ASK FATHER: Priest tells woman not to wear veil at Mass


While there is nothing that requires a woman to cover her head in church (except perhaps for Paul’s inspired words in 1 Corinthians), neither is there anything to prohibit a woman from covering her head.


That’s ridiculous. It’s entirely up to her whether she wants to wear a veil.


I agree with angel12, but this post also makes me think “Names or it didn’t happen”.

I have never seen a priest in USA who concerned himself with whether women were wearing a veil in his church. Many of the churches I attend have a certain number of elderly ethnic ladies who have always worn a head covering.


That’s Fr. Z for you… cum grano salis


This is the kind of thing that gives vicars for clergy heartburn.


I do give him credit for responding “no” to a commenter who tried the “the canon requiring veils was never abrogated” line.


You’d be surprised at what some will do.

Whenever I got into a heated discussion with my boss about a particular aspect of Canon Law or the GIRM, I always knew I was in for a homily mentioning the Pharisees and their love of rules. It never failed. :smiley:


Did that law specifically say “veils” or that a woman had to cover her head?

I never saw veils anywhere when I was growing up. Hats, sure; kerchiefs, of course; berets, lots. Veils? Not until just before the law was abrogated while I was still in high school.

Here’s a picture of Confirmation at my childhood parish, '65 or '66. Not a veil in sight except on a few of the confirmandae and the sisters.



Doesn’t matter, since it’s no longer in force.


Yes, but every lady in the photo has a head covering (hat, scarf, headband).


Of course, that was before the law was abrogated. My point was about veils as opposed to generic head coverings.


There is nothing requiring it, but I would do it regardless. I cover my hair and have for years as a sign of a private vow of celibacy I made when I was 18.


The law never said "veil’, it stated only headcovering. As I pointed out in another thread, the idea of a lacy veil is a modern one from ladies outside of certain ethnic/cultural heritage such as Italian, Spanish, or areas of France known for lace making. Those elaborate lace mantillas have made a comeback as the headcovering of choice because it’s easy to fold up and stick in a clutch purse… making it simple to put away after leaving Mass compared to a hat. Plus, some feel it’s nostalgic and adds an air of mystery and romanticism. But definitely not what most women wore prior to the 1983 Code of Canon Law.


My mother wore the lace veil for daily Mass (presumably for the reasons you’re citing) and only wore hats for some Sundays, for weddings and that kind of thing. That was a time when hats were what women wore to dress up, though, church or no.


Tangential question: if I decided wear a hat to mass would I be asked to take it off? I know ushers at my parish ask men to take their hats off…


Same here. I have seen some older ladies. I think from the Philippines possibly. Some of them were veils. Why is it an issue?


From the article:
I believe she stopped when he gave a scorching homily about women trying to seem holier than thou by what they wear to church.
Maybe there were other exchanges and events between the priest and the woman that lead him of vaguely accusing her of hypocrisy through a homily. Maybe she made a fuss about it since the veil was blessed and he was like: ok, the veil is about being humble and the way you behave is not.
The veil in itself does not make someone humvle is true. Maybe he shouldn’t have dedicated an entire homily about it and address her in person. Or maybe not. I have seen the priest making on the spot additions to the homily based on what happens in the church. It didn’t feel aggressive just assertive and lively.


Men are expected to take their hats off while indoors, and especially when in church. That is not a change from back in the day


Traditionally, men remove hats when going to Church while women cover their heads. Now, most women in my Parish don’t wear a head covering, but men should absolutely remove their hat upon entering Church.


It’s generally not an issue.
In the places where I worship, there are often ladies originally from Italy or Poland or Eastern Europe, or their mamas were, and they have been covering their heads for the last 50 years and nobody ever thought twice about it.

i also typically see a lot of women in their 30s, 40s and 50s even at the weekday Mass with a veil on, sometimes they’re wearing jeans to Mass or Adoration but they have the veil on. It’s no biggie. I wear a veil when I go to TLM. I don’t do it other times but I have no problem with anyone who does as long as they don’t try to tell me I’m less holy for not wearing it.

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