VIDEO: Chapel veils

UPDATE 8 Sept 2015:

I have learned that this fellow/group is claiming my approval.  It does not have my approval.  As a matter of fact, I am entirely against this group and what he is up to.  It’s weird and there is more than a touch of the neo-nazi to it:

A screenshot sent by an alert and concerned reader:



Just so that you all know that I want nothing to do with them.

ORIGINAL Published on: Dec 2, 2014 @ 04:00

There is a nice video from St. Anne’s parish in San Diego, an FSSP parish. They have their own “Latin Mass Society”, not to be confused with the Latin Mass Society in the UK.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Please don’t conflate different issues in this way.

    Wearing a “chapel veil” should not be identified with a Latin Mass (whether New or old Ordo) because they are different issues: modest clothing is always desireable, but a “chapel veil” or “mantilla” is not the only way for a lady to dress with elegance and modesty.

    Making someone dress in that particular fashion would encourage some to hear Mass elsewhere – my wife, for instance, would hate to be pressurised into wearing a veil.

  2. Stephanus83 says:

    That was a beautiful video. I don’t think the point of the video is to attempt to make someone wear a veil. The purpose of the short video is just to show something beautiful that brings joy to some women’s lives. There were woman in the video who were not wearing a veil after all.

  3. The Masked Chicken says:

    “modest clothing is always desireable”

    I would go even stronger with that statement. As far as chapel veils, I like them. Reminds me of Mama Chicken. You know, we chickens are naturally veiled – one reason for the obvious superiority of chickenkind in matters of liturgical practice.

    The Chicken

  4. lizaanne says:

    I LOVE that video!!! The beauty and reverence of the chapel veil is no longer reserved for little old ladies — the young women in that video are YOUNG!!

    I will never understand why some folks get themselves in such a bunch at the mere mention of a simple piece of lace. My goodness, the first comment out of the box is filled with angst. I just don’t get it.

    Anyway — for those who are so inclined (ladies and clergy only), please consider joining my group on Facebook – Veiled in Grace:


  5. Mariana2 says:

    Yes, why the Angst at lovely and becoming mantillas? Try one on in the privacy of your own bathroom first, you will love the look! Also, they shield you from those sitting next to you and aid concentration.

    Chicken, I love you!

  6. Thorfinn says:

    They are promoting the Third Annual Wear the Veil Day in honor of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother for next Monday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

    I liken the choice to veil or simply dress with modesty to a priest choosing a clerical suit vs cassock; both are appropriate, one emphasizes the other-worldly, and we would be foolish to denigrate either.

  7. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Rursus cum velaminibus, concitor caccaborum?

  8. gloriainexcelsis says:

    The veil is beautiful and feminine. Women have always been expected to cover their heads in Church. Reverence, modesty, emulation of Our Lady, why do women object? When I was a young girl and woman, we didn’t see many veils, but women “dressed up” for Mass and every girl and woman wore a hat. I sometimes will wear one of my hats to Church instead of the veil, depending upon what I happen to be wearing. At my Catholic high school Academy we had beanies to wear to Chapel. In college we always carried a small chapel veil, a round circlet to cover our heads for a quick visit between classes. I have always carried one of those in my car should I happen to find myself near a church for a visit. There are so many beautiful lengths, styles, and even colors of veils that should appeal to different tastes these days.

  9. SaintJude6 says:

    Love the video. Love the veil. No one is pressured to wear the veil. But if you are attending the TLM, it is the tradition. Our parish bulletin states that veiling is “encouraged and appreciated.” I normally see only a handful of women or girls that do not veil at Mass.

  10. Joseph-Mary says:

    I have made lace ‘eternity’ veils that have been given as gifts. Very easy to pull up over the hair and yet look wonderful draped around the neck as well. Lovely and feminine.

  11. Mary Jane says:

    I grew up wearing a veil to Mass, and I still wear one to Mass (or to Confession, Adoration, etc…anytime I am in Church or, like in the case of a procession, anytime I am near the Blessed Sacrament, I pin a veil on). Sometimes little toddler fingers manage to tear it off. :) I’d love to see someone come up with a veil that’s hard for a toddler to rip off…maybe one that has a built-in headband in the hem or something (but that still looks like a traditional mantilla).

  12. majuscule says:

    I’m among those who grew up in the time when women wore a head covering to Mass. But I didn’t wear one when I came back after some years of not going to church. After all, so much had changed…

    When I had the opportunity to attend an EF Mass last year I didn’t think twice. I knew I should cover my head. It was winter, so I wore a hat. Then (a tiny miracle?) I found the mantilla I used to wear all those years ago.

    But as an (ahem) older woman I have found that a plain, lightweight infinity scarf (as Joseph-Mary mentions above) suits me best. Though I do have some lacy veils for dress up.

    Most Sunday Masses are still OF for me. I have started wearing my scarf/veil then, too. (I only got comments the first time.) I also wear it to adoration and confession.

    I am not trying to add a “head-covered” dress code to my parish (or anyone’s). I just think it’s right for me. I’ve been telling other women about Wear a Veil Day and several have expressed interest. Whether they veil or not, I will continue. No judgement coming from me if a woman doesn’t want to do it.

  13. MrsMacD says:

    Mary-Jane, I often tie my mantilla behind my head to keep little one from yanking it off, something like this

    I also have a piece of lace 1yrd long and 1/2 yard wide that has a bit of stretch to it. I wrap it around my head and fling it over my shoulder on either side, the stretch keeps the little ones from yanking it off.

    The imagery in this video is stunning, the music is ghastly, the drum beat just doesn’t go with the whole theme of lifting ones heart and mind to God.

    Like different stages of modesty accepting the veil takes some humility and mortification. I agree that as the church is, it should encouraged but not required. Heaven forbid a mother should stay outside during a weekday Mass because in the rush to get out of the house she forgot her veil (or someone puked on it) or a newcomer should be discouraged from coming because of the added penance. Gradualism?

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    I liked this video. In order to speak to young hearts and minds it has enough snap to be interesting but isn’t lame. How hard that is. What an exceedingly fine line. This was really well done.
    I love the way the veil looks and what it represents. The women in this video stand out from the world, that is for sure, and it’s not just the veil.

  15. ChristoetEcclesiae says:

    Last week, I drove quite a distance to see my family for Thanksgiving, and stopped midway to catch a noon Mass. (Thank you After a beautiful liturgy, I was stopped mid-kneel by a woman who approached and said simply, “If you have the time, could you teach me about modesty?” I blinked, then sat back in the pew and listened.

    For the next 45 minutes, we talked about many things Catholic. It turns out she is a catechism teacher newly moved to the area from a “very liberal” parish in a different diocese where “anything goes.” She had been contemplating a change in dress (not only veiling) for some time, but didn’t know where to begin. When we parted, it was with hugs and good wishes, encouragement and contact information exchanged.

    That productive conversation may never have happen had it not been for the external sign of the veil. It serves multiple purposes.

  16. Reconverted Idiot says:

    One observation which was put to me recently gave a further slant to the question of veils: by and large women have beautiful hair, and us men are easily distracted by it. Wearing a veil, then, could also be understood as an act of charity towards the men in the congregation, helping us to avoid various occasions to sin, whether it be ‘innocent’ distraction during Holy Mass at one extreme, or outright lust at the other. It was a good point, and one I – a male with plenty of worldly ‘psychological’ baggage, trying to live a chaste life – certainly recognized the value of.

    That said, there is a logic within this which is potentially problematic: the end point of such reasoning leads – I think – to things like Burkas and the ‘Muslim method’ of regulating male desire by repressing women’s public appearance. Male concupiscence is certainly not women’s responsibility.

  17. veils.and.kneelers says:

    I wonder what the strenuous objections to wearing a veil would be? Of course, I mean the wearing of veils by women….. lol
    If a woman objects so strenuously to wearing a veil that if she were required to do so, she would go to another church, what makes her feel so strongly? Can she pin point a reason other than it is degrading and subjugating to women? Because it is totally the opposite of that. Part of it is that we are identifying that we, as women, have been given great power by God, and to wear the veil is to acknowledge that God is the one who gave us this power. I think it is beautiful and a wonderful acknowledgement of our humility to God and the beauty that he created in us. I think all women should veil.
    That being said, it is not mandatory now, and therefore no one is forced to wear one. That is not what this video is advocating.
    For those that have little ones there is a wonderful little hybrid butterfly/banana/i don’t know how to describe it type clip that you can purchase rather cheaply for a veil you already own or have online veil shops sew in for you, often times at no extra charge. They are great for keeping a veil soundly on your head despite grabby little hands.
    I just finished knitting a cool purple veil for advent. Done just in time for last Sunday. Helps me with concentrating on what is important at Mass. I go to a novus ordo parish. No Latin Mass near me, egad! Ah, well, we have some good solid priests, however. Peace to all!

  18. Reliquary says:

    Some of this video looks a little odd. I went to “like” the Facebook page and I see that the society identifies itself also as “a modeling agency.” Not quite sure what it’s all about.

  19. Elizium23 says:

    The music of the last three seconds was so appropriate and beautiful. Why not extend it across the whole video?

  20. Awesome video!
    Please read 1 Corinthians 11:1-17 Just saying……

  21. blessedtolivenow says:

    As a new Catholic who veils I find the discussion about veiling very interesting. I felt called in my heart to wear a veil from almost the first moment that I stepped into a church. I waited though, mainly because I didn’t want to “stand out”. After I “got over” the worry about not fitting in and found the strength to be obedient to what God has been calling me to do, it’s been truly beautiful. There is a growing movement in Protestants to start veiling or at least wearing a head covering ( I have also been studying the Jewish roots to head covering which is quite interesting.

    What is most fascinating is that men, both old and young, have come up to me after Mass and thanked me for wearing the veil, saying they wished more women would wear it. The fact that women are resistant to veiling might very well be an indication of the need to wear one? I haven’t heard a lot of men complaining about taking off their hats as also indicated in 1 Cor. 11.

    God Bless us all on this narrow path!

  22. Marissa says:

    That said, there is a logic within this which is potentially problematic: the end point of such reasoning leads – I think – to things like Burkas and the ‘Muslim method’ of regulating male desire by repressing women’s public appearance. Male concupiscence is certainly not women’s responsibility.

    In Western society, the “end point” has never been so drastic. The sartorial ugliness and immodesty of the 20th and 21st centuries is an anomaly.

  23. Dear blessedtolivenow , welcome home! I have also had men and women compliment my veiling. After Mass I have been approached by women asking me where they can purchase a veil. I have taken serious questioners to the trunk of my car and given them one of my many. It seems that when I give one away, another shows up in my hands.

  24. Indulgentiam says:

    Reconverted Idiot says:”Male concupiscence is certainly not women’s responsibility.”
    That sounds much like Caine and his…am I my brothers keeper?
    The simple answer, according to innumerable Church sources, is… yes…we are indeed our brothers keeper. Meaning if we love our neighbor, as we have been commanded too, then we love their souls. And thus we will not be a stumbling block to them ie tempt them to sin, even venal sin, and thereby jeopardize their immortal soul. Nothing says I love you like saying ” I will ignore my comfort for love of you” :)

  25. At a guess, some of the resistance to veiling may not be to veiling per se , but what it represents, whether good or bad.

    To give a little background, I am one of the first generation to grow up in the Tridentine Mass post-Vatican II. Not SSPX either, I might add, but in diocesan-approved Masses said by diocesan, ICKSP, and FSSP priests.

    When I was in my early teens, I moved to a church which had the EF exclusively. I had always, even as a child, appreciated the beauty and reverence of this form of the Mass. I still do, though due to distance, I rarely attend it anymore. (My husband and I hope and pray to one day persuade our pastor to learn it, and are willing to pay any expenses that might incur.) In addition to the beauty of the liturgy at this church, however, I also encountered a particular type of attitude among most of the congregants which has more recently been described as “rad-trad.”

    To put it into perspective, some six years later, I was the only female teenager who, having graduated high school, applied to and attended college. To this day, I don’t know of any other women in my peer group from this church who earned a college degree, or even attended college for more than perhaps a music class or two. Nearly all the children and teens at this church were homeschooled, and while there’s nothing wrong with that at the surface, it led to a phenomena common in this and fundamentalist Protestant communities: after about the eighth grade, a majority of the girls didn’t really learn anything or have any formal studies because they were told that their vocation was to be a wife and mother or a nun, so they’d be better served by learning to keep house and care for their many younger siblings than by studying. Of course, they’d never be ready for college or even an entry-level retail job…but since their duty, as it was taught by their parents, was to only move out of their parents’ house when they got married, why should they go to college or get a job?

    The girls were taught that to interact very much in a social manner, even in public, with boys was “immodest” and a danger to their purity. Seriously. One couldn’t chat with a peer of the opposite sex at coffee-and-donuts after Mass or at the youth group for very long without being pulled aside to be “warned” of the “danger” one was in. A similar thing happened to the boys, in that they were told repeatedly that men are so weak in the area of sexual sins that spending time with girls–again, even in a public setting–was a near occasion of sin and that they shouldn’t. This was taken to the extreme that after choir practice at this church, which was in a rather bad neighborhood, I would have to walk to my car alone because being escorted there by someone of the male sex would have been a) immodest on my part and b) a temptation to sin on his.

    Not incidentally, very few marriages ever came from my peer group because many of them had no idea how to interact with someone of the opposite sex. It’s very difficult to flip a switch from “talking to a girl in public may tempt you to sin, don’t do it!” to “you’re 21? Now you need to find a girl, court her for a few months, and then marry her and start a family! But remember, spending time alone together, even in public at a coffeeshop/restaurant/park, is still a temptation to sin if you’re not married, so never be alone together without a younger sibling or parent watching you until you’re married!” (Another side note: I honestly wonder how valid a marriage is if the couple is never allowed to discuss any deeper topic together before they are married.)

    Women there also mostly followed a standard of modesty which was fairly extreme by most standards, and which was also pretty rigorously enforced by some of the older women. (In the pastor’s defense, he had repeatedly posted notices in the bulletin saying that he and only he was to approach anyone at the church about how they were dressed, but these women tended to ignore such directives.) I remember once when a sister of mine invited a friend to attend Mass with her there after a sleepover. This friend was wearing a rather short skirt. Three of these women descended on this girl after Mass to tell her what a terrible sin she’d committed by attending Mass in this skirt. She showed a remarkable maturity in how courteous she was in handling their comments, but needless to say, she wasn’t interested in coming back again.

    Another woman’s husband left her with a large family to raise and no job skills in order to shack up with a younger woman, and she was helped by almost no one at the church because, per the general attitude, if she’d just been a better wife this wouldn’t have happened.

    I’m sure I’m stating the obvious when I say that nearly every woman at this church also veiled. The scenarios I described above are not unique to this church.

    As a result, a lot of women see veils and get rather defensive because in the veil, they see the abuse and oppression I described above. Of course not everyone who attends such a church is like this–but those who are seem to often do their darnedest to be self-fulfilling stereotypes. After I left, I really struggled with the idea of veiling. It took a long time for me to be able to separate the beauty and goodness of veiling as a tradition from all the emotional and spiritual baggage that was connected to it. I doubt that I’m alone in that.

  26. Indulgentiam: Surely it’s a dual effort, though? I once met a young man who was admittedly quite extreme in his views, but who informed me that if he could tell without looking at a woman’s face that she was a woman, he could be tempted to sin but that it would be her fault that he did, which made about as much sense theologically as it did psychologically. What’s the answer to this–burkas for all? I think not.

    Women should use common sense, gentility, and reason in the way they dress, and men should man up and view women as other human beings rather than as sexual objects.

  27. Makemeaspark says:

    Thank you! Pie and Palestrina! You voice some of my feelings about Chapel veils. I have tried over several years now to explain why I had a strong gut reaction to Chapel veils. I know they are pretty and nice. When I was in love with a nice Catholic man that introduced me to the EF mass movement of recent years, I asked if I could be let out of the whole Chapel veil thing.

    I found it extremely hard to put into words the icky feeling I had about it, all I could come up with was that my only experiences with Chapel veils were either the old Spanish ladies in my parish as a child, so therefore not my ethnic identity, Or over the intervening years, only “nutcases” wore them. Yes, Exactly! Nutcases like the ones you describe or persons in Ordinary Form parishes who suffer from scrupulosity, or their husbands treat them in such a way as to make you wonder if you could ask them how often he beats her.

    So I prefer a tasteful hat or beret. I now have a hand crocheted off-white chapel veil from J-Joy that is different enough from the store bought ones that I don’t think men are going to beat me Or I might need medication for my schizophrenia. LOL

  28. Indulgentiam says:

    @Pie and Palestrina.
    Well yes, the duality is implied… we are…each others keeper. There will always be extremes. Your young man example sounds like one. The Church has a dress code and she does not follow the fashions. So long as we are staying within that specified code at the time of our judgement at least we can say we were obedient.

    Makemeaspark says: “old Spanish ladies” “nutcases” “icky” wow. How a lovely piece of lace can evoke such animosity is beyond me. I am a Spanish old lady. However viel wearing did not originate with hispanics. Our Lady wears a veil. :)

  29. Indulgentiam: as I explained in my admittedly over-long post, it’s not the lace. It’s what the lace symbolizes to a lot of us: abuse; being denied education and, through that, self-determination; being perpetually hounded and harassed and worried by others about our clothing; not being allowed to engage in social norms; only being permitted to aspire to one of two life paths (marriage or religious life) but not being given the skills to succeed at either (communication, maturity, a sufficient secular or theological education to understand the choices made in either vocation,) etc. I don’t know your background, or if you’re familiar with the more extreme traditional groups. I grew up in them, and believe me, my post barely skimmed the surface. Yep, it’s a piece of lace, and it’s a lovely, if not mandatory, tradition of the Church. Unfortunately, it’s become a symbol of everything I described above, so yes, it scares a lot of women away. I wear for many reasons. One of them is to try to teach through example that not all of us who are as fond of the EF as I am are like many of the people at those churches.

    The Church does *not* have a dress code. Many individual churches have dress codes–see St. Peter’s, etc, where such standards are often posted. There’s a difference. If you’re referring to this document which is frequently cited by such groups, please note that none of the teachings mentioned in it are binding aside from quotes from encyclicals and the CCC (and they’re rare), many quotes aren’t even cited at all or are deliberately misattributed, and many claims border on the utterly ridiculous. (If a man is incited to lust by a ruffled diaper cover on an infant, there are far more serious problems afoot than that ruffled diaper cover.)

  30. Indulgentiam says:

    Pie, may I call you pie? I’m from the south and never met a pie I didn’t like. Sadly my shape attests to that fact. We all have had bad experiences at the hands of extremists. I myself fled a communist country. They dispised…um never mind…that’s rant territory. The point is that we can not allow our misfortunes to so color our perspective that we paint whole swatches of folks, we have never met, in an unflattering and unfair manner. And I disagree that the Chirch has no Dress Code. Several Popes have spoken out on it.
    Imprimatur dated Sept. 24, 1956
    “A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.”
    The Cardinal Vicar of Pius XI


    19. From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the in decency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity.

  31. Absolutely you may call me Pie. ;) I’ve been called much worse–and what, this side of heaven, is better than pie? Except, as you say, on the waistline. *looks at hips, and sighs*

    The Cardinal Vicar, while no doubt an excellent man in many respects, was not the Pope, and had no authority to impose binding teachings. I usually see this quote attributed to a pope, incidentally, though most quoting it neglect to add that it was an address to religious congregations who were interested in his thoughts vis-à-vis garb for nuns and religious sisters, and not the general public–and in any case, an address such as this isn’t binding. Popes can also be wrong about anything except that which they’re speaking in encyclicals or ex cathedra on–see good ol’ Alexander VI for a less than charming example in that regard. We should give careful note to the non-binding things they say, but we aren’t bound by them. Religious communities and those in holy orders, of course, have more restrictions.

    I quite agree, per Benedict XV and many others, that immodesty is wrong, but I note that he didn’t offer any firm standards–as is indeed appropriate, given the changing fashions. Such things are best left to common sense. About a hundred and fifty years ago, for example, it would have been considered terribly immodest for a woman to allow her ankle to be seen, but quite acceptable for her to dampen her dress with water so that it clung to her body and left nothing to the imagination. Common sense dictates that dresses, however ankle-covering they are, that are plastered to one’s body and are transclucent due to water are probably rather more of a problem for the average man, purity-wise, than an ankle. Likewise, from a similar timeframe, one could point out that a woman who is, to put it delicately, one deep breath away from a serious upper-body wardrobe malfunction should be rather more concerned with that than with an ankle appearing under her hemline, yet at the time that was considered acceptable, too.

    I don’t think I did paint “whole swaths of folks I never met” in an unflattering manner. I described my experiences at one rather “rad-trad” church, and said that there was nothing to suggest to me that my experiences were unique at such an establishment. I also said that not everyone attending such churches is like the sort of people I described, but that those people tended to be the more…noticeable…among the congregation, in no small part because they’re in the majority.

    Let me put it this way, if I may. I mean this only to try to explain the affect that the veil can have on some of us, and not in any way to impugn what you have to say.

    Coming from a communist country, you may have had, or have met those who have had, very bad experiences with government authorities and/or police officers. Someone in that situation might feel anxious and worried and remember these bad things when they see someone, such as an American police officer, in uniform. This doesn’t mean that the American police officer is going to haul this person away without a trial and execute him. It means that the person who’s had very bad experiences with uniformed authority figures associates bad things with uniformed authority figures, and has to make a conscious effort not to invariably and unjustly associate the one with the other.

    Because of my experiences, even though I myself veil, I sometimes tense up and immediately feel irritation when I see another woman veil because I unjustly assume that she thinks that I am a bad and sinful person for having a college degree/wearing jeans from time to time, though not at church/whatever. That’s not fair, but it is true. Likewise, other women often react to veiling the way they react to the abusive behavior I described because to them, the veil symbolizes the abuse. Again, not fair because not all women who veil tolerate that kind of abuse or believe in allowing it to occur, but since virtually all women in those communities do veil, it’s inevitable that it gets tied up, figuratively, in the image of abuse that a lot of women have in those communities.

    I find it darkly amusing that according to the standards cited by the modesty movement, Our Lady of La Vang committed a sin by appearing dressed as she did.

  32. Indulgentiam says:

    Thank you :)
    Pie-“The Cardinal Vicar, while no doubt an excellent man in many respects, was not the Pope, and had no authority to impose binding teachings.” Actually he was quoting this:
    “On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, by mandate of Pope Pius XI, issued emphatic instructions on modesty of dress to all bishops:

    “We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper. Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb.”

    Not everything needs a council convened or an ex cathedra statement. My style, my comfort is not worth more than a soul. May I respectfully suggest that you superimpose on those bad memories the lovely image of Our Lady who always wears a veil. That way every time you see a veil you’ll think of Her and smile as She is so very lovely. :)

  33. Indulgentiam says:

    Btw pie, I googled an image of Our Lady of La Vang. I don’t see where she is breaking the code that PPXI set forth. She’s covered from head to foot….so don’t really see what you mean.

  34. Imrahil says:

    Dear Pie, interesting. My heartfelt condolences.

    Generally… as for the Dress Code… that was then. Forgive me to say so but times change. If the Church wants a dress code now, may she repeat it. In the meantime, I’m sure Dr Peters could give us a lecture on customs adverse to law. The general idea is that they need 30 years’ time and then they’re through.

    As for the idea of modesty, or decency* that did not change, for principles of morality, other than dress codes, do not. But I think we need to get rid of the idea

    1. to conflate modesty with chastity properly so-called – there’s something that aims at stimulating sexual sins, that’s inchastity and thus forbidden, and then there’s some additional rules, rather changeable as it were according to the expectations of a society and apparently called modesty in English*, which raise a “fence” as it were around these “minimum”.

    Personal observation: I rarely see inchastely dressed women in the street, and immodestly (but by a today’s standard!) but not inchastely dressed women even fewer.

    2. to present the mantilla, or a skirt for that matter, as a “it certainly follows from” w.r.t. modesty. It has only peripherally to do with modesty whether you wear a mantilla or not**. It has to do with following a pious custom, the law of the Church as it previously stood, and the commendation of St. Paul. Likewise the skirt is not worn for religious reasons (as some do) because the trousers would be “immodest”. Let’s face it – either of them says more “Look, a woman is here!” than does the mantilla’s absence or the replacing of a skirt by trousers. In fact, the latter – that trousers are, or are perceived to be, men’s clothing, is the real reason behind the choice here.

    And as we are Catholics, neither Muslims nor Manichaeans, we like to have beautiful women covering their beautiful hair with beautiful mantillas.

    3. to conflate the idea of modesty with the idea of dressing up to the occasion w.r.t attending Church. There is a reason the Sunday’s best is called Sunday’s best. No, it is not immodest to wear shorts. But it might be inappropriate to do so for the Easter Sunday Mass.

    4. to conflate the idea of modesty with the idea of following the dress-codes of some decades past. Chesterton, On American Morals, is always again worth the read.

    [* I have a personal problem with the term “modesty” because I learnt it in my vocab as the translation for “Bescheidenheit”, literally “restrainingoneselfness”, which is akin to “Demut” or humility. Apparently modest also has the meaning of German “züchtig”, but I have some difficulty in accepting that.

    ** Proof, or somewhat of it, is the fact you obviously can show your hair in general life and only put on the mantilla for Church. – Well, the proof is not direct. Situations do make differences with modesty – what is modest at the swimming-pool tends to be immodest outside of it.]

    And yes, I do not think we ought not to go to gyms or swimming-pools.

    A final note on that “being your brother’s keeper” thing: yes, we are, in a sense, St. Paul explains that and the Church teaches so. But my immediate thought about that Bible verse is always: well, that was Cain who said that who just came from murdering this said brother. His fault was not: leaving his brother alone not helping him. It was: not leaving his brother alone but killing him.

    (Condescendingness is not always helpful either. We are our brother’s keeper, and sometimes, at particularly critical points, have to act accordinly. But we are not our brother’s father and legal guardian.)

  35. Imrahil says:

    I have some difficulty in accepting that (purely languagewise that is) – not mentally (it just seems they use this word, I might as well accept it!), but only intuitionally (I still can’t get it into my head!), of course.

  36. Imrahil says:

    Admittedly a bit provocatively, I’d give a little Chesterton quote:

    “She immediately repeats the old story that in Paul et Virginie, the very artificial sentimental novel of the eighteenth century, the heroine is drowned because she refuses to take off her clothes. She then adds that ‘if she has to choose’ between Virginie and some German flapper who finds it more comfortable to have no clothes to flap, she will choose the latter. But, first of all, why should she ‘have to choose’? […]

    Next, if she really does suppose that normal, traditional or Christian morality are represented by Virginie, she is probably quite wrong. Most Christian authorities would say that her notion of sacrifice came very near to the sin of suicide. For Paul et Virginie was not written in a Christian period but in a very pagan period, when pre-Revolutionary France was in love with the pagan Stoics who did not disapprove of suicide. The story itself is largely founded on an old classical romance. It cannot be taken as typical of modern Christianity, or even of medieval Christianity. It is only fair to remember that in this sense Virginie is a heathen heroine; and Godiva was a Christian heroine.

    It might be said that the traditional Catholic atmosphere movement has some (rightful) antagonism towards both the French Revolution and the 1960s revolution. This may explain some perhaps overdue aligning-ourselves to pre-Revolutionary France as well as pre-1900 England.

  37. Imrahil says:

    And a general observation on the story of the dear Pie and Palestrina,

    folks: don’t do fraternal correction unless you either must do it or are able to do it.

    Yes, we are obliged to do that. But:
    1. if you have no serious reason to suspect that the one you’d correct is committing mortal sin consciously (excepting perhaps the correction of a slip of the tongue with a reprimand just as quick – but remember that using expletives outside the 2nd commandment area is not a sin),
    2. if you do not think yourself that your admonition will bring fruit (and being forced by the pressure to comply is not here fruit – that sort of thing is sometimes necessary, but it belongs strictly to authority and not to fraternal correction),

    then think twice.

    And if you are far older or of the opposite sex, then there might be a sense in waiting to see if someone else is going to do it. Or even in asking someone else to do it. Pardon the French, but who likes to be reprimanded by elder ladies? (I’m again not speaking of paternal correction here.)

  38. Makemeaspark says:

    Indulgentiam I hope you were not offended by my sharing. I was just trying to be understood, no offense intended to any of the lovely ladies who wear the veils or mantillas. It’s just that I feel guilty for not joining you. So I have searched for alternative ways to be respectful to God and neighbor and be modest.

  39. Indulgentiam says:

    Gracious no, I wasn’t the least offended. And if anything I said gave you that impression, I apologize. I have often felt that tug of guilt myself. After some time on my knees before Our Lady I come to see that guilt I feel is a direct results of some invitation that GOD has issued and I’ve ignored. Usually because I feel it’s more than I’m capable…no that’s a lie…because its more way more out of my comfort zone than I am willing to travel. Later my ingratitude at having slapped GOD’S open Hand away makes me cringe in guilt. But I am reminded that I am a sinner, that’s what I do. So back on my knees I ask Our Lady not to let me chicken out next time…and She doesn’t. I am not at all sayin that’s what your doing. Just relating my own guilt trip :) A veil is an invitation not a condemnation. :) if the best I can do for now, to immulate Our Lady is cover my head…then I’ll start there and keep praying for the rest.
    The Lord bless you and keep you,…
    Our Lady guard you and guide you.

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