Covering hair at Mass


Hello everyone! I’m a longtime lurker and first time poster so here we go…I have recently come back to the Catholic Church after leaving as a teenager, I am now almost 30. Since returning I have been going to a Latin Mass when I can and I felt it was appropriate to cover my hair there, as most other women attending do. I went to Mass last night with my family and was discussing the Latin Mass with my mom before hand and how I felt like I should cover my hair vs when I go to an ordinary form Mass. She made the comment that she had always wanted to but was worried about standing out. So…I veiled last night at an ordinary form Mass to show her that it wasn’t something to be nervous about. I was the only woman veiled at my mother’s church but no one have me any weird looks.

My question is how common is it amongst women to veil at every Mass? How many women here do it everytime? Has anyone ever said anything if you were the only one doing it? Thanks, just a revert who wants to hear some experience from Catholics who have been practicing longer than me.


nuns veil. laity dont,
And whether laity cover their hair, I find is culturally dependent. In my Cathedral those who cover their hair use scarves and hats. Usually its within the African refugee community or in the Indian Syromalabar community


No one at our church wears a veil at mass.


No one covers at my home parish. However, at another parish I sometimes attend (also Ordinary Form), there are usually several women who do. No one seems to give it a second thought.


At my parish, between a quarter and a third of the women cover their hair for the ordinary form Mass. I don’t, since my family isn’t in the habit, but if I were to go to a parish where all women cover their hair I should cover mine as well. Soon, God willing, I will be wearing the nun’s veil.


I’d imagine it varies significantly from parish to parish. At any give OF mass at my parish there are usually 30-40 women covered. Some are African/Indian/Latin American, but many are just “traditional” Catholics.


A few ladies wear matillas at our parish, including myself, my daughter and my grand daughters. It does not seem to be a cultural thing for anyone. My family wears them because we were moved to do so. It is not a calling. It is a way to help focus on the mass and our prayers. But I don’t feel bad about those who do not cover.


I am a man, so I don’t cover my head. I seldom see women in our church who still wear a veil, but I always admire those who do. I think the veil, especially the laced ones, is beautiful and speaks of our ancient practice which, sad to say, is slowly being discontinued one by one.

From what I know, the wearing of the veil is no longer mandatory, but it does not mean it cannot be used. So, if you feel inclined to use it, go ahead. The only ones who will be repelled by it would be the modernists and those who want to see the Church get rid of everything that reminds them of our beautiful past.


We have nuns, sisters and consecrated virgins who wear veils, and habits.


Three nuns in our parish, they do not wear habits or veils.


Lay people can “wear” a veil, with veil being a noun or object. Same as wearing a hat or scarf. They are all head coverings. But “the veil” or “to veil” is more a usage for Religious.

There are maybe 5 or 6 ladies per mass at my parish who wear a veil or scarf (none wear hats that I have seen). Most of them tend to be older but I have seen a couple of younger ladies.


Are you sure they are nuns and not lay members of a religious order? I am a lay Dominican, and I do not wear a habit. However, I wear a scapular that is discreetly hidden under my shirt.

The Dominican Order has a clerical branch. The clerical brothers wear a habit. The Order also has Sisters and Nuns. Unlike the Sisters, the Nuns are cloistered and are mostly inside their monastery. But they both wear a veil which is part of their habit. Lay Dominicans, men or women, wear casual clothes and do not wear a habit. But I know one female lay Dominican who goes to church in casual clothing, but also wears a veil. Actually her children, who go to church with her, also wear a veil. Very nice.


Yes, I absolutely know they are nuns. They taught/teach in our local Catholic school.


There are quite a few religious communities that do not require habits including many Dominican communities. Sometimes these religious will have on a pin or a medal or a crucifix/cross associated with their order, but otherwise no obvious habit.


At the two parishes near me, I’ve never noticed a veiling woman. At the chapel at my university, I notice a few women doing so. It just depends on where you are,


At my Eastern Catholic parish about 1/3 of the womenfolk wear veils. The ones that don’t are usually teens/young college age. In the other parishes it’s a sprinkling here and there, maybe 10 woman in any given mass. I always wear one, since that is what I did since I was little.


It’s dependent on the rule of the order. If they are nuns and not sisters.


not really common among first worlders, but really common among trads and 3rd world immigrants
1 Corinthians 11:2–16
Also it’s good if you do. The Virgin Mary did.


It’s totally up to you if you want to cover your head for mass. Nobody will say anything or give you weird looks because everyone knows it’s your option. Many/most people hold hands during Our Father at my parish, but I don’t. Nobody say’s anything or gives me looks. God bless!


I do it once in a while at an EF (Latin) Mass. I cover my head, as my mother and grandmother did. I am not concerned with covering or hiding my hair, I don’t see it as a modesty or reverence thing. I do this because I am following the tradition of my mom and her mom who would have covered their heads (not covered their hair) when attending the Latin Mass back before Vatican II.

I do not do it at regular OF (everyday English Language) Mass, nor at Adoration. My mother didn’t cover her head doing those activities (post-Vatican II), so I don’t either. Some other women do. I’d say I typically see one or two at daily Mass and somewhere between 3 and 10 at Sunday Mass depending on how big is the Mass and where I attend. I assume it’s because these women see head covering as more reverent or, in the case of elderly ethnic ladies, they’ve likely just done it all their life because it was the custom in their family or in their original country. It doesn’t bother me if other women cover their heads, and I’ve never seen or been aware of anybody saying anything to them about it.

If you search the past threads, there are a lot on “veiling” (the threads tend to use this term for head covering even though other people point out it’s only an appropriate term for nuns), including a few threads where women have said that somebody said something to them about it. One recent thread was about a choir director who got told by the pastor not to wear a veil when she was leading the choir because it disturbed the uniform look of the choir.

I have never worried about whether I am standing out at Mass. I don’t think I’m so important that the world is all looking to see if I have a veil on, and if they are looking then they need to get a hobby and learn to mind their own business and pay attention to the Mass.

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