Age threshold for veiling

Since our canons no longer have a requirement and I don’t know if they ever addressed this specific issue anyway, at what point were females expected to begin covering their heads for Mass? Was there a canonical age? Up to custom? A canonical age with some customs starting earlier anyway?

This is a practical question for me as my first child (now 3 mos.) is a girl, and while I don’t expect her to start veiling soon it’s never too early to get informed for the future.

I don’t know about a canonical age, but I see little girls in veils at church as young as two or three years old.

I seems that most of the moms at my TLM parish put bonnets that tie under the chin on even their infant daughters. As they get older they wear hats or scarves. I don’t think there is any special rule though. One woman who had six boys finally got a girl last year. I looks like she is really enjoying dressing her little girl to “the nines.”

Sister, I was about to ask this myself! I, too, just had a little girl and surprise! she wasn’t as bald as a shaved melon like my son was. I was expecting her to be bald and therefore was going to cover her head with a hat or bonnet anyway to protect her scalp from the sun. Since she has so much hair I questioned when I should begin, since it may be difficult to follow through if she finds it uncomfortable. I would like to at an early age, because it is a tradition I want my family to have in addition to all the reasons I feel head coverings are appropriate. I was considering first communion, say four or so, but maybe even earlier would be better. I would be very interested in seeing what other moms have to say or what people used to do when it was mandated.

Well, maybe covering right away (as in infants) is considered appropriate by many out there. I had just assumed they might fiddle with it more than it stayed on their head. My wife recently surprised me by coming home with a bonnet for our daughter, though, so we’ll start using it. I would still be interested in getting a broader spectrum of experiences, though, to see if there was/is any perceivable general norm beyond personal or parish preferences. So consider this a bump.

Congrats on the new baby. Experience has only reinforced how great a blessing children most certainly are.

I don’t know about at a TLM mass but in my parish growing up little girls wore bonnets or hats up at least First communion but sometimes until Confirmation then went to veils. I remember loving being able to wear a bandana to mass as long as the color matched my outfit. At confirmation we had to wear the circle veils…you know the ones that looked like a paper doily on your head but after that we were allowed to wear the mantilla. Very soon after that everyone stopped wearing veils…it was such a shame!!!

Blest One,

I love your signature line. Is it a quote from someone besides yourself? May I use it on another Bulletin Board?


Never heard of an age threshold. Nobody gets upset if a small girl is covered or not, This morning in an indult Mass, I found a mantilla-covered eight-year-old attractively distracting. She was concentrating on the priest and the altar. Something very chaste and feminine about a female with a mantilla.

Thank you…it’s mine but I share.:thumbsup:

Thank you. It is both a simple yet profound statement.


I love it too. Can i borrow it also? I love to add little snipets to the end of my emails.

Hey does anyone know if there is a color requirement for a mantilla. Like if your not married that you have to wear a white one or if your married a black one?

Not as far as I can tell. On Sunday, I went to an FSSP Mass, and I didn’t bring a head covering, and this really sweet, very old lady lent me hers. It was white, very lacy, and beautiful. Then she pulled out a couple more from a little zippered bag (she must pack extras for those of us who forget!) and she put a black one on herself. The other one she didn’t use was navy blue. She had a little reservoir of mantillas in her purse! I made a new friend that day.:slight_smile:

Is it true that married women wear black ones and unmarried white?

No. See my post above yours. I think most women have a variety of different coloured mantillas, from what I have seen.

Traditionally- black/dark colors for the married white/pastel/light colors for the unmarried (at least what I have read) but the practice is so far-flung that any color is appropriate.

As for veiling the wee ones, I would think that the age of reason would be appropriate, or if you feel your youngin would be able to have something on their head without messing with it.

As with anything else concerning very young children. The earlier you start, the more accustomed they will be to having veils or bonnets on their wee little heads. :thumbsup:

We got our 3-year-old daughter a cute little hat and matching purse. I found them in the baby & toddler section of a major department store. They were labeled as an Easter bonnet set, so, if there are any left, they’re probably on sale right now.

This seems to work better than a veil for us. The hat is easy for her to wear, and the purse is just right to hold her little Mass books and a tiny stuffed animal. And the matching accessories seem to make her feel more grown-up, which motivates her to behave well.

(Okay, I admit, the promise of donuts after Mass might also have something to do with it. :wink: )

It seems to have been at one point a traditional practice but is no longer anywhere nearly strictly in effect. Some might choose to still follow it, but for the most part women seem to choose whatever they like best - especially since there is no requirement that the headcovering actualy be a veil.

I would suspect the traditional distinction arose from societies in which marital status was always reflected in dress. For instance, the Tyrol (part of Austria) of yore referred to married women as unter der Haube (under the bonnet) because once a woman was married she was socially required to wear a type of hat to indicate this. Single women had their own particular marker(s), in this particular example I think it may have been some type of sash, but that’s a very weak memory.

Thanks for your replies. i don’t think i am going to start wearing one all the time but if i go to the TLM for a friends first communion then i want to be ready this time. The first time i went to a TLM mass i had not a clue what was going on and knew nothing about the veil. Guess who stuck out like a sore thumb???

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