chapel veil

What is the symbolism by women wearing the chapel veil? What is the purpose? I know that this custom is more prevalent in the TLM Mass. I wonder why? I am not ahainst the chapel veil I am just curious as to what its significance is.

Also what types of veils are there? Lace, cotton, silk,ETC or would a winter scarf just do?

Anything even a hat serves the purpose.

Listen to this sermon it will explain a lot:

It’s a tradition of the Church (lower case t as they say :)) and is a sacramental. Other sacramentals are holy water, and the rosary. Up until 1983 it was mandatory that women cover their heads at Mass (see 1 Corinthians), and now it is just optional. Just like not all people say the Rosary, so not all women cover their heads. (hats work too - same idea)

The idea is that in the Catholic Church’s tradition and all throughout the OT, things that are veiled are holy… like today we veil the Tabernacle. The reason that women are holy is that God gave us a very special thing, that we are able to be co-creators with Him. We are the very last thing He ever created, and inside of woman God can create a new soul. And because what is sacred is veiled, so women are too :slight_smile: It’s a lovely compliment to women, and yet a bunch of idiotic feminists called it suppression. Well they definitely did suppress the beauty of femininity, and through their efforts and others’, head coverings have fallen out of use. It is interesting to note that protocol still dictates that women veil thir heads when in the presence of the Holy Father (an audience). But how much more important is our Eucharistic Lord than His Pope!!

The reason it’s more prevalent in the TLM is the same as why incense is more prevalent, why Gregorian chant, the music of the Church, is more prevalent, why the language is more prevalent. We want to be as Catholic as can be, and we accept ALLLLL the teachings of the Church, even the little things like women veiling their heads. :thumbsup:

Btw, anything would do, hats, scarves, anything. Lace is just a bit of a trend in the area of head coverings at Mass now, and many will say that hats were a bigger thing in the 50s and such. It doesn’t matter the difference, when your head is covered, it’s covered :smiley: Some people try to argue that chapel veils specifically are far superior(vs hats/scarves), but that’s their opinion, not the Church’s.

I’m not sure that I have ever come across that idea before. Is it common in your experience?

Chapel veils can be a sacramental, they can be blessed and reserved to be used only in a sacred way, they also encourage pious dispositions in those who wear them.

Not all chapel veils are but they can be.

Well, rosaries are sacramentals but often a person stuffs a rosary in her pocket, or tumbles it in her purse, the same way as she might do with a veil, or a scarf, or even a container of holy water or blessed salt, or holy cards. . . not because she doesn’t care about the object but because the object, while a sacramental and thus a ‘help’ in devotions, isn’t necessarily some delicate, fragile object but rather sturdy and utilitarian.

I have some more ‘delicate’ rosaries as I have more delicate hats, and holy cards. Those I do treat with more care because they are more delicate and fragile than the everyday veils, rosaries and holy cards, or have more sentimental value (the holy cards for the deaths of family members I would hate to lose and so I keep them securely at home whereas the holy cards that come with begging letters or from various functions I attend and use to keep place in my missal and LOTH would not be a devastating loss if they were torn accidentally or lost.

When I was growing up we had the sturdy ‘veils’, and we also had the more delicate ones (like the first communion veil). We also had ‘occasion’ hats (for Easter, and often Christmas as well) which were worn sometimes only for a couple of Masses, or only for a season. My mother had hatboxes for her more delicate ‘occasion’ hats ( to be worn to weddings, or for things like my grandparent’s 50th anniversary celebration, or out with my father for their own wedding anniversaries), the somber hat for funerals, etc.

What about a head scarf or hat, can they be blessed also? After all, no one in America had “chapel veils” until Jackie Kennedy wore one to meet the Pope.

Is this something the Church failed to teach from 1948 (when I started catholic school) until 1960.

Seems like my mother, grandmother or one of my dear aunts would have mentioned it. Or when I forgot my hat and one of the nuns gave me a kleenex to put on my head, someone would have said something to the effect that “this could be a sacramental”.

Now I am aware that people may have certain articles blessed. But to make a blanket statement that “chapel veils are sacramentals” is just not true.

Now if the OP had said “I have had my chapel veil blessed and it is now a sacramental”, I would have no protest.

Presumably you wouldn’t reserve your scarf or hat for a sacred purpose so they would not be sacramental’s even if you had them blessed and they don’t have the appearance of a sacramental either which I believe is also important.

Not all of my rosaries are blessed, but I believe they are all sacramentals anyway.

I don’t know about Jackie Kennedy but my sister was born in 1951 and she was wearing a veil in 1st grade at her Catholic school in Philadelphia, which would have been in 1957, a couple of years before Ms. Kennedy’s husband became president. That was the norm for students. Of course, this was only one city and we had a lot of Italian Catholics so perhaps the tradition had come from there. So I think the custom may have been more widespread in places where there was a strong influx of Italian Catholics perhaps.

Its was more of a Latin practice so it was always more prevalent among Italians and Spanish/Portuguese.

Among the Irish the women used the woollen shawl traditionally, English speakers tended more towards hats by the 50’s I believe though that was more in deference to the fashions of the times than anything else.

That is interesting. Was it a veil like a mantilla, or shorter?
Now, I do remember about my sophomore year,1958, we were allowed to wear the small round doily-like chapel veil, but I cannot remember of ever seeing the mantilla type veil until I saw the pics of Jackie Kennedy.

I thought it was beautiful, but here in the midwest, we just stuck with hats, scarves or round chapel caps.

It comes up occasionally on CAF when we talk about this issue :slight_smile: Not common at all though. The argument is that hats can be worn anywhere, but the chapel veil is unique to wearing at Mass and thus is better. I say just be happy with women wearing hats, sheesh! :stuck_out_tongue:

Positive :thumbsup: I’ve had Rosaries in my pocket, and wear my blessed medals everywhere (pool, shower, everywhere!). Treating your sacramentals with respect is just not intentionally destroying them with bad intentions, and burning/burying them, not throwing them in the trash.

One of the benefits of the mantilla is it’s portability. It is quite easy to keep one in the glove compartment of one’s car, or tucked into one’s purse. It’s easier to do that with a mantilla than with a hat! :slight_smile:

I have a funny little story to relate about mantillas. We were all gathering outside Church early Sunday morning a few weeks ago, and one of the young mothers suddenly exclaimed that she had forgotten her veil (she has six little ones to keep track of, so she has a lot on her mind!). She said she would go into the ladies’ room and get a paper towel to use. I reached into my purse to pull out an extra veil I keep there, and when I looked up the young mother had been surrounded by five or six women all offering her extra veils. The priest was coming up from the parking lot and saw this take place. He came up to us laughing, and said from his vantage point it looked like we were all surrendering to this woman, because we had suddenly surrounded her and were waving white veils in front of her!

that’s quite funny. :thumbsup:

:rotfl: That’s wonderful! Hahaha

St. Paul directs women to do so (I Cor. xi. 1-16):

Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. You yourselves judge: doth it become a woman, to pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the church of God.

It is one of the oldest traditions in the history of the Church, required by papal command as early as St. Linus, the second Pope. It seems that this may be a matter of divine law and not merely ecclesiastical precept, based upon the above passage from sacred scripture. I believe theologians are split on the issue.

The woman ought to wear a covering for her head “because of the angels.” There are two things to consider in this. Firstly, it is a sign of her obedience not only to God but also to her husband. Even if she is not married, it is symbolic of her nature, as St. Paul clearly delineates in the above passage, and her role in society, which is more interior than that of man. Secondly (and more speculatively), all sacred things are veiled (the tabernacle, the ciborium, the chalice, etc.), for they hold the Body of our Lord. The relics of the True Cross are also traditionally veiled in red when not being venerated or used to bless someone, having been purpled by the Precious Blood of our Lord. A woman has the great gift from God to bear children, and this makes her body sacred.

Just wanted to tell you what a beautiful response.:thumbsup:

Don’t thank me, I read an article a while back called Women: God’s Last Creation, and I basically copied it out of memory. Let me see if I can find it…

OH!! Here it is!!

I’ve heard (and use) a number of reasons for the chapel veil. I wear it to nearly every Mass I attend and in church generally (Adoration, etc).

First, it’s a sign of respect for God…and, too, for those around one. A woman’s hair is generally, well, more beautiful that that of a man. Veiling oneself in church covers that beauty in a place of worship so as to not distract from the Beauty in the tabernacle. (A beloved priest once explained it like this, and I quite liked the description.) It’s similar, to my way of thinking, to the reasons I wear a certain style of clothing (business-formal, but also sometimes nice day dresses) to Mass rather than an evening dress. I don’t mind wearing a strapless dress for an evening out (depending on the event) or on the beach, but I wouldn’t wear one in church lest I distract those around me.

In my case, it also helps me somewhat to keep custody of my eyes. I get very easily distracted during Mass because I’m an incorrigible people-watcher. :smiley: Nothing wrong with people-watching, mind you, but it’s not where my focus needs to be during Mass. Having something on the sides of my face helps me direct my attention forward. (As I said, this is more of an answer that’s specific to me; I’ve never heard it cited elsewhere.)

As for what sort of veil I use, I have been known to use everything from a more traditional mantilla to a snood (I LOVE that those have come back into style!) to a long net evening wrap to a pashmina. The latter two I wear in an almost Middle-Eastern style; I wrap them over my head and drape them around my shoulders. This particular look also has the definite advantage of making a dress that might, thanks to a lower neckline, otherwise be questionable attire for church, perfectly acceptable churchwear.

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