A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to start wearing a mantilla/veil at mass. Coincidentally, I just found out today that tomorrow is a global Wear the Veil day! Hearing this made me super excited. Women wearing a veil at mass has become a little controversial. Gerard’s mom started wearing veil over a year ago and I’ve heard her say people have asked her if she wears it for attention or why she wants to support women being submissive to men in the Church (see: Women and being submissive). So far, I haven’t experienced anything like this, but I don’t doubt I will one day.
Unfortunately, this beautiful act of reverence has been misconstrued to be something bad and demeaning. I actually wanted to write a post on my experience with wearing a veil after I had been doing it for a while, but with tomorrow being wear the veil day, I think it’s appropriate to touch on the subject.
Though women wearing a head covering was explicitly required according to the 1917 Code of Canon Law (see Canon 1262), it is no longer a requirement according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law which is what is being used now. I personally feel like it is great opportunity to humble myself before the Lord and to outwardly show my reverence for Lord as He is truly present. It also helps me to remember that when I go to receive Jesus’s Body and Precious Blood, I am participating in a wedding and walking up to receive my groom. Lately, I’ve found myself to become very distracted with those around me at mass, so when I pull it up really high on my head, it falls down right beside my eyes… I think of it as my little blinders! 🙂
Wearing a veil isn’t the only way to show this reverence. A woman just simply needs to cover her head. I’ve seen some YouTube videos of women simply pulling a scarf over their head or a hat when they enter a church and participate in mass. A man should not wear a hat in church, but a woman can if she chooses. It doesn’t have to be anything as intricate or fancy as a lace veil. I’ll admit that because it’s so new to me, I do feel nervous to put it on. I have to remember that I’m not doing it for anyone else, and it really doesn’t matter what the other parishioners at my church think of me.
If you are interested in wearing a veil or mantilla, I invite you to do so! Or if you’d like to use something else to cover your head, that’s great too! Especially tomorrow, know that you won’t be alone. If you’d like a recommendation for a place to purchase veils, I recommend Veils by Lily. I’m very happy with the veil I ordered from her a few weeks back.
Here’s a short video about Wear the Veil day that I really enjoyed. Please note that though it is expected for women to cover their head at the Extraordinary form of the mass (the Latin mass), it is not required, just as it is not required for the Ordinary form of mass.
So tell me, what do you think about covering your head in church? Is this something you’d be interested in trying? If you already veil, how do you like it?