Is it okay to wear a mantilla while going through RCIA?


Hello, I am wondering if it’s okay to wear a mantilla if I’m going through RCIA. I will be confirmed the Sunday after Easter. As of now , I of course have to go with the group to the front and be dismissed by the priest to do an opening of the word. Is it okay to wear my mantilla? It is Lent and I would like to wear it. But I don’t want to look like I’m trying to be better than the others. Thank you!


Of course!


Yes and you can wear a sweater too if you want!
Seriously. Yes. It isn’t disrespectful or prohibited to wear a headcovering.


Yes! My girlfriend and I are going through RCIA together and she veils always when in the sanctuary, where Our Lord lies in the tabernacle. It is a beautiful apostolic tradition! So glad to see young ladies reviving it!


You may wear a head covering now, if that is your wish. Covering the head was a traditional sign of being female in a house of worship. It was not and is not particularly associated with being a Catholic.


Why do you want to do this? As I have said on other threads on the subject, the message I personally would receive is “Yes. I am better/ more pious / whatever than you are because I cover my head.” Others disagree with me, but my point is simply that SOME people will get that message. If that’s the message you want to convey, go ahead.


I’ve never thought that when I see someone wearing a veil. Do you think that same thing when you see someone wearing a crucifix, a Catholic medal, carrying their Bible or missal?


This thread from two weeks ago has a wealth of information about wearing a veil at Mass. Click on the “Questions around the decision to veil” and you’ll be taken right to the post.

The OP from this current thread had a similar question, so you will find more answers there. When to start veiling?


The Church doesn’t dictate fashion choices.


Please re-read my post. Did I say “Everyone agrees with me”? No. I said “Others DISagree with me…I personally …” I have no idea if I’m the only one in the world who thinks this, or if most people would agree with me. I suspect you don’t know either.

“Someone wearing a crucifix” – Well, a few years ago we had a woman (crazy?) who sat in the first row and talked to herself during Mass. She wore a giant crucifix (about 2 feet tall). Appropriate? I think not, not even at Mass! How about a small crucifix on a necklace? Sure. But then be sure that your public actions match your public display of the crucifix. If you wear a crucifix and use constant streams of profanity, or cheat customers, or rob a bank, that’s not really a very good advertisement. Same with a medal.

“Carrying their Bible or missal” – Depends on how ostentatious they are about it. If it’s a giant Bible and they make sure everyone can see it’s a Bible, I don’t think that’s good manners. Same with a missal.

Same with praying in public–grace at a restaurant. If you make a big deal out of it with signs of the cross, holding hands, praying aloud, etc. I would also say that’s not appropriate.

Of course I’m saying all this in the context of the United States. If you were living in Vatican City, it would be a different story. Or if you go to a Latin Mass where most of the women cover their heads, then sure, wear a veil. But I am VERY suspicious of people’s motives if they do something very ostentatious that draws attention to themselves.

How would you feel–for example–if you were in a restaurant, and a pious Muslim came in carrying a large Qur’an and then laid down his/her prayer rug in the center of the floor and began praying aloud? Really weird, right? Same goes for any religious activity in the US. Just be aware of your surroundings. If you’re the only one wearing a veil at Mass, and there are 200 other women with bare heads, I think you have to question your motivation.


Hi. Slightly off topic but does your Bishop not permit confirmations at the Easter vigil? I was just surprised to read that, after RCIA, you’re not being confirmed until the Sunday after…although since it’s Divine Mercy Sunday that’s still a lovely day for it!
All our RCIA group were baptised or received and then confirmed on the same night.
Obviously if it was your choice then that makes sense. :blush:


Out of curiosity, what does this mean? It’s not a practice with which I’m familiar.


She means the Dismissal of the Catechumens.


OP, it is fine to wear a mantilla in church if you want. It’s equally fine to not wear a mantilla in church if you want. Your RCIA status matters not. There is currently no church rule on this, so please be aware that anything you hear or read on this is simply the opinion of the person saying or writing it, NOT the teaching of the Church as of 2019.

You will likely hear/ read a wide variety of opinions, some positive, some negative, about covering your head, both before and after you are received into the Church. In the end the choice is yours and I would suggest that you not place undue weight on the opinions of others when you make your choice. Some people have very strong opinions on whether women should or should not cover their heads in church, or even at prayer when not in church. The rule prior to Vatican II, which was back in the early 1960s, was that all women entering a Catholic church should cover their head, but after Vatican II this rule was completely done away with. People’s strong feelings or interpretations of what is proper often have to do with how they feel about Vatican II and whether they think it was a positive, negative or neutral thing for the Church.

I suggest you check out the previous thread that LumineDiei linked for more opinions.

Good luck and God bless on your RCIA journey. We’re excited to have you join us!


No, it’s not done in my (Liverpool UK) parish, either. I don’t know whether it’s been decided by the Bishops of England and Wales not to do it.


Thanks for explaining, @Tis_Bearself and @paperwight. I am often a bit confused about accounts of how people are received into the Church as I think my experience was fairly unusual. I just went to see the priest once a week for a cup of tea and a talk about the Catholic faith, and after we’d had enough sessions, which I think was said to be 15, he received me into the Church at a weekday Mass. It was all very low key and the actual reception probably took no more than a minute or two.


Londoner, I actually think your way makes a lot more sense, and it’s similar to how my father was received, except he did have his sessions with the priest and with one other guy who was also being received at the same time.

The unfortunate fact in the USA is the priests no longer have time for this sort of one-on-one in most circumstances, and I presume there were issues with not everyone receiving the same quality of preparation, so now we have to have this whole RCIA business, which is good for some people, not so good for others.


And that is not the OP’s problem, it is yours alone.

OP - Do not let people who “get” that particular message worry you. That they are making judgments on what others are doing in Mass means they need to do some work on their own spirituality.


Wow, just wow.

In every example, you managed to create an extreme situation, loud and difficult to miss, and use that as a justification. That’s not at all similar to the OP’s question, which was simply about a humble individual who wishes to follow an old custom. No loudness, drama, or mental illness. Only a simple—and increasingly common—question. You must live in a part of the US where the bias against religion is so strong as to make even saying grace before meals in a restaurant an “ostentatious” gesture, if it includes the sign of the cross. I realize that there are many in this country who would love to see such things outlawed, but how tragic it is to see a Catholic cave in so completely to such bias and pressure.

Wow, just wow.


I saw Muslims doing this frequently in public in Washington DC 20 years ago and my reaction to it was "oh, there’s a pious Muslim praying. Too bad us Catholics aren’t that assiduous about our prayers. "

Odd example for you to pick.

Pretty much every Mass I go to in any church anywhere, I see a couple of ladies in mantillas, and I think, “Oh, there’s some ladies who wear mantillas to church.” That’s about all I think.

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