“I want to share why I choose to wear a veil… and why I love it.”

At the blog Fide Et Literis: By Faith & Learning there is a post entitled I love my chapel veil.

She wrote:

I recently read an article about the comeback of chapel veils entitled, “Head covering is thinly veiled patriarchy.” The author wrote to call out what us veil-wearers don’t seem to see – that “Catholics are not the Amish,” that this trend is anti-feminist, and that wearing a veil is “downright repressive.”

What I’d like to share is that I’m not a barefoot kitchen slave because I wear a veil, nor do I feel repressed as a woman. I want to share why I choose to wear a veil… and why I love it.

My first encounter with veiling happened when my husband and I were visiting my out-of-town sister-in-law about a year ago. We joined her family for Tridentine Mass one Sunday and it was only my first or second time ever attending the traditional Mass. My 12-year-old niece offered me a veil to borrow on our way there, noticeably excited to be able to share something precious of hers with her super cool soon-to-be aunt. I declined her offer. I’d never worn a veil before and really my only thought was, “This is weird.”


You can read the rest there.

Ah, the New Evangelization!

I will now back out of the room.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pete says:

    A friend of mine wrote something on the topic of how she decided to approach head coverings a whiles back: http://holyprotection.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/the-trouble-with-head-coverings/

  2. Long-Skirts says:


    Oh lowly, little, chapel veil
    You are my dearest friend
    For when my hair’s all mops and brooms
    You cover end to end

    And when my hair’s not curling right
    Or when it sticks out straight
    You gently hold it all in place
    And make it look first rate!

    But feminists they hate you so
    You lowly, simple thing
    To them you are so vile not veil
    To praise Our Lord and King.

    And passing by the Church of Seven,
    “Autonomy’s”, their phrase
    They never know the joys of Heaven
    Such as no bad-hair-days!

    For lowly, lacey, chapel veil
    You tame my hair so wild
    But truth-be-told though I look nice,
    It’s really for The Child.

  3. Jael says:

    To quote Ed Peters’ blog:

    “Concerning St. Paul’s statement to the Corinthians quote above, the CDF has stated that this was a discipline based on customs of the time, not a permanent moral obligation:
    ‘But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the periiod, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on their head (1 Cor. 11:2-16); such requirements no longer have a normative value.” [All that means is that women are not obliged by the law. Old news.]
    (The imbedded quote, above, is from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Inter Insigniores, Declaration on the Question of Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood, 1976, n.4)

  4. Jael says:

    Pete, I also have female Orthodox friends who cover the head. However, the Eastern Orthodox have not had an ecumenical council for over 1,000 years, are unable to call one, and therefore are unable to comment on this disciplinary matter in a way that is appropriate for the 21st century.

  5. Fern says:

    I wear a hat not only at the Sacrifice of the Mass but also when entering into the Presence of our Lord. Why? To show gratitude for having been mercifully called back to a deeper commitment to living in Him, for Him in His Church is why. There are so few ways to show gratitude but this is one “small” step and a reminder to me of Who God is. If we are looked down upon, praise God.

  6. APX says:

    I wear a hat[…]. Why? To show gratitude for having been mercifully called back to a deeper commitment to living in Him, for Him in His Church is why.

    How does wearing something on one’s head actually show gratitude or make someone grow more spiritually deep? I really don’t get this. I didn’t experience such things whenever I covered my head. I felt more like everyone was staring at me at that thing on my head.

  7. Christine says:

    I’ve never understood all the fuss about veiling. If a woman does not want to wear a veil while attending the NO, she doesn’t have to. Why is there an issue?

  8. APX says:

    If a woman does not want to wear a veil while attending the NO, she doesn’t have to.

    I never thought veiling was an issue at OF Masses. I think the issue is that some people feel women should have to veil while attending the EF Mass, and if she doesn’t she’s not humble, immodest, or some other such thing.

  9. lizaanne says:

    What an outstanding blog post by Mrs. Holland!! I could not agree with her more.

    And with all due respect to Dr. Peters – if I wish to cover my head when before the Creator of the Universe, I will do so. The Church never told me to stop.

  10. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    The wearing of head-coverings by women and girls when entering the door of the Church (whether during the celebration of the liturgy or otherwise) was a custom carefully observed by all from antiquity – from Apostolic times – throughout all of Christendom. Depending on the era and locale, the head covering might be a hat; it might be a scarf or kerchief; in very long ago times, it might be a coif or veil of linen or cotton; it might be a lace mantilla; it might be a lace chapel veil (like a little doiley, often pinned to the top of the head) – great for children.

    The custom, like many things of value, fell gradually into disuse in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, but many of us keep these pious customs up, as we do the praying of the Angelus and of the Rosary, keeping the feastdays of the saints, and so on.

    During the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday, we are all of us required to devote our entire attention to prayer and devotion; willful distractions such as to allow ourselves to become preoccupied by thoughts about what we will do later in the day, or by allowing our attention to be captured by the appearance, dress, behavior, or mannerisms of those around us, if protracted and willful may be an occasion of sin, if not a sin. To consent to becoming overly preoccupied with these things to such a degree that we lose our spirit of devotion to prayer during Mass is, if nothing else, an indicator of a certain lukewarmness of spirit.

    Therefore, since the wearing of head covering is now optional, if I do or do not wear a head covering to Holy Mass on any given day (depending upon what I can manage to get to stay on my head), I’ve decided that those fellow congregants who have attained a high degree of prayer and fellowship with the Lord, will only be glad and rejoice to see me present, either way, as would befit those who give praise to God in all circumstances. And that those fellow congregants who permit themselves to indulge in inward complaining or grousing at the sight of a woman exercising her option to appear with or without a head covering, have allowed their attention to be distracted from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is never a commendable thing for any Christian to allow himself to do.

    So, let any woman who is tempted to worry or to be afraid what others may think if she wears a head covering to Mass – or doesn’t wear one – remember that those who are habitually devoted to God in all things probably won’t mind either way; they will just be glad she is there; and that the opinions of those who are not habitually devoted to God in all things aren’t worth worrying about anyway.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    Why can’t the NCR types just take their usual pro-choice approach? “If you’re against veils, don’t have one.”

    They have the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be holy.

  12. Timothy Mulligan says:

    I ordered a chapel veil for my mother this morning. She will be attending my traditional chapel on the Feast of Christ the King, October 28th. (Normally. She attends her local Novus Ordo.). It is a beautiful gold chapel veil, perfect for the occasion. I will be singing with the schola.

    I am so grateful to have found Tradition.

  13. Jbuntin says:

    This is something that I struggle with… I always veil when I attend the E.F. Mass; I veil when I go to the Cathedral, but, when I have veiled at my old N.O. parish sometimes I get snickers, or people I know shake their heads. I don’t want to appear to anyone as trying to be more holy than thou. So what happens is I end up not wearing my veil to the NO parish. But my heart tells me that the same Jesus resides in the tabernacle no matter what form of Mass. So I feel as if I am a phoney if I wear it or I don’t. I like to wear my veil but I can tell you truthfully, I’m not quite sure why.

  14. Jael says:

    Fr. Z, this might be “old news” to you, but not to people like Katy Holland, whose article you feature here. Katy refers to St. Paul’s comments on the matter as if there is still a moral obligation to cover one’s head at Mass. Ed Peters’ blog says it’s not a permanent moral obligation. Since we are discussing Katy’s article, my comment seems appropriate and on topic.

    Perhaps you would be interested in my motivation for posting Ed’s comment again. Though many veil-wearers are humble and mind their own business (Katy seems to be in this category), there are others who send me (and other women) endless emails telling us we have to wear a head covering or we’re ____ (fill in some dire condemnation). They keep sending these emails, even when asked to stop. I just wanted to do a service to any brow-beaten non-head-coverers, letting them know that a canon lawyer says head coverings are no longer morally obligatory. My comment is meant to reassure women who tend to be cowed by legalists, and might not know about what you call the “old news.” This “old news” was recently big news to me, and it helped me tremendously.

    [In the list of Spiritual Works of Mercy we find, among the others, “bear wrongs patiently” and “”forgive offences willingly”.]

  15. Pete says:


    Thanks. I’ll politely disagree with your last two points and leave it at that (NB: I myself am Orthodox).

  16. moon1234 says:

    The idea that customs and meaning change with time is a modernist one. For all of the women who would like to veil at the NO, but are intimidated I offer this; Jesus had a very hard journey on the way to Golgotha. He was spit at, mocked, etc. What was the one thing offered to him to clean the blood, sweat and tears from his face on this journey? It was Veronica’s veil.

    A little something for you to remember when you may feel intimidated by those who would make you feel uncomfortable. Offer your worry and uncertainty up to God and unite yourself with him.

  17. Late for heaven says:

    The one time I wore a veil to a NO mass my 22 year old daughter tore it from my head. I didn’t care. I didn’t want her to think of that instead of the mass.

    I wonder if more of us wore veils whether it might inspire other members of the congregation to at least adopt more modest and reverent dress, with or without a veil. Brick by brick.

  18. e.e. says:

    @jbuntin — I feel the same way at my new parish. It is, shall we say, a more “modern” parish in music and liturgy, and no one else veils. If I veil I am quite a distraction, causing all sorts of whispers and stares and the occasional snicker. The same Jesus is present in the tabernacle, absolutely, but the veil here seems to become a distraction to those around me — which is definitely not the purpose of the veil. (Heck, I’m a distraction at this parish if I receive Communion on the tongue! Sigh….)

    Contrast this to my old parish, which was a more traditionally-oriented parish (Communion at a newly installed altar rail in the OF!)… Few women veiled there, but because the attitude of the parish was different, no one was distracted by the 5-10 women at each Mass that did choose to veil.

  19. lizaanne says:

    @ Jbuntin:

    I manage a social group on Catholic Answers called Veiled in Grace – explicitly for women who cover their heads at Mass, or full time. Please consider visiting/joining!


  20. The Sicilian Woman says:

    My parish is NO, but there are about three women (one being older) who veil.

    While I will not veil, I do not look down upon the women who do so. To each her own.

    A devout Catholic blogger had a post detailing why she hoped the tradition did not become mandatory; her reasons were spot-on, but I don’t have the time to look for the post now.

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Some people say, with age comes wisdom.
    Some people say, there’s no fool like an old fool.
    But as I’ve gotten older, I’m less sensitive to What Other People Say. Just do what’s right.
    People sometimes give me a funny look when I wear a chapel cap at our NO parish. I just smile and look as innocent as a 57 year old former trial lawyer can manage to look. Nobody has really cornered me about it (they would draw back a nub) but I just really don’t care any more.

    All for Jesus.

  22. JacobWall says:

    @Joel, @Christine et al.

    I think most people agree that if a woman doesn’t want to wear an altar veil, she is not obligated to. However, I think the issue at hand here is whether women who choose to wear an altar veil by their own desire are permitted to so without incurring the scorn of the fellow Catholics. Articles like the NCR (Fishwrap) one referred to in the blog post are stating that there is actually something wrong with this; they imply that women should not wear altar veils, even if they do so by their own choice.

    (It’s not to different from what happened with the popular devotions about which Fr. Z wrote yesterday.)

    This is so typical of the progressive approach. They say “women don’t have to wear altar veils” (which the vast majority of people agree with) but inevitably make a leap in logic to “women should under no circumstances wear altar veils” (which is absurd.)

    It is this point which people like the woman in this blog are arguing against. They are saying, “I can wear an altar veil, and that doesn’t make me repressed, woman-hating, regressive or anything of the sort.” And they are right. There’s no reason why a modern woman with an active career, etc. couldn’t choose to wear an altar veil. The two are not contradictory.

    While we can say “women are not obligated to wear altar veils,” we also have to make it clear that “women can wear altar veils” and that it is a good thing.

  23. FloridaJoan says:

    Thank you for articulating what I am physically toungue-tied to speak but feel in my heart.

    pax et bonum

  24. JacobWall says:

    oops – I’m getting my words mixed up (as I often do!) – should say “chapel veil.” People who know me in the non-cyber reality know that I do this all the time.

  25. inara says:

    Please forgive my boldness, but I think it may be the case that the Church does actually still require it (though a woman’s culpability may be mitigated, since the rebellion against it has been so great in Western culture). The argument to the contrary seems to be “it was in the 1917 Code, but was not included in the 1983 Code, therefore the Church no longer requires it.” This would seem to make sense, if we are talking about a juridical topic; however, headcoverings for women is a liturgical issue. In the chapter summaries of every Catholic Bible I have examined, Paul’s discourse beginning in 1 Corinthians 11 on veiling is classified as part of “answers to liturgical questions.”

    Canon 2 of the 1983 Code states, “This Code for the most part does not define the rites that are to be observed in celebrating liturgical actions. Therefore, current liturgical norms retain their force unless any of them are contrary to the Canons of this Code.” Since headcoverings for women:

    were required by 1917 Code, canon 1262 & there is no canon in the new Code which is contrary to it,

    supercede canon law by virtue of being an Immemorial Custom (see canon 26 & 27),

    are mandated in Scripture by St. Paul, with no exceptions or allowances (plus an appeal to Natural Law),

    it seems clear that they are a liturgical norm which retains force. Even the Canonical Defender himself says on his blog, “Faithful with liturgical questions probably ought not look to the 1983 Code for answers because, with a few important exceptions, Canon law does not treat liturgical matters.”

    We also have a concrete statement from a much more recent source than the 1917 Code. In June of 1969, Annibale Bugnini (later named Archbishop), Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship & head of the Liturgical Commissions under Popes Pius XII, John XXIII & Paul VI, when asked about his comment from a month earlier that veils were “not on the agenda” of the current reforms (which was incorrectly reported as veils were “no longer required”), said “The rule has not been changed. It is a matter of general discipline.” (I have a copy of the microfiche of the UPI article containing this quote.)

    Whether “rule”, “discipline”, etc. = “binding under pain of sin” can be debated, I suppose, though St. Paul’s strong words seem indisputable, especially since he leads with this topic when addressing problems occurring within the assemblies at Corinth. After all, how can we simply ignore a command of New Testament Scripture? Is that not a dangerous precedent? I think he was clear this was a non-negotiable issue precisely because he understood how timeless it was. Appearing before the Lord uncovered is actually full of impudent, modern feminist symbolism…”I can stand before my God bareheaded, same as you, mister!” (which is why he says it offends the angels present at Mass…even they cover themselves in the presence of the Lord)

    As to the “Inter Insigniores” quote, I truly don’t see how an offhanded comment containing the word “probably”, in a document not even meant to address this subject, can in any way be seen to be a definitive or authoritative statement by the CDF…except by those who are grasping for backup of their preferred opinion.

    This is such a beautiful part of our Catholic identity that has been lost in the West, and I hope more women will seek to understand & embrace it. The theology behind veiling has several facets ~as a sign of being under authority in God’s natural order, as a component of modesty, and as a symbol of the holiness of purpose of woman’s body.

    As a convert who later was prompted by the Holy Spirit to investigate this custom (despite no one else at my parish doing so), I can attest to the beneficial spiritual effect it can have. I am not a “rad trad” (having only ever attended OF parishes), nor would I ever think of passing judgement on another woman’s headcovering or lack of it. I only know that, once I was convinced that this is what pleases Our Lord, I had to wrestle my own will into submission & now I cannot do otherwise. I cannot articulate this well, but I think resistance to headcoverings is a symptom of much deeper cultural problems.

  26. deliberatejoy says:

    I go to a very conservative church which is yet predominately NO, and even though only a handful of women at each of the (extremely well attended) Masses veil, no one blinks an eye at the practice. I know the priests approve – I get no- so-covert grins of approval every time I approach the communion rail – but other than that, no one has ever indicated any kind of comfort/discomfort.

    Given that, I asked my 72 year old dad what he thought before I started (we go together every week) and he asked me why I was thinking about it. I hesitated a bit over the traditional explanations before hitting on one of my real personal reasons – I have a bad knee: bad to the point where I have trouble even genuflecting, much less kneeling, and when I cover my head, I feel like I’m kneeling with my whole body. He laughed a little, and said ‘you know, there are exemptions for that sort of thing’, but I said I didn’t WANT to be exempted, he just nodded, and that was that.

  27. veritas76 says:

    I veil at both the EF and the NO, though it took me a long time to not feel extremely self-conscious at the NO. Since I have started veiling regularly, numerous people (both men and women) have come up to me and thanked me for doing so. The men usually make a comment about beauty, while the women generally make known their own desires to wear a veil, but their hesitancy to do so for all of the reasons discussed here. Don’t be afraid to veil, ladies! You inspire more people than you will ever know by your courage. As we approach the rail (or lackthereof) to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, let us ask Mary to wrap her mantle around us (symbolized by the veil), so that we may receive Jesus as she did, purely, humbly and with great love.

  28. mysticalrose says:

    I really wish I had the courage to wear a chapel veil to Church, but I don’t . . . yet. I have started wearing a chapel cap to adoration as a way to sort of ease into the practice. Also, my husband is way not on board with this, so unless he has a change of heart on the issue, I really can’t ever veil at Mass. His concern is that we would stick out and that our children would be alienated. He does have a point.

  29. nemo says:

    Once our pastor (FSSP) preached a sermon on the significance of the veil. He mentioned that we veil things that are sacred, such as the chalice. There is a special relationship between God and Woman in that when a child is conceived, God instills the soul into the child. Thus the woman is sacred.
    With the rise of feminism in the 1960’s (like anything diabolical), truth was upended and women were made to think that the veil represents oppression. (My observation of what happened at the time, not his–he is not old enough to remember the 1960’s!)

  30. benedetta says:

    Interesting that in this day and age, after we have apparently done away with so many customs, still most brides wish to wear a veil on their wedding day. The tradition still goes back to the same words of St. Paul.

    I found the blog piece that Fr. Z linked to tremendously informative as to why a woman would choose to veil even though it is not required by canon law. Similarly abstaining from meat on Fridays is one of those elective options that we should do, not out of requirement but because we always should wish to choose the good. This blogger did an excellent job of explaining the connection of the words of St. Paul to the current practice and her own understanding!

  31. StabatMater says:

    Reading about the priest’s maniple is what finally sold me on veiling, though my 13 yo daughter began veiling at 10. She is light years ahead of her mother!

    This is another REALLY obvious selling point for me:
    If first ladies, heads of states, and women in general are required to have their arms & legs covered and HEADS veiled to be in the presence of the Holy Father (and most of the women who do so are not even Catholic), why should I even question having my lowly head veiled in the presence of my Lord and Savior, Christ the King of Kings, truly present in the tabernacle and on the altar at each and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? EF or OF or adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament??? He is, after all, ONE God Almighty, transcending time, place, and individual person in the pew… Claiming my insignificance has been the most “empowering” thing I have ever experienced! It’s really not about US at all. Veil on, my sisters in Christ, veil on!

    Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum!

    PS– I was deeply entrenched in feminism before my conversion. Putting a little piece of lace on my head is far less embarrassing than the stuff I ignorantly succombed to in my younger years. It is my prayer that that veil is squashing any last drop of feminism that my be left in me, that I may somehow be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

  32. AnnAsher says:

    I have commented on my veil before and I hold to several reasoned, reasons. But you know what has come to pass in the nearly 4 years since donning my first veil? The deepest reality of the veil for me is I feel interiorly beautiful, hidden in Christ, when I cover my head. One day I will not only cover for prayer and teaching but full time. One day.

  33. kellym says:

    I will confess that I began wearing a chapel veil for rather superficial reasons – I liked how it looked, and it was a relief on those days when my hair was in a rebellious mood. But, as the years have gone on I have come to rely on it to help refocus my attentions on the Mass, whether it be an NO or EF. I am lucky that there are others in my parish who veil and no one looks askance at it. I got more resistance from my parents than anyone else. But if it helps me to leave my self-centeredness and preoccupation with life at the door, no one else should care.

    I wonder if some of the resistance comes from a belief that Catholics worked so hard to become “normal”, i.e. Protestantized, that any outward show of our traditions relegates us to the role of ‘other’, along with fish on Fridays and the resurgence of the EF Mass.

    One of the things I loved about living in an area with a large Italian population (Boston area) were the yards with small shrines to the Blessed Mother. The “Mary on the half-shell” statuary always made me smile and feel all gooey inside. It was a small something that set a Catholic home apart from others and reminded me that I can be in the world but not of it.

  34. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    I am largely in sympathy with inara’s remarks. But I wonder whether she makes too much of the “decustomarization” of women’s headcoverings. During, say, 1946-1955, for me ages 10-19, a woman going to church (in rather “high” more or less “fashionable” Protestant culture) would wear a hat, but so also would she on going to a “standard” or not-positively-non-elegant department store, let alone a truly elegant or “upscale” shop. (I recall an article about the work of a private shopper, or whatever such a worker is called, in a children’s magazine which I received from 1939 to 1949, ages 3 to 13, but of little interest after age 9 or 10, in which it was noted that on going out to work she would put on a hat “so that people would not think she was a storeclerk.”)The disappearance of hats in church (which long antedated the 1983 Code) seems to me more analogous to their disappearance among higher-shopping shoppers than to any attitude of rebelliousness. I do not recall Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” saying a word about hats.

  35. inara says:

    “I feel like I’m kneeling with my whole body.”

    “Claiming my insignificance has been the most “empowering” thing I have ever experienced! It’s really not about US at all.”

    Yes, exactly! :o)

  36. inara says:

    Minnesotan from Florida~ I agree with you that the wearing of hats in general disappeared more as a result of changes in fashion than anything else (though certainly the “casualization” of our culture that began in the 60’s had a ring of rebellion to it). My grandparents owned several upscale (or as upscale as you could get in the UP in the 40’s-50’s) clothing stores & Noni had a closet full of hats (not a few of which belonged to my grandpa).

    I think that is a separate issue from “head coverings” in church, though. Firstly, the doffing of veils was primarily a Western phenomenon ~ this custom has been maintained, even today, in much of Africa & the East.

    Also, hats as the headcovering of choice for women in church was more of a Protestant custom than a Catholic one. The danger with hats (though certainly they would meet the requirement of covering the head) is that they so easily become a fashion statement, rather than a serving a liturgical or spiritual function. I cite the recent royal wedding as an example.

  37. Imrahil says:

    A little correction dear @nemo (and your pastor),

    the veil was meant to symbolize what I call subordination and what those that dislike it call oppression. That is the plain sense of St. Paul’s words.

    However, there is no sense in taking symbols away without taking the thing away, and a certain form of female subordination will ever remain in Christianity as long as Scripture and Tradition are held on to (in a dogmatized way we have the male-only priesthood).

    That the veil, which a.f.a.i.k. is a sacramental, can then secondarily get the meaning that it veils the woman as sacred, is all fine; but the first thought of “oppression” (it being the feminist translation for “subordination”) was not that wrong.

    And there is probably a deeper sense in that a person looks best when he has accepted his position. At any rate it’s a fact. At each and every rate it’s a fact with women chapel veils. I haven’t yet seen a women whom it did not become fantastically.

    Thus I cannot really disapprove if somebody puts it on for so-called superficial reasons (dear @kellym)…

  38. Late for heaven says:

    Once we begin to make some “headway” on bringing back the use of the veil I plan to start wearing my lace gloves to mass too!

  39. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “hats as the headcovering of choice for women in church was more of a Protestant custom than a Catholic one.”

    In what country? In New England, U.S.A., all my Irish-Catholic grannies, aunties, and all the ladies we knew during the 1960s wore hats to Mass. It wasn’t until my family moved to California, where the Spanish and Mexican influence was felt – that we began to see ladies wearing lace mantilla veils. As charming as they are, I have always associated lace mantilla veils with Latin culture.

    I strongly doubt that my English Catholic and Irish Catholic ancestresses back in the old countries wore lace mantillas to Mass. Ever.

  40. joan ellen says:

    Inspiring and encouraging comments re: head coverings are so helpful to me even though I’ve covered my head for so many years now, morning, noon and nighttime. I will stick to my bandana and headband type of coverings, but you all have encouraged me to think about crocheting a nice manilla for Mass.

  41. Margaret says:

    Marion Ancilla Mariae, my understanding is as yours. At least among the Irish-American set, (and certainly the Irish-in-Ireland set) the lacy, transparent veils were not in use at all. Particularly in Ireland, such a thing would have been an extravagant luxury. Lace was finery that perhaps appeared as trim on one’s finest dress. The head covering would have been a practical hat, or a shawl or wrap draped over the head. Similarly, if you google images of Bernadette Soubirous, photos of her prior to entering religious life show her wearing something very opaque and patterned and peasantish.

  42. mvhcpa says:

    I think it is great that so many women (includong my own wife) are now considering or practicing veiling at Mass. However, I also noted here several commenters here considering all-the-time veiling/head-covering. I am not so sure that is wise, in light of the fact that lay Christian women have “lost the trademark” of veiling for modesty, or the proper Pauline notion of submission another commenter described above, to the Muslims (and perhaps orthodox Jews), whose veiling packs in a lot of symbolism way outside the dignity of woman and more to a definitely, by definition, UN-Christian view of submission.

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