84 says:

    Isn’t there a poll on here about fasting from midnight for Communion anyway? And during the summer, I suspect the men would be far more focused if they sat on the other side of the church from the ladies XD Anyway, if those laws were in effect again, I’d shrug and obey them. These laws were being held up as examples of “unreasonable” old laws; they are not, and Scriptural head-covering is not, either.

  116. VexillaRegis says:

    Mary Jane, I think there is plenty of judgeing going on from both sides here. Some of the veiling proponents seem to be upset over discovering that “proveiling” isn’t the only tolerated opinion on this matter on Fr. Z’s blog.

    So: Veilers, don’t pick on non-veilers and non-veilers don’t judge the veilers. Always be civil and kind.

  117. Chon says:

    JesusFreak:
    “Isn’t there a poll on here about fasting from midnight for Communion anyway? And during the summer, I suspect the men would be far more focused if they sat on the other side of the church from the ladies XD Anyway, if those laws were in effect again, I’d shrug and obey them. These laws were being held up as examples of “unreasonable” old laws; they are not…”

    No, those laws were not held up as examples of “unreasonable old laws.” They were mentioned in hopes that some people would think about consistency in their arguments. I am the one who brought up this topic, and I voted on the poll that we should return to fasting from midnight. I also wouldn’t mind having the sexes segregated at Mass. I do not feel that any law of the Church is unreasonable. Peter has the right to bind and loose.

    Trying once again to sign off, but I’ll come back if people misrepresent my ideas.
    Pax.

  118. slainewe says:

    @snoozie

    Thank you so much for posting this link (which I repost here)

    http://www.veilsbylily.com/the-theological-significance-of-the-veil/

    I have understood the veil in this way since Our Lady told me to don it, but have never heard it expressed, and especially so well!

    [If priests with this Wisdom could attend the Synod on the Family, perhaps we could hope for that restoration of the Domestic Church which will lead to the restoration of the Church Universal. How can we understand the Family without understanding who is Woman? How can we heal the Family without healing the Woman?]

  119. Kati says:

    Lampada,

    You said: * “But we shouldn’t be respected because we’re “life bearing”. We should be respected because we are living daughters of God, created in His image and likeness. One shouldn’t take too much meaning out of covering objects.”

    Not to worry, Lampada. I take a pretty balanced view of all of this…and I was sharing it as my personal reaction to a symbolism that I find to be spiritually inspiring. For me (and others who may have misunderstood) , *life-bearing* can also mean carrying the light of Christ in a way that bears fruit. Although, I am a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, I am indeed aware that I can, with God’s grace, bear other children for Jesus, in a sense, by responding to those momentary inspirations of the Spirit while teaching, sharing and loving, working, etc.

    I have no real concerns about how others interpret what it might mean if I choose to wear a veil or a hat. I recently wore a hat to Church because there is one other woman in our parish who does so each Sunday and she had lamented the fact that no other woman did, so I promised her that I would for Easter. It was a very friendly and humorous conversation that we both enjoyed on the topic. I kept my word to her. Another time, I was a sponsor for an RCIA candidate and had an outfit that included a matching hat but opted not to wear the hat during the candidate’s reception into the Church precisely because I thought the hat might engender distraction from the powerful sacraments taking place. At present, I do not normally wear anything on my head. However, I am rethinking this. Overall, I hope to do whatever pleases the Savior, King and Victor of this world….whether it be a little thing…or something much larger in importance. I’m requesting His opinion. :-)

  120. wmeyer says:

    Pressure to veil at an FSSP parish is understandable. Many, perhaps most, who seek out an FSSP parish do so because they prefer and value old traditions, of which veiling is one.

    Overreaction to this article, and to the beautifully composed video, with its very thoughtful spiritual commentary, is indeed shrill and out of place. It reminds me very much of the screeching by atheists that they are having religion shoved down their throats.

    As has been pointed out by numerous here, there is no canonical requirement to veil. So ladies, do as you feel proper. But shouting down comments you disagree with is never proper.

    And I reiterate, can we get a revival of decorum at the Mass? And in this thread, for that matter?

  121. Chon says:

    What VexillaRegis said is the truth of the matter:

    “I think there is plenty of judging going on from both sides here. Some of the veiling proponents seem to be upset over discovering that “proveiling” isn’t the only tolerated opinion on this matter on Fr. Z’s blog. So: Veilers, don’t pick on non-veilers and non-veilers don’t judge the veilers. Always be civil and kind.”

  122. Luvadoxi says:

    A lively thread! Much to think about. Chon–thank you for the support. I’m not from jihad-watch but am sensitive to misogyny, having experienced and witnessed verbal bullying by men to women. The good-old-days weren’t always so good, and human nature remains the same. Men and women are different in general, with different gifts, but our fallen nature has caused men to mistreat women historically, and we are not immune from that.

    The angels at Mass–I love that!

    Johnette Benkovich (sp?) of Women of Grace talks about all women as spiritual mothers, whether we have borne children or not. She quotes St. John Paul II about our mission to bring life to the world. So beautiful. I do like the fact that we are all, men and women, the Bride of Christ as well.

    When I first converted to Catholicism I loved the Blessed Sacrament so much I instinctively pulled my hair over my face. I never associated this one way or the other with the feminine, or with “veiling”, for that matter. I don’t know whether there’s a connection or not.

    I stand corrected about veil as a verb :)

    I remember when men removed their hats in restaurants too, and the chivalry of pulling chairs out for women. As a Southern woman I can’t help but like that and what it signifies–treating women as queens. :) Men took their hats off, women kept them on–I wonder if this relates to St. Paul at all? Just curious.

    My grandparents in their country Presbyterian church sat men on one side, women on the other. Widespread custom–maybe so women could wrangle the kids.

    Don’t Jewish men cover their heads at worship? I’m just wondering about what the theological reasons are vis-a-vis Christian custom/ St. Paul’s comments.

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  124. ACM says:

    My goodness, I had no idea how passionately people feel about the chapel veil! From what I’ve read above, it appears to be a much more complicated issue than I ever suspected or considered. Thank you one and all for such various and interesting viewpoints and perspectives.

    FYI, for almost three years now, seven days a week, I have happily been going to the local Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by the wonderful priests of the FSSP. Yes, the majority of women attending this Mass do wear chapel veils. No, I do not. Gasp! I’m happy to report that I have never received any negative feedback of any kind whatsoever from anyone. For that matter, nobody has ever pressured me to wear a chapel veil, nor do I feel out-of-place with my bare head. Hallelujah! In some places, charity and love really do prevail. This parish is definitely one of them! Deo gratias!