The subject of chapel veils, mantillas, whatever, comes up occasionally. It always excites conversation.
My view is that this custom should be revived. According to the Church’s present law, women are not obliged to cover their heads in church. I would be pleased if they did, but… hey…
That said, at the blog Conversion Diary, we read of a woman’s experience of wearing a veil in church for the first time. It is interesting to see this from a convert.
Converts in many ways seem more open to the traditional elements of the faith than many “cradle” Catholics. No?
Let’s see the first part:
Notes from beneath the veil
I wore a chapel veil to church for the first time ever yesterday. It’s something I’d wanted to/felt called to do for years, and I finally committed to doing it during Lent. I didn’t make it to Mass last week because, you know, snakes on a plane, so this Sunday’s Mass was my first shot at it.
My biggest concern was not drawing attention to myself. Though a few women at my parish do wear scarves, hats, or veils in church, they’re a small minority, and I didn’t want to feel like I stood out. So when we arrived I slipped into the pew discreetly, which was made easier by the fact that I only had my five-year-old daughter with me (the one of dragon-defeating fame) since Joe had taken the others to vigil Mass the day before. After the first Scripture reading I finally began to relax, and by the end of the Gospel I felt confident that I was just an anonymous face in the crowd.
And then Fr. Uche began his homily. The Gospel reading was about the Transfiguration, and when he introduced the topic, he mused, “What did Jesus go up the mountain to do?” I jumped when a voice beside me shouted at the loudest possible volume:
That would be my sweet daughter’s pronunciation of “pray.” She’s so excited about Jesus and was so delighted to know the answer that she just had to scream it at the very top of her lungs — and, wow, who knew that a young child’s voice could fill an entire huge building like that? The church was packed with about 1,100 people, and I am pretty sure that every single one of them looked over at us in that moment. I had already felt like THE WOMAN IN THE CHAPEL VEIL!!!!, and now I felt like THE WOMAN IN THE CHAPEL VEIL WHOM WE’RE ALL NOW STARING AT BECAUSE HER KID YELLS AT THE PRIEST DURING MASS!!!!
I’ve gotten a lot of comments and emails from women who said that they were interested in covering their heads but had never tried it, so I thought I’d share my experience in case others find it helpful. And yes, there is definitely something ironic, and possibly a little lame, about undertaking a practice that’s all about humility and hiddenness and then writing about it on your blog. I get that. But I’m going to go ahead and crack open that can of worms anyway, because I know that it’s something a lot of us have thought about, and I think that at least a few folks might find a discussion about the practice to be fruitful.
First, a bit of background:
You can go over there and read the background and other comments about dress, reactions, etc., which as a man – frankly – made me look quickly for an article about new electronic gadgets or baseball or movies with aliens and explosions.
But I am glad she posted about this.
Now I’ll back out of the room, as I always do when posting on this…. See ya!
One more thing….
Here’s a little POLL. Just pick your best answer. Anyone can vote, but you have to be registered to comment.