Mantilla/Chapel Veil

I’m 20, and have recently experienced a kind of spiritual renewal. I aim to spend time at church most days - in private prayer, in Adoration or in Mass.

Recently I started thinking about the possibility of wearing a mantilla or chapel veil. I’ve seen a few women wear them now and then, but only really at Adoration. I think it’s a beautiful way for a woman to visually express humility and submission to God, and it sounds particularly fitting in my time of vocational questioning and spiritual growth - but I have a few questions and concerns that I wanted to address:

What are your views on people wearing veils? Any arguments for or against?

Where is the best place or time to wear a veil? If I did take up wearing one, I’d most likely do so in Adoration. The idea of wearing a veil in Mass does sound attractive, but I do feel disheartened because it’s basically a dying practice. Most people I’ve seen wearing veils have been elderly. I know it’s a bad thing, but I’m concerned about being judged negatively.

What kind of veil would be best for me (a young, single woman)? I’ve done some research and there are quite a few kinds to choose from, so I’m feeling a bit swamped by choice.

Any advice would be excellent. God bless.


I’m just a few years older than you and began feeling the same way several years back. I started covering my head, first just at adoration and my regular Mass in Latin and then at all Masses and churches. For a while it was only me, but now others ladies cover as well, with hats, scarves, etc. as well as veils, so you have several options. I first used a scarf, and then a veil, as I got more comfortable with the practise.

A keyword search resulted in various threads on this topic, so they should give you good info to think about:

There are also several groups, like Veiled in Grace:

(hopefully the links will work OK!)

take care,
amsjj :slight_smile:

Jesus, God and man,
imprisoned by love in Thy most holy Sacrament,
have mercy upon us.

  • Blessed John Henry Newman, December 22, 1851

Tú y yo sabemos por la fe que oculto en las especies sacramentales está Cristo,
ese Cristo con su Cuerpo, con su Sangre, con su Alma, y con su Divinidad,
prisonero de amor.

  • San Josemaría Escrivá, 1 junio 1974

… Our Lord Himself frequently said; and it is recorded as an Apostolic tradition from Him
by St. Justin the Martyr. He says ‘Jesus often said, “They who are near Me are near a fire”’.

  • Abp. W. B. Ullathorne, August 1st 1886

Someone posted this link previously in another thread, and I thought these were really simple and beautiful:

I wear a veil to honour Jesus Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore I cover my head whenever He is present this way which certainly includes Mass. It is more important to me to honour Him than to be concerned with what others think of me.

From what I have heard the practice is going through a revival among young people. So perhaps you will see more of it. If you really feel too uncomfortable with a veil you could cover your head with something less distinctive, like a hat or scarf.

There is a revival, Floresco. I can confirm that, because I currently have my work cut out for me keeping up with the veil orders. A good problem to have! :slight_smile:

You know, our generation’s had this beautiful tradition taken away from us. Why?! This is what Catholic women have always done; they’ve veiled or otherwise covered their heads before the Blessed Sacrament. It’s one way of showing honor to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Our Lord is really truly present. What a privilege it is to be able to acknowledgment that by genuflecting, by wearing a veil.

To the op: all it takes is for one or two women to start covering their heads in church, and then the others who may want to veil too will feel more comfortable in doing the same. If anyone at your church has a problem with that, they’re just sour grapes. :wink:

Thank you for your reply :slight_smile: The first link didn’t work, but I’ll do a search. And thank you for linking me to that group, I found some really interesting things there.

The main concern for me in regards to wearing a covering at Mass is that I don’t go to a High or Solemn Mass, so it might be a bit out of place. Wearing something at Adoration seems a lot more appropriate.

Thank you! They are beautiful :slight_smile:

I would like to be able to honour the Lord. At the end of the day, social judgement doesn’t really matter so much as all I need to worry about is God and Jesus, not other people. Though even with that being said, it can be hard to take up something new.
Today while in Mass I saw a young woman wearing a cap or beanie. That might be a good thing to try, though to be honest, a veil does sound best.

Thank you! I really needed to hear those words, I think :slight_smile:

It might be easier to “work up” to the veil by wearing something less distinctive first.

You’re welcome. :slight_smile: Good luck! Let us know how you make out one way or another.

That does sound like a good idea. I talked to my mum about it this morning and she was more supportive than I thought she would be (usually my parents tend to be a bit sceptical or critical when I talk to them about wanting to take part in more religion-focused things).

Thank you, I will! :slight_smile: I’d like to get a veil from somewhere, but there seem to be so many kinds.

Does anyone have any recommendations or preferences? I checked out that Handmade by Devorah website (I think that’s what it’s called) and there were some really beautiful and affordable things there, but there’s just so much choice :slight_smile: I would prefer a veil over a wrap or headband-type thing, though.

I am now at the point that I will not enter a church without my head covered, that said, I do not judge women who do or do not cover their heads - it is their personal choice. I attend the Traditional Latin Mass, so many of our women do wear head coverings - most of them are younger than me, so at least around my area it is far from a dying practice. I prefer lace mantillas, but I use other head coverings at other times. Most of the veils I make myself out of vintage lace, in different colors sometimes, it is really quite easy.
I have many reasons why I veil, but I like best what our Chaplain said about it, that the Church veils that which is most precious to it, like the tabernacle.

Sparrowhawk28 - I understand your concern and questions. I started veiling in the OF Mass about 5 years ago and was nervous as well, but felt called to veil and had to persevere through the concerns of judgment by others. I were my veil anytime I enter into Church whether it be for Mass, Adoration, Confession etc. I am 35 with five children and my four year old daughter also wears a veil to Mass. People will stare, but that’s o.k., just focus on the Mass and tune out everyone around you. I have seen some women wear hats to Mass and only one other young woman recently wearing a veil. I spoke with her personally and she mentioned that she is from Mexico and everyone there still veils, so it is normal for her to do so. I can honestly say that now if I forget my veil, I feel strange not wearing it.

About your question in trying to decide upon a veil selection, here’s my advice. If you are unmarried, it is more appropriate for you to wear a white veil. Black or brown if you are married. The style is based solely on your preference. When I first started veiling, I wore a small round veil, then moved to a medium length triangle.

Bottom line: do what you feel called to do, you honor God by wearing a veil in church. Jesus wants us, as women, to imitate the Blessed Mother…not the world around us.

God Bless and keep you. :thumbsup:

Thank you for your response! :slight_smile: It’s good to know that there are other younger women wearing head coverings.

Thank you for your help! I was wondering about whether there was something more appropriate for unmarried women. Personally I think God calls every woman to live a life of honour and modesty (of which veiling is a part), but not everyone discerns that call.

I have a couple more questions for everyone:

I am hoping to go to Holy Hour tomorrow night. I won’t have any sort of veil then as I haven’t decided on which one to buy yet. Do you think it will be okay for me to just wear some sort of coloured scarf over my hair until I get a proper veil?

How exactly are the round veils worn? Is there much of a significance between them and the triangular veils? I’m trying to work out which style I should get, but am not sure of the best or most appropriate one.

There has never been a rule that women must wear veils, only that our heads be covered. The type of head-covering normally worn has been different at different times and place. A scarf is just fine. If you like it, there is no reason to ever get a veil.

The round veils are kept on with bobby pins or hair clips. I have the impression that they are often worn by women who are still growing comfortable with veiling. This kind is less noticeable so women who are struggling with being self-conscious like them. Also women who don’t like the way that other styles look on them, will use the round ones. There is no significance that I have ever heard of. Even the colour thing that someone mentioned above is not strictly followed in my experience. Around here, it is not uncommon for married women to wear white veils. I wear one myself on occasion. I did for Easter, for example.

Really, just wear something you like wearing. The only requirement of the custom is that you cover your head with something.

Thank you for your help :slight_smile: I will give it a go tonight and see how I find it. I quite like the scarf I’m thinking of wearing (it’s white with a floral pattern and border) so if I feel comfortable I may stick with it.

Their headcoverings are very pretty, but if you go to their page on Facebook they don’t think very highly of Catholics and do not believe that Catholics are Christians. RedSoxWife here on CAF also makes some very pretty headcoverings you might want to take a look at! I ordered some and they are really cute!

Sparrowhawk says:I’m 20, and have recently experienced a kind of spiritual renewal. I aim to spend time at church most days - in private prayer, in Adoration or in Mass.


Recently I started thinking about the possibility of wearing a mantilla or chapel veil*. (cut for length)

What are your views on people wearing veils? Any arguments for or against?

I am 45, a convert at 40, and i wear one.

most of the folks i see wearing them locally are very YOUNG, or very old. basically the pre 60’s crowd, and the new “renewed traditionals” that are in their 20s
admittedly, they dont all wear the “classic” lace veil… many wear head scarves, some kind of hat (that was typical in the 50s) etc.

there are a LARGE number of veiling discussion groups on this forum, facebook, livejournal, etc… often also with modest clothing or modest dressing groups. most of which are populated by people under 35.
i belong to several…

my real mundane name is Kirsten Houseknecht and i am fabricdragon online most places.

i am NOT the best example of a Catholic, i have a lot of work to do in my life… but if you want to find a veiling or modest clothing group on any of the other social media forums feel free to contact me!

Where is the best place or time to wear a veil?
here is where you will get some interesting debates about WHY you wear a veil…
If its in answer to church custom? in church at all times or before the Sacraments…

if you wear it in answer to the Bible quote about covering your head “when you pray” then whenever in church or in the presence of the Presence… obviously! but then you also get the question that we are told to “pray without ceasing” so maybe all the time?

(this is why the Amish , Mennonite, and Plain Catholic women wear head coverings at all times)

Most of us start out by veiling/covering in church and at Adoration… and some of us then move on to full time, and some do not.

In my case i find it also helps me keep distractions at a minimum…

What kind of veil would be best for me (a young, single woman)? I’ve done some research and there are quite a few kinds to choose from, so I’m feeling a bit swamped by choice.

hornets nest there… because many people have strong personal opinions, but honestly? let me help you narrow it down a bit

at least to start with, why not pick one that you can picture wearing, stays on easily, and wont make you feel too awkward.
i wear a full size mantilla veil…only for adoration and “big services” like Easter (and when i converted i had 8 people ask where i got my veil)

the rest of the time?
i wear scarves.
simple, easy, cheap if you sew… able to be worn multiple ways, and stylish.
i favor the “Dutch Crown” style from the Jewish websight Tznius dot com… they have scarf tying instructions… but i also haunt Jewish, Plain and Muslim stores and online shops for scarf tutorials and sales.

and if your scarves are to slippery… you can line them in cotton … or:
in the winter i have been known to wear the “two part hijab” because i get so cold, but what i usually do is wear the head band part… only.
its an elastic wide head band, comes in colors and patterns, and if my scarf is one of those pesky slippery beasties i can PIN the scarf to the head band!
also lets me use up my broach/pin collection.

Thanks for the heads-up; I checked it out and was quite appalled. I’ll have a look at RedSoxWife and see if there’s anything I particularly like :slight_smile:

Thank you :slight_smile: I’m becoming a member of several modesty groups and am getting a better idea of things.
I’d like to start just at Adoration, and if I find things are good I might progress to wearing something at Mass. The main problem right now is confidence, so it might be best to work up to it in small steps :slight_smile:

Thanks for that site! :slight_smile: I checked it out and got some great ideas. I really like the “Dutch Crown” style, I have a brown rectangular scarf that I tried it with and it turned out quite nice. It fits quite securely and is modest enough for me. The “Classic” style is nice too, though I needed to use a different scarf to try it out. If I decide to veil, I’d like to get a classic lace piece.

Another quick question for you all, and forgive me if it’s a bit pointless: when exactly do you put on your veil? As I mentioned, I’m going to Adoration tonight. Should I go to the church with the covering on, or put it on inside the church? Apologies if this question is a bit of a no-brainer, I’m just very new to this and am dreadfully unsure of veil protocol :stuck_out_tongue:

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