Must a woman wear a veil during Latin Mass?

I’ve been reading regarding the use of the veil in women during the Tridintine Mass. See here. It says the priest may not give the Eucharist to women without head-covering. Are women required to wear a veil during Latin Mass?

I have only been to one Tridintine Mass so far and it was on Midnight Christmas. I did not wear a veil and I believe other women did not wear one too (I don’t know if this has anything to do that it was in Singapore).

Any insights? Thoughts? Opinions? Recommendations?

No, you don’t have to, and a priest who won’t give a non-veiled woman Communion because of not wearing a veil is wrong, but it seems like the socially acceptable/nice/polite thing to do is to veil.

At our FSSP parish, we have women who veil, women who wear hats, and women who don’t wear any headcoverings. There is no requirement, and Holy Communion should certainly not be denied regardless of what’s on your head (with the possible exception of a Carmen Miranda-esque fruit hat).

That being said, there are good reasons to wear a veil, and I’m sure I could find other resources that explain why veiling can be pleasing to God. Our parish has a basket full of veils in the vestibule for those who don’t have them and would like to wear them during Mass.

The site is hostile to and disobedient to the Catholic Church. Do not take it too seriously.

I will offer one thought. Women not veiling at the Mass is a very new thing relative to the history of the Church and the Canon Law was only adjusted to not mention it in 1983. There just might be something to the discipline.

Posted from App for Android

1 Like

I agree with posts 3,4,5.

Women were never required to wear veils. They were required to cover their heads and used whatever was culturally relevant in their areas. In Jesus’ (and Paul’s) time and place that would have been a veil. In western society over the centuries that could have been a lace bonnet, a scarf, a hat, a chapel veil or a mantilla (or in an emergency situation, a kleenex or a newspaper) depending on where you lived.

While the 1962 Mass is celebrated according to the rubrics of that day’s Missal, they are still bound by the 1983 Code of Canon Law. The code doesn’t mandate covering your head. So you don’t have to, but if you choose to you may wear a hat or a scarf, you don’t need a veil.

Sometimes a parish will provide some lace veils at the door for those who wish to cover their heads and didn’t bring anything, but offering veils has more to do with logistics than any requirement to wear that particular item: veils are one-size fits all and a basketful of them weighs next to nothing and doesn’t take up much space.

Eugh. Sorry, but I would never wear a head-covering that was on someone else’s head. I work in a microbiology lab, and one of the lovely tasks that we have is examining the little bugs that live on people’s heads and determining whether they are head lice. Eugh.

I’m surprised that your parish does this, unless the veils are new and never-been-opened.

Covering a woman’s head isn’t new, but “veiling” is. See Phemie’s post.

I know, right?



Thanks everyone. Fisheaters was a site I found while googling “traditional catholic forum”. I didn’t know it was hostile and desobedient to the Church (although the tone seemed hostile). Thanks for the other references.

I was worried about not receiving the Communion this Sunday. When my husband and I decided to attend St. Joseph Church (which is not a parish) for Novus Ordo Mass, we noticed it is the only one that does the Latin Mass on Sunday at 3pm here in Singapore. And we decided to attend Latin Mass from now on until we go back to the US in October. We are planning to buy a Missal, so we won’t get lost.


Hello E-7.

I wear a veil to Church and other places even if no religious events will be taking place. I also veil for Confession. I have my own reasons and they are important to me. Since I recently got attacked and called names here at CAF over this very topic, I hesitate to risk more insults and angst from persons who share my faith over something they themselves say doesn’t matter to them. But since I also know a little more about the subject than usual, I will comment.

Veiling or covering the head isn’t required in either the OF or EF of the Mass, although most women who participate in the EF do veil for various reasons. As Cardinal Burke’s letter states at EWTN, it is anticipated that those women who participate in the EF ill maintain the tradition of veiling for Mass and Communion. The requirement under the Pio-Benedictine Code meant is was a sin not to veil. Under the 1983 Code, this sinfulness has ended. So, to sum up. It used to be required in all Masses especially if the gal was going up for Communion, and if omitted was a sin either venial or mortal depending upon intent of omitter and circumstances. But it is no longer required under pain of since but for the EF, it is expected. (Burke’s word, not mine, so don’t go freaky on me Cat.)

No Priest can nor should refuse Communion to any woman who isn’t veiled and I suspect if a gal showed up to visit a place where she could see and participate in the EF, and she was refused Communion because she wasn’t veiled, I’d suspect there was more to those in that place than simply a fondness for ancient traditional ways. (SSPXer’s, etc.)


I posted about head coverings before (I will add a link to my previous post if I find it)

To directly address, head coverings: they are not required. But I suppose a parish might have a dress code… :shrug:

From a historical point of view, head coverings where not required by Cannon Law until I believe 1919. Before that, women always wore them based on tradition.

Head coverings for women go back to the times before Christ. Women of Conservative and Orthodox Jewish synagogues still cover their heads today. But even the Roman Pagans covered their heads.

It originated as a cultural sign of modesty and chastity. Until World War I, long hair was considered a sign of virginity. While short hair was considered a lack of chastity.

For example: as part of the punishment of prostitution, the woman’s hair would be cut short.

Head covering served two purposes, to hid the length of the hair while veiling server to make the hair appear longer. Both were seen as signs of modesty.

By the end of World War I (perhaps because of the war itself) veiling was failing out of practice. So the Church issues a Cannon law to obligate the head coverings. Then by 60s and 70s, fewer and fewer women were using head coverings (almost none) so the Church removed the Cannon Law in 1983.

Even the St Paul mentions it in his letters, it was never really a subject of religion or theology. It was a cultural sign of modestly and Chastity for over 2100 years. St Paul’s reason for addressing it was to tell women that they should be dressing modestly in the House of God (which is something that we have a major issue with today).

I hope this makes sense and helps.

It was a sin not to cover one’s head in church prior to 1976. I grew up prior to Vatican II and the word “veiling” was never heard in relation to covering your head in church. That seems to be a construct of the last 10 years or so.

The law likely existed it’s just that the laws were not codified until 1917. Imagine the work that must have been, finding all those documents issued over the centuries and compiling them into a “Code of Canon Law”. And all that without a computer.

:eek: You**** were insulted and called names? No Glenda dear, you were called out for stating women who did not veil were “lacking in modesty, piety, and reverence”. Apparently you can make those statements, but have a hard time dealing with the repercussions of making such bold claims. You were told that you were presenting a “holier than thou” attitude. That’s neither an insult or name-calling. It’s an observation made by more than one person who read that thread and the fact that you chose not to apologize for those comments you made about women who do not cover speaks volumes in how you view things. You are not the victim on that thread, you were actually doing the bullying.

The idea that a woman with a Kleenex bobby-pinned to her head is somehow more pleasing to God than one without a Kleenex simply boggles the mind.

This. The term ‘veiling’ was only used to describe the practice of completely covering the statues and crucifixes during Lent. And in fact, ‘veiling’ does imply full covering. Over the past few years, this seems to have become a romanticized term for the act of covering one’s head, which was normally, in the United States, done with a hat. Or, for those of us who attended Catholic school, an ugly beanie or a Kleenex.

I know, right? I remember that from my Catholic school days. I used to beg my mom to tuck a chapel veil into my lunchbox so Sister wouldn’t make me wear a Kleenex.
I think that’s why so many of us don’t “get” veiling/head covering. Our only memory of head covering was less than pious, and the purpose and theology, if you will, was never explained to us. It was just because you had to,. So when it went away we went “hooray!”
I have a dear dear friend that veils. But then, there are some in her parish that do, so she’s not the odd one out. At my parish, I would draw stares. Neither is a traditional parish.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit