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Chapel Veils - Making a Comeback?

by aquinasandmore on October 8, 2008

I know there are a lot of serious issues in the Church and the world going on lately, but I'd like to get your opinion on a largely ignored or forgotten tradition of the Church (especially in America) - which I'm hoping might be growing once again.

On Sunday, I wore a chapel veil (commonly known as a mantilla) at Mass for the first time in my life. I'm sure some people are used to seeing women wearing veils at Mass, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen it at the church I've gone to for the past 20 years, although I saw at least two women there this summer wearing veils. In general, I've noticed it more and more lately, but maybe that's just because I'm becoming more aware of it. Either way, I knew it would make me stick out, but it's something I've been thinking about doing for a few years now, and on Sunday I just felt like it was time.

I had heard stories from my dad of girls in his Catholic elementary school who would be forced to wear a used paper towel from the art class if they forgot their veils for school Masses, but that is something practically foreign to today's largely irreverent society. Stories of forced veiling aside, I've been thinking about wearing a veil for the past few years. I went to a Catholic university which, despite its outward perception, has its fair share of traditional Catholics who still practice a number of these older customs. This includes women who wear chapel veils at Mass and adoration. I don't think I had ever considered it or realized women still did it until I went to college and saw that the tradition was still alive. For awhile, I just thought it was nice for them, but I didn't see the need for me. Eventually, that started changing. I bought a veil in August, planning to wear it to a Tridentine Mass I attended. For whatever reason, I didn't end up wearing it then, and ever since it's been sitting in my room waiting for me to get up the courage to wear it.

I was surprised I managed to wear it on Sunday. I felt very conspicuous the whole time, and worried I was sticking out like a sore thumb. I'm sure I got a few curious looks throughout Mass, but somehow, I was less distracted wearing the veil than I probably would have been without it. I had worried I wouldn't be able to concentrate on Mass as much as I should be, and that my thoughts would all be about what other people were thinking, worrying that I would be seen as overly pious. It was amazing what happened, though. I did feel a little odd at times, but for the most part I was more focused on the Mass than I have been in a very long time. It was really wonderful, and I felt incredibly joyful and uplifted after Mass. Consider me converted.

The more I read about it, the more overwhelming it is that I can participate in this act of reverence and humility – it's such a beautiful thing, and gives such respect to women (despite what the culture today might believe), and the more I understand it all the less worthy I feel. It's sad that so many seem to think that wearing a veil somehow signifies women as "lesser" or subservient. Wearing veils really highlights what it means to be a woman in the Church, to try and imitate Mary's humble example. Although I know it'll still take courage for a little while to wear my chapel veil, I feel blessed that I am able to be a part of this sign of reverence to God. (To learn more about why wearing the chapel veil is such a beautiful thing, visit The Catholic Knight blog's series of posts on chapel veils.)

Do any of you ladies wear chapel veils or mantillas? Any words of wisdom for a newcomer to the tradition? And for everyone, what are your thoughts on veiling? I hope that if more people talk about it as more than an outdated practice with no place in today's culture, more women will be encouraged to learn why this tradition was practiced for most of the history of the Church, and maybe one of these days women wearing veils will be the norm again (or maybe that's a bit too optimistic...).

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda O. October 8, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Thanks for having the courage to wear your veil, Susie! I wish the practice had never stopped. Maybe it’s time for me to get a veil too.

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Lynne October 9, 2008 at 8:49 am

YES! I wear one every time I go to a TLM (which unfortunately I can’t get to every Sunday). I realized that if it’s correct to wear one at a TLM, then it should (must?) be correct to wear one when I am in church, whether it’s a TLM or NO Mass or Adoration. My only exception is confession but I really should wear it there too…

I don’t know who said this but it’s appropriate…

“Veiling is the outward sign of an internal gesture of reverence to God. “

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Long-Skirts October 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm

“Veiling is the outward sign of an internal gesture of reverence to God. “

Beautiful!

Yes, I love wearing my chapel veil and here is a little ditty I wrote about it a few years ago…

ODE
TO
A
CHAPEL
VEIL

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 feminist 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 all for the Christ Child.

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Michelle October 10, 2008 at 1:59 pm

During RCIA I asked Father about wearing a veil, and he said the requirement never stopped, just the practice. I’ve worn one since I joined the Church, and so has my daughter. Not only do I feel more reverent, I feel closer to the Blessed Mother, who was probably never without a veil either in the presence of Our Lord…I keep a veil in my purse always so I’m never without one if I stop at the Perpetual Adoration chapel.

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dymphna October 12, 2008 at 11:38 am

I think those stories about being forced to wear a covering are urban legends. If you notices the people who tell them always seem to say the same thing word for word and we have the evidence of our eyes. Look at pre 1962 photos and you’ll see uncovered girls and women.

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Molly October 25, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I am a member of one of my parish’s study clubs which is the Madonna Club. I am giving a program about wearing veils and hats whenever a woman or girl enters into a Catholic Church. I grew up in the late 50′s and 60′s when our heads were to be covered. I owned several types of head coverings besides my Easter hats and bonnets. I had 2 or 3 white chapel veils that were worn on top of my head and looked like a doily. One was fitted. I also owned 2 mantillas, one white and one light pink. They were beautiful. Sometimes, I played with them and pretended to be a princess or a bride. Also, I had one of those triangular head coverings with strings to tie under my chin. It was white lace. Also, I remember quite often when visiting relatives or on vacation in other cities, we would visit a Catholic Church to attend Mass and/or to pray. Before we entered, Mom searched her pockets for something suitable to put on my head. It was always inevitable that she would find the slightest used kleenex she had. She would look them over very carefully before she placed one on my head. My mom and grandma were very faith filled women and followed all the practices of our faith. This topic of veiling and head coverings has been a mystery to me and wanted to research it for my presentation. I feel that it’s important to continue this tradition to remind us to be humble and respectful in the presence of our Lord. I hope that my daughter and I will add this practice/tradition into our faith filled lives. I promise I won’t make her wear any dirty kleenexes.

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Rachel November 13, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I wear one, have for more than 3 yrs now (I came into the Church at Easter Vigil, 2006)…I love it. We’ve moved, and while I’ve seen a few other veils, other than at the TLM we infrequently attended before our move, well, not too many ladies here wear one.

But then again, its a “thing” between my Lord and me. Its not something I do to be noticed, or to have others imitate (although I think, if doing it for the right reasons, it would be good to see more veils)….I “just do it”.

I make sure my daughters (8, 6, and 4) are veiled as well–kerchief style, tie under their hair at the nape of their necks for them.

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carol November 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I recently started attending Mass again, and I wore a veil. I didn’t feel self-conscious at all. I don’t doubt that some of the parishioners were curious, since few ladies veil at Mass nowadays.

I decided to veil out of adoration and respect to Mary. I also think that the custom of veiling in the Church was a lovely tradition. I agree that it shows humility and respect. Modesty in this aspect can be a beautiful, feminine thing.

I agree with the commenter above who said that she doesn’t veil in order to garner attention from others. Its a personal choice.

Strangely enough, I felt more focused during Mass while veiled. In the past, my mind always wandered.

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Susan January 31, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I’m an adult convert and lately I have felt a great interest in wearing a veil to Mass, but I really don’t know how to begin. I’m afraid I will wear it wrong, or make some mistake. If anyone has any advice on how to get started, like where to buy, or how to make a veil, I’d love to hear from you.

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Sharon Lynn Rangel May 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

Hello Susan,
I’m also a convert and went to a Catholic Church as a young girl with seven kids that lived next door. My parents did not attend a church and I was so interested in the Church I went every Sunday! My parents being non practicing Protestants let me go! Later in life, I knew that that is where I would belong…I’ve worn a chapel veil for years..and have been made fun of by my own family! They call it my “do rag”! I don’t care. My girls all wore them, and some still do. We have seven of our own children, four of them girls. 1Cor. 11 explains it all. The Church here in America needs some help with reverence. We as Catholic Christians should be the holiest (because of our belief in our Lord being present in the Holy Eucharist.) We surely are not! People will ask you about it and I think it’s a good way to witness your faith! Try wearing a scapular and don’t tuck it away under your clothing…see how many people talk to you about it! It’s great!

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MaryPaul February 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I contemplated wearing a veil for almost a year. Susan, it’s easy, the hardest part is just saying “YES!” I did feel conspicuous at first, but now my veils (one black, one cream) live in my purse so I will never be without one!

I purchased mine online at http://www.sacramentals.org/. Theirs are reasonably priced and they offer a nice variety. You can also find them at http://www.aquinasandmore.com/.

I asked our priest to bless my veils. Now I am wearing a genuine sacramental. A nice touch.

I am also a convert, and agree with all those courageous and faithful women who have decided to show their respect for God by wearing a veil.

My question…is there a tradition for what color to wear? One of my friends always wears black on Fridays and throughout Lent since those are days of penance. She wears white the rest of the year. I’ve seen colors, too. Not even my 80-year old mother-in-law can shed any light on how veils were worn “once upon a time”!

God bless you all.

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Sharon Lynn Rangel May 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

MaryPaul,

I was always told that married women and widows wear black. My girls that are unmarried wear white.

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Cathy February 10, 2009 at 6:59 am

I am a convert to Catholicism who was married to a Muslim before we divorced and I converted. I’m annuled. Because of having the Sola Scriptura view as a Protestant I often pondered the “women should cover their heads when praying or prophecying…or shave their heads” (paraphrase) scripture, and then when I attended a very traditional Catholic Church there they were! The American Catholic women with covered heads! Well, I think it’s kind of funny in a way because practically every chapel veil I’ve seen is see-through, so I mused, “Who are they trying to kid? You can SEE their hair, so it NOT covered!” And then I told a nun I know, who wears the whole habit, that I thought they were doilies and she cracked up! She corrected my language and said they are called, “Chapel veils!” Oh. We laughed some more, but I was serious and remember the experience from my marriage and the stories of other American wif\ves who had the courage to travel with their husband/s to Iran where women are forced to cover their heads or they will be arrested. Well, I had a pretty scarf and did “the wrap” during one Mass. My hair was not totally covered, either, because I didn’t do it Middle-Eastern style over the forehead, but just what I think of as European-style over the head with one side over the other shoulder. They shifted me at the last minute away from the main Priest at communion to the alternate Priest. I was the last in line, but I still felt like I got shifted because of the scarf. It was an oblong thing and I felt comfortable and reverent and like it distinguished me as a woman, as in visibly different for a reason, from a man or a child in Church. But after that one experience, and I was also offering that Mass for my ex-h, I haven’t wanted to wear it again. The older men seemed reverent of me, the women ignored me and didn’t look at me, and the Priest looked curiously at me-though I am sure he has seen scarves like that in Europe. If anyone wants to set me straight, or applaud what I did, or tell me I was right or wrong and why I’d appreciate any feedback. It made me aware of how limited we Americans really are, when the Cathoic Church is universal, and women from different places do dress differently. Was it scriptural? I felt like I was trying to get really traditional for that one day.

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April September 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I wear scarves or Pashminas. I also have veils and I have a shawl.
If you choose to wear a veil : a young lady that is unmarried should wear white but I have seen girls wear other colors too. Mature women who are either married or unmarried are to wear colors other than white. It is a choice to veil, not a requirement. It is a calling to be closer to God and is something you must find within yourself. I choose to veil and I teach my daughter to veil. I think my 4 boys respect females who are modest. Veil if you want to but before you do, search within your heart and do it because you want to in your heart, not because it is popular or tradition. My mother did not veil. My grandmother, taught me the value of veiling and I made my choice when I became a woman and was married.

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Marcia September 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Dear April,
Thank you for your comment. I have been wearing a veil for 3 1/2 years and still continue to be puzzled about what color I should be wearing. My veil is white but since I am in my late 30s and unmarried should I continue with white or am I considered a mature woman and wear another color such as ivory or beige? I am just curious as to how you define a mature woman, thats all. Thanks again and God Bless!

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Ian September 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Hello Marcia,

There aren’t any official rules about what color to wear or even that you need to wear a veil instead of a nice hat or scarf.

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Pamela February 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Thank you so much for this article. Your previous fears are what I feel now…but I’ve ordered me and my daughter a veil and we are going to start on Ash Wednesday… I’m praying for the courage to go through with it. This article has definately helped. God Bless You!

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Ileana February 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I grew up in Costa Rica and wearing mantilla veils was general until the mid seventies. I still have a couple and wear them for special occasions, like weddings, Easter, Christmas or Funerals. I really h0pe women start wearing them again. For me is easy as my friends and in-laws know of my latinamerican background and just accept that I have more conservative customs. I feel a special reverence when I wear mine, but still don’t wear it every Sunday. Maybe I should do it and see if a trend starts, who knows.

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Pamela February 23, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Ileana…you might just start a trend, like you say. I posted about this today (http://catholicnfpmom.blogspot.com/2009/02/veils.html) and I have already had others join me and other thinking about it.

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Penny March 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm

I notice a strange contradiction with some women who wear the veils. I was at a Traditional Latin Mass and saw women wearing the veil as did I but when it was over and devotions started and then a Novus Ordo mass began, they took it off. Why this absurd distinction? Why didn’t they continue to wear it? If a person feels called to wear it they should wear it for the TLM AND the N.O. Our Lord is still present in the tabernacle.

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Lynne March 24, 2009 at 7:06 am

Penny, that’s what I said up above… I started wearing the veil when I attended a TLM but not a NO Mass. You’re right. This really is inconsistent but everyone has to come to this realization in their own way and their own time…

(but great minds think alike) ;-)

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Ellen April 1, 2009 at 10:53 am

Having been raised in a Catholic community, educated by Ursline and
Charity sisters, who wore their habits so proudly, and taught veils
and/or hats were definitely church dress in our lives, I still wear a veil,
hat, or scarf to church regularly. I am many times the only lady with my
head covered, and I do get compliments. I always tell others this was a
habit my parents and the good sisters instilled in my life. It is a beautiful
tradition and a true sign of reverence.

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Marcia May 8, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I started to wear a chapel veil a little over a year ago. I only know of one other lady in my parish who wears one and yes, I did feel a little conspicuous at first but like previous posts have said, I have been able to concentrate more fully on Mass than I was before.! I would encourage anyone who is reading this to study the ancient tradition and pray about it. It is a lovely way to deepen your devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to honor his mother as well.

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Cathleen May 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I can remember being ‘prompted’ in my heart to wear the veil when I was in my early 20′s. Sadly, my fear of what ‘others’ would think won out and I never wore it. This past year I turned 50 and the ‘prompting’ returned. I searched for reasons NOT TO and could find nothing but support to follow through. I have worn the veil since Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and feel more at peace than ever. In times where our society is struggling to find its moral compass, I think that the veil sets Christian women apart in a very good way. It says we dare to show our love and devotion to our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Thank you sisters for sharing your stories. Blessings, Cathleen

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D. Carvalho June 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for this article!
I enjoy wearing a veil during Mass. I have a collection of scarves and have been using those. I like them because they cover not only my head, but my shoulders, and allow me some privacy while I meditate and pray. More modest dress is one of the requirements of the Tridentine Mass, which is making a huge comeback. Chapel veils are a part of that. I think they show more respect and I’m really happy that they are coming back.

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Diana June 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Lovely article.
I also wear a covering at Mass or in the Blessed sacrament Chapel. I have worn hats and mantillas both black and ivory. I am a blond and the ivory one seems to stand out less. But my husband seems to like it better when I wear on of my long rectangular scarves, over my head, across my neck and one or both ends thrown behind. Somehow the scarf which my grown son doesn’t like (“Hey mom when you gonna start bowing to Mecca?”) is less obtrusive to most people. Instead of the strange looks I get with the mantilla (why I know not) I get compliments after mass from other ladies on my scarves. Since that is not why I wear it, I look for an opening to talk about it. If not I simply thank them.

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Cathleen June 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

It is terrific to hear from other women of faith who are willing to wear the veil. I think it speaks much louder than words ‘that we love Our Lord and want to please Him.’ Thank you for posting your comments!
Blessings, Cathleen

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Lillian Pizzo September 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

I always wear the veil when I attend Mass….traditional or new Mass. However, I will be attending a Nuptial mass at which none of the other women wear veils. I will be doing a Reading. I don’t know if I should wear the veil because I feel it may be scandalous or cause remarks by the other women. Suggestion?

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Pamela September 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

Interesting question. One of the reasons I stopped lectoring was because of my new found respect for the rolls of men and women in the church. That included the use of the veil. For me it would be a contradiction to wear the veil and read at Mass. If it were me I would either read but leave the veil at home, or wear the veil but not read. I’m not talking about sins here or anything, but just keeping to the symbol of the veil as a submission to Christ in a quiet and humbling way. Some may disagree.

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Cathleen September 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

I would wear your veil as you stand before many sisters who are looking for role models; those who are committed to sincere reverence before our sovereign Lord. If you feel more comfortable, consider wearing the chapel/smaller version. For me, I serve as an EM and I wear my full-length veil. I was pleasantly surprised by the smiles that I receive as people pass through. Sometimes I wonder if the doubts and feelings of uneasiness come from a very unkind source. Blessings to all who are helping to restore our feminity as true sisters in Christ. Cathleen

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Kathryn November 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm

I would love to begin wearing the Chapel Veil and agree that it’s a beautiful sign of reverence. I also would love to see a complete list of suggestions on the ettiquette: colors during certain seasons, length, etc.
I’m praying for the courage to begin wearing one, and perhaps I could speak to other ladies before I try this. I believe it is also appropriate to make sure the rest of our dress is modest and goes with the beauty of the veil, as I’ve seen a few women wearing sweat pants, baggy shirts , sneakers and the veil, (which was, please note, not a matter of a beloved poor person wandering in, but people I knew to be quite able to dress appropriately and who looked as if comfort was their main concern.)
It will be a challenge to try it, unless I ask one of the sisters for some wisdom here. I just think the motivation behind wearing the veil is a beautiful thing, done out of reverence for the Holy Eucharist, Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a Catholic convert of only five years now, I can see the wisdom in returning to the veil.

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Dawn April 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I converted to the Catholic Faith 10 years ago and enjoy researching and studying our customs. As a woman, the chapel veil is very intriguing to me and I find a beautiful way to express reverence, love and devotion.

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Cathleen November 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Dear Kathryn,
I only know of a couple of things that have been the ‘norm.’
Black veils have been traditionally worn for those who are married or widowed. White is for those unmarried (makes sense since it is such a pure color). However, as I have spoken to others; most feel that ivory or beige would be just fine for those of us who are married/widowed. I opt for ivory during all seasons except Lent. During Lent I wear my black veil. The length I prefer is shoulder length. Although, I have seen several ladies wearing the rectangular mantilla style which can be fairly long. My personal opinion is that, our reverence before the Lord is what is most important. Many blessings to you! Cathleen

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Kathryn November 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Dear Cathleen,
Thank you so much for your helpful thoughts on chapel veil colors and suggestions for the different holy seasons!
I’m also wondering if you or other people in this discussion group have additional suggestions on length of veils.
I think you are right in the our reverence before the Lord is truly what is most important.
One question I have is about whether the veil must cover all the length of one’s hair. In other words, for those of us with very long hair, below the shoulders, is it best to then wear a veil that is sure to cover the entire length or can a shoulder length veil that may not cover everything be used? Or can we wear a shorter veil?
Blessings to you too, Cathleen, from
Kathryn

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Mary Paul November 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Dear Kathryn,

I agree it is really difficult to get any direction as to norms for veiling. I have one married friend who wears white except on Fridays and during Lent. I’ve heard women question whether they should veil on Good Friday when the tabernacle is empty (my priest said “Jesus is always present in the sanctuary”). I totally agree that one who has elected to cover her head conveys a modesty and reverence for Our Lord that must (not should) be reflected in her attire as well. I have had a few occasions where we’ve had “jeans day” at work because of the manual work we needed to do that day, and I’ve gone to an evening daily Mass and wished I could change my clothes because I felt so offensively dressed! I rarely wear slacks anyway, but never to Mass without a REALLY GOOD reason!
I hope you will find your courage and and just jump in with both feet! I wouldn’t worry too much about norms, wear a veil that is comfortable to you. I’ve seen women with longer hair simply pull their hair up so that it isn’t hanging below the veil, but I’ve never found any authoritative comment on whether the hair should be completely covered (probably not since we have those goofy doily things that “count” as veils!). Mine is black with silver embroidery, very “old school” although it is new.
Be prepared to tell people why you have decided to wear a veil. That may catch you off guard as some will ask. My experience has been that my more faithful Catholic women friends are convicted by my comments. They see the truth in what I say about both the veil and the pants; it does make one ponder the wisdom of our clothing choices!

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Kathryn November 17, 2009 at 9:49 am

Dear Mary Paul,
Thank you so much! You and all the ladies posting on this site have been so welcoming, indeed. I’m a new Catholic Convert of just five years, so this is so wonderful to be able to talk about this subject.

We’re all in complete agreement, I can see that. I’ve emailed some other websites to some of my Catholic lady friends (websites that show the history of the Chapel Veil), and three of us are contemplating taking this step. I am going to ask our “resident nun” at our church for any further instruction. She is a joyful, learned person who would help me with my questions, I’m sure, so that I’d feel more comfortable trying the veil.

I’m also hoping a local department store may have some I can try on for length, and color, so that I can see how they look. I’m sure we all want to feel as inconspicuous as possible at first. Thank you for the input on colors and lengths, which other people on additional websites seem to agree upon.

I too wish that modest dresses would make a comeback, to go along with the modesty of the veil. What I believe though, as I’m sure you do, is that the veil may give us a more private, personal space, so that we can concentrate on the Mass itself, and so I will pray not to notice anything about what others are wearing, despite my own traditional preferences. Sloppy pants and baggy shirts just do not seem right to me for those of us who can do better. For our beloved brethren who have no choice, we should embrace them with love and joy that they are worshipping God with us!

I sometimes wonder if husbands and gentlemen in general might also appreciate what Blessed Mother Teresa says in her book about
compassion for our families. She said each station of the cross reflects a need for “a love that understands”. Do we do our best to “give” Jesus and His love to others with modesty and compassion?
Her book, Heart of Joy, is full of “Marian” ways to show modesty and love to all. What a lovely way to begin, wearing the chapel veil!

Sometimes, perhaps often, a physical change reflects a deeper meaning, and as you said, we should be prepared to reply to those who may comment on our wearing of the veil. The Blessed Virgin Mary is our finest example! I believe I would reply to any questions or comments, when I gather the courage to wear one, “Oh, haven’t you heard? There’s a new movement to return to it voluntarily. There’s a beautiful history to it.” And I might add they can, as I did, find all the information on the internet, especially Catholic websites, and mention my favorite discussion groups such as this one!
I’ll now begin looking for a chapel veil….and thank you for your prayers. I’m hoping my parish friends will try it too.
Blessings!
Kathryn

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Mary Paul November 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

Kathryn, I’m a convert, too! I have found that since wearing the veil (which my son declared to be “So-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o embarrasing!”), I have grown in humility and Mass has become so much more awesome!
Here is a wonderful homily I offer to all us ladies! http://www.audiosancto.org/sermon/20090628-Precious-Things-are-Always-Veiled.html

In Christ,
Mary Paul

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Kathryn November 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Dear Mary Paul,
Thank you for the wonderful audio link! Isn’t that lovely, the truth that precious things are always veiled! I just loved the information and hope everyone listens to it. Blessings and prayers to you, your family and all our sisters sharing here about the Chapel Veil.
(I’m sure your son secretly admires your strength of character. One day he will fully appreciate how blessed he is to have such a mother as you.) Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m off to seek out a veil and appreciate your prayers!
Kathryn

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Cathleen November 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Dear Kathryn and Mary Paul,
What a blessing to have such a lively dialogue! There are many beautiful veil options to consider. Through Aquinas and More they can order a small chapel veil (similar to a large doilie) for those who don’t want a lot of veiling and the medium & large sized triangular shapes. Additionally, the offer the large mantilla (rectangular shape). I know they can get any of these in black, white or ivory. There really aren’t any hard and fast rules about covering long or short hair; it is a matter of preference. I actually have short hair but love the feel of the medium sized veil as it covers most of my head/nearly to my shoulders. However, I have grown so fond of wearing the veil that I will be ordering a larger ivory one. If you want to explore beautiful lace options that are unusual; you can go to E-bay/Catholic Traditions and look at their products. They are incredibly beautiful. I only wish we could find them locally so that we can support our vendors in the community. I also really appreciate the topic of modest attire. I am now 51 and feel more secure in wearing and doing whatever I please…what a joy and feeling of liberation! Over the past several years (about 5 now); I began wearing more longer skirts and some dresses. At this point I have only a few pair of pants remaining for those occasions when pants are more practical. I don’t know if this would work for either of you; but I tend to favor travel knits, skirts, tops, sweaters, blazers and some nice vests (fleece has become my friend :-) ) It truly is wonderful to have sisters who are in a similar place as mine. Blessings to you both, Cathleen

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Kathryn November 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Dear Cathleen and Mary Paul,
Thank you both, yes what a lively discussion!
I will try those places you mentioned in your most recent message, Cathleen.
It’s likely that many of us, as we grow in the Faith, feel a kind of ‘liberation to be conservatively dressed!’ Most of my dresses are below the knee and are much more comfortable than tight jeans and slacks, so I often wonder what is so liberating about slacks for women? The important thing must always be modesty and reverence for God, and I believe we all agree how much closer we feel to The Blessed Virgin Mary when we remember her example.
Thank you both again for this discussion. I will try those websites mentioned in my own search for my first Chapel Veil.
Love and prayers,
Kathryn

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Cathleen November 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

And I fully agree with you Kathryn about dressing modestly. The Holy Spirit is so faithful in shedding scales from our eyes as we grow in HIM. May you both have a blessed holiday season. Cathleen

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Jen December 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I’ve been wanting to veil for a while now, And I wished I had an excuse like “Oh, well, I’m just used to it I grew up with it.” Although I didn’t. I’m 23 and although I grew up Catholic and knew my grandma wore veils or scarves that I found in a chest… I never knew much about it until my grandpa told me what they were (because she had died when I was 6 mo.s)
Especially in the past year, I’ve grown to looove the tridentine mass and feel it’s more Catholic and reverent than the NO. I have dreams that I’m fighting for it to spread because I don’t want it to die out and hope one day at least each church will have at least one tridentine mass we could attend without driving a distance. Anyways, I’m thinking of maybe buying a couple scarf-like headbands and wearing them until I feel more comfortable wearing something obvious like a lace veil. i think it’s sad that many fellow Catholics look at women who wear them strangely. They should ought to wear them too…
I pray the church starts to instruct women that they should feel ok to wear them again.

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Cathleen December 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Dear Jen,
Whatever helps to promote a closer relationship with our Lord is always a good choice. Your idea of a scarf type option is wonderful and will speak volumes to other young ladies. We have a couple of young women in our church who do this. Blessings to you, Cathleen

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Abby January 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm

What a wonderful page!

I am 18 and have been waiting and waiting for my chapel veil to come in the mail… from the Ebay Catholic Traditions store (the woman selling them is just a wonderful lady!). It has taken over a month, and so I was unable to wear it to my first Tridentine Mass when I was out of town(so beautiful I’m now prepared to drive hours to the nearest one :) ). Once I figured out it was lost in the mail the lady sent me another on priority mail, and I got it today!!! :)

God works in such wonderful ways… my first shot at wearing it turns out to be this Sunday, when I’ll be cantoring and doing announcements at the youth mass in front of everybody, so I am trying to prepare for a lot of questions. I am praying that others will hear the call to veil as well!

God bless you guys!
Love,
Abby

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Kathryn January 9, 2010 at 11:30 am

Dear Abby,
How wonderful to see a young person who appreciates the meaning of the Chapel Veil! My wish is that you, and all of us, become so used to it that it becomes the “norm” again.
Keep us posted as to how your journey with the veil is going.
It’s a lovely tradition, with so many spiritual meanings behind it, and a joy to hear that others are contemplating a return to this practice.
Love and prayers,
Kathryn

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Mary Paul January 9, 2010 at 11:03 am

Good for you, Abby! I’ll keep you in my prayers for your big debut! God loves you…

In Christ,
Mary Paul

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Cathleen January 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Abby,
I am so excited for you! I have seen the veils on e-bay; are they as beautiful now that you have one…as they are in the pictures??? What type did you order? If you are pleased with their products I plan to order one as well.

Many blessings to you as you witness to others by wearing your veil!
Cathleen

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Abby January 9, 2010 at 11:17 pm

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ivory-Lace-Veil-Mantilla-Headcovering-head-covering-R_W0QQitemZ300384383987QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Veils?hash=item45f04df3f3
This is the one I got… and yes it’s five times prettier in real life! The coloring is so much nicer than this photo gives it credit for :)

But anyway the lady who sells them is so nice, my original order got lost in the mail and she sent me another for free! They also come with a little booklet about what happened to get rid of the veil initially.

I am also hoping to influence others to wear the veil too. The parish I sing at (not my home parish) has maybe two women per mass wearing the veil, and they’re typically very ancient and the veils aren’t very pretty. Perhaps I can at least change the image people have of the veil, especially in my home parish where I have only once in my life seen people veil there, just a nice little family on vacation. And you can imagine the stares!

A question… is it typical to get the veil blessed?

God bless :)
Love, Abby

PS: We should do some heavy duty praying that the Holy Spirit puts it into more girls and womens’ hearts to wear the veil… it is something that not even the Pope could convince people of, let alone us! (Speaking of that, I told my mom today of my plans to veil from now on, and she seemed sort of perturbed/tolerant, as she is when I get ‘traditional’ on her, but the stumper I hope she is still thinking about is that women have to veil when they meet with the Pope, and Our Lord is far more important than the Pope :) )

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Cathleen January 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Abby,
You are so funny :-) I just love your spirit! Ironically enough, I was going to get that exact veil for myself. So now that I have a review to go on…I plan to buy it too! You are very right to pray for more women to be led by the Holy Spirit into wearing the veil. It looks like you have done some research around it as did I. What I found was so sad, basically the veil was never discontinued…but hearts feeling ‘called’ were and so we don’t see it very often. But…I am a firm believer that with even a ‘trickle’ of those listening to His soft call…more will follow. It is a big step when one is the only or maybe one of a few to make the choice. I continue to be one of a few and sometimes when I become a little self conscious…I just look at our beautiful round stained glass portrait of our Lord on the cross and remember ‘who’ I am doing this for.
Many blessings to you little sister, Cathleen

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Abby January 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Cathleen,

When you said how you just think of “who you’re doing this for” it reminds me of this video clip from Cardinal Arinze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc0g3UMRtMM (I don’t know if you know of him, but he’s like the new “Ratzinger” :) What a great guy!)
He says “If you believe that Christ is our God, and He is present, why don’t you kneel? Why don’t you crawl?” And the image of doing anything for Christ, even if it’s completely mortifying, has really stuck with me :) and so all of my veil doubt came before I even wore it! Anyway I hope this helps the embarrassment a bit. This beautiful veil we are talking about makes it very easy to be comfortable with veiling! (In the dim light it even looks slightly pink. The most beautiful, most feminine, most beautiful thing I can think of is this veil :))

BTW it went very well :) And I got it blessed tonight, which is exciting! I am comtemplating either going to the far-away Latin mass or going to the nearby one where nobody wears it. I have come to realize that the priest isn’t progressive at all, it’s just the choir and the way the church was built, as well as a general lack of respect in the congregation. So I might just start kneeling for communion (which would be radical since they give me looks when I receive on the tongue :)) but I feel like the Father might support me on this, and I could just sit on his side when communion is concerned. (After the veil was no biggie, it really stregnthens you, knowing that with God you can do anything!) I will have to pray about this though.

God bless!
Love,
Abby

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Cathleen January 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Abby,
The Holy Spirit’s anointing is upon you….YOU are on fire! Praise Be To God! I went to my first secular Franciscan meeting yesterday and felt very much at home. A woman came with a very small chaplet veil…that alone was so nice to see. I am really looking forward at growing and following HIS plan.
I am so happy to hear your news…..take very good care Abby….you are so precious! Cathleen

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Abby January 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Aww thank you Cathleen! Back at you, I mean it :)

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Elizabeth March 16, 2010 at 9:49 am

I have been a catholic all my life. Recently, I found that I was seeking something more-to help me be closer and more obediant to God. To make a long story short-I was drawn to 1 Corinthians. I did my research and found that the practace was still around. I wondered why it had stopped in the U.S. I lived in Italy for 3 years, and every Sunday all women, even the young modern ones seemed to have their heads covered. So, I started covering my head all the time, but that seems to be a little much, but now I feel off if I don’t at least have a headband on. But at church, my head is covered. I know I get a few glares from others, but I don’t pay much attention. My daughter is only 2, and does not keep anything on her head, but when she is older I will cover her hair as well when we go to church. I think it is a good step in the direction of bringing our society back to more traditional values.

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Cathleen March 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Dear Elizabeth,
Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to visit Rome in November; I am so excited! I was recently ‘gifted’ by a friend of mine from the Philippines. She literally made me a black lace veil…it is so beautiful. I plan to take it on my trip for certain. How fortunate for your little girl to have a mom who will show her the way in terms of head coverings! Blessings, Cathleen

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Sharon Lynn Rangel September 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Hi All!
I have worn a chapel veil since the day I was baptized! The Church never said that a women should unveil! It was the secular media in the sixties that spread that. I’m a covert, and read 1 Cor. 11 and it explains why we should cover our heads. Look at the bride, a nun, all modest women.. in the presence of God in our tabernacles, we should cover our heads just as a man should uncover his. Men should never have a hat on in Mass. Scripture is very clear on this. Wear a veil! They will help you be humble in the face of the Lord!

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Linda Jay January 10, 2011 at 1:42 am

Dear Sharon, My New Year resolution is to wear a veil when receiving the Eucharist. At first I was so very self conscious, even though I had been using a veil at Mass in my youth. On Sunday I realised many Indian ladies at church had their heads covered too. I plan to champion the covering of the head in my church and if possible the whole of Singapore. I feel exhilerated in promoting reverence and modesty and cannot wait to get on to it

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Maria Margaret January 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I have a question…I’m a teen and participate in my Church’s teen choir. We sing once a month at Mass. Would it be appropriate for me to wear a veil during choir? We are up at microphones, and since it is a teen Mass, occasionally only one or two older ladies will veil. I really want to veil, but would it be appropriate to veil at choir? Other than that, I plan to start wearing a veil soon to Mass. I’m just deciding if I want a scarf or an actual Chapel Veil….not sure yet. Thank you very much!

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Ian January 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm

There isn’t anything wrong with you wearing a veil in the choir or anywhere else in the church. Just be sure that you are wearing it for the right reasons and not to be a show off.

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caitgk February 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

I started reading up on chapel veils for my wedding, I loved the idea of incorperating something form the older women of faith in my family who couldn’t be with me that day. The more I read up on it though, the more I feel called to continue to search for my calling, I think it is a beautiful idea, but I am afraid of being attention seeking. I don’t “dress” for church, I don’t really wear anything everyday that I would feel uncomfortable in front of the Lord in, so I am worried about how some might see my birkenstocks and youth group tee shirt and jeans with my chapel veil!

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Dawn April 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thank you for your insight on chapel veils. I have been thinking about wearing one, and have seen a couple women in my parish who do. I know that my perception of them is not negative, as a matter of fact, I have often thought “What a beautiful expression of love and reverence.” I am working up the courage to put one on. I thought that a good place to start would be in our Adoration Chapel.

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Cathleen April 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Dear Dawn,
Blessings to you and your discernment of being called to wear the veil. However, the Spirit leads you can never be wrong. It may be in small steps…but keep moving forward. The blessings I have received far outweigh any of the negatives. I have been wearing the veil consistently for nearly four years now. Sometimes I get “the look” but then I came to realize, maybe the Holy Spirit is touching that persons heart. As many of the ladies above have stated “the veil was never removed.” An Easter blessing that I received this last Sunday was a lovely family who has four daughters (about 6 years of age and under). ALL of them, including mom came in with some type of covering :) This family has never done this before. What a beautiful sight!
Blessings to you, Cathleen

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Marcie April 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

I had much of the feeling as you. I have taken baby steps in the opposite direction. I am not one to wear skirts or dresses but, I was first interested in the modesty of dress as I have four daughters and I see the looks many young girls get when wearing jeans, slacks, or shorts by men or boys during Mass. Then, I felt called to wear the Chapel Veil. If you feel called to veil then do that and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.

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Carolina June 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

I just stareted wearing a veil….it just felt right for me from the bottom of my heart….my parish priest just told my husband I should not wear it anymore…. I am so upset and just disapointed….so many things wrong with our parish and he picks on me….because of something that is actually good. On top of everything he pretty much called me ignorant for wearing it…..

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Cathleen June 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Dear Carolina,
The veil is not about any human and ‘what’ they think. The veil is an outward sign of submission and humility to Our Lord and Savior that dates back to Hebrew times. Wearing the veil is a silent and yet powerful way to demonstrate your desire to fully give yourself to the Lord.
Many blessings to you as you discern what the Holy Spirit wants you to do, Cathleen

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Carlo January 7, 2013 at 7:49 am

From a mans perspective, I really appreciate women who veil. I think it lifts up the whole mass, and helps us all put our focus on God better. I wish more women would veil, I think it would be a fantastic thing all around. We need signs like this to knock us off our lukewarm butts and get serious!

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Cathleen January 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Thank you Carlo for your insights. It is great to hear how a gentleman perceives the veil. I have wear the veil and continue to be blessed.

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Ann August 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I want to veil, but my husband is vehemently opposed to the idea, to the point that he said he wouldn’t sit with me at Mass if I wore one. Any thoughts on this dilemma? As it is now I wear I wide, black lace headband as a compromise (my 6year old wears one too). He rolls his eyes when I put it on, and doesn’t even like that.

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Rosa October 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I have been wearing a veil for two years. My mom wear one. I began due to a burning desire for reverence toward my Lord. So far has been a blessing to me. I truly love. I am 49 years old. The veil takes away any distractions and focus on the Mass.

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