Proper wearing of the veil


I wore a veil for a time but questions as to whether or not I was a nun and ‘veiled’ comments about me trying to be holier-than-thou convinced me to give it up. I am so weak! But, with the Latin Mass coming back I would like to start wearing it again.

Anyone who wears it now or plans to: can you tell me any ‘rules’ about when to wear it? My thought is that I should wear it anytime the Holy Eucharist is exposed i.e. during Mass and at Adoration. Should I wear it when I stop in the Church to pray with Mary? How about if I stop by to fill up my holy water bottle? Any thoughts?


I think it is proper to wear it any time you are in the Presence of the Holy Eucharist.


For me all of the above are great times to “veil”. I also veil when praying (LOL:D this can sometimes have me “covered” almost all the time) with a small chapel type cap, or for that matter any kind covering (baseball cap, sunhat etc).

But this is a private matter and no one should say you “must” or “must not”. It is between you and God.:gopray2:


I don’t know what the “rules” are governing the wearing of the veil but when I was young I kept a small round veil in a pouch in my purse and would put it on anytime I entered the Church. I think it’s more a sign of respect than anything else. A woman always had her head covered in church. There were even women who would stick a piece of kleenex on their heads! I don’t know when the practice of women covering their heads stopped but I guess it was around the same time women started wearing pants to church.


What kind of veil were your wearing that people mistook you for a nun? What else were you wearing when people asked you that?

I belong to a Confraternity that has a dress code stricter than that of many Religious communities. **We are specifically enjoined by our Rule of Life not to wear veils, headgear or clothing that would mimic Religious garb. Yet often people call me “Sister” or comment that I “dress like a nun,” to which I reply, “Not at all; Sisters today dress like lay people.”


Thankfully, they are still a number of orders that still wear a habit.


Is it really between me and God alone? It was mandated in the Early Church, it was part of our Catechism until it mysteriously disappeared - now that our Pope has said that the Latin form of the Roman Rite was never abrogated and can be used virtually freely, can we not also interpret the lack of abrogation of the wearing of the veil to mean that we should have never stopped? I wish that Rome would address this issue directly. Nothing official has ever been said. :nun2: :getholy:



I wore a black mantilla, shoulder length. I do not wear any jewelry except small post cross earrings and a crucifix necklace. At the time I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring because it didn’t fit (ouch!). I was the only one in my Parish who wore a veil at the time. Since then there are two or three others. My Parish is at the Cathedral - 2800 families!




That’s weird! A mantilla is not a “veil” of the sort that should confuse people as to your Religious status. Go figure.

When I wear a mantilla (as I sometimes do - and sometimes do not for the TLM), I just pop it on when I enter the building and take it off when I leave. No biggie.

As for mandates: the mention of a head covering was not included in the 1983 code of canon law, and is therefore no longer binding. Your choice. So yes: it IS private, and it IS acceptable to cover your head and it IS acceptable not to since this is considered a cultural matter rather than a doctrinal one.


So as not to confuse people.

Although our way of life is in some ways even more demanding in terms of prayer requirements, fasting, and dress code than that of many Religious societies, we are a lay association. We are “salt” in the earth.

Clothing that would mimic Religous garb would be seen as attention getting. Moreover, in many places there are civil laws against impersonating a Religious.

Wearing a mantilla in Church is not “impersonating a Religious.” Frankly, I fail to understand all the heat generated around this subject. Fretting over this to my mind is a pathetic waste of energy. The TLM I attend is frequented by women who wear skirts and those who wear (gasp!) slacks. Women who wear mantillas, and women who do not. No problem!


I think there is more to it than that. For instance, why are veils still the norm at an audience with the Pope? Female heads of state, wives of Presidents - you can see them all wearing a veil when they meet with the Pope. My understanding is that they are available and offered to those who do not have one. Not forced on them, but offered. I think it is still a gray area.


So it’s a grey area. Wear it if you want. Don’t get bent out of shape by those who do not.

We are no longer required to wear floor length long-sleeved dresses when we are introduced to His Holiness. Shucks! I just bought that great black dress, and I have a collection of exquisite antique mantillas!


Yes it is. The reason is that society has made it an issue. If you feel that you are to wear a veil (I do so) then it is something you need to do. It should not be a divider for those that don’t want to cover. Now when in the TLM it is the norm and so expected and not optional.:smiley:


As I mentioned before in all the places where I attend the TLM, it is considered optional. And though I sometimes do it, I think I will use my mantilla to throttle anybody who tries to make an issue of this with me after September 14.


What confraternity do you belong to? Does it have a website?


PM on its way to you now.

#19 is a site that can help you out. Specifically, this page: has some answers to your questions. Incidentally, they have great veils there. I’ve gotten all four of mine through this company.



For 2,000 years, Catholic women have veiled themselves before entering a church or any time they are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (e.g., during sick calls). It was written into the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1262, that women must cover their heads – “especially when they approach the holy table” (“mulieres autem, capite cooperto et modeste vestitae, maxime cum ad mensam Dominicam accedunt”) – but during the Second Vatican Council, Bugnini (the same Freemason who designed the Novus Ordo Mass) was asked by journalists if women would still have to cover their heads. His reply, perhaps innocently enough, was that the issue was not being discussed. The journalists (as journalists are wont to do with Church teaching) took his answer as a “no,” and printed their misinformation in newspapers all over the world. Since then, most Catholic women in the “Novus Ordo world” have lost the tradition.

After so many years of women repudiating the veil, the Vatican (as the post-conciliar Vatican is wont to do), not wanting to be confrontational or upset the feminists, simply pretended the issue didn’t exist. When the 1983 Code of Canon Law was produced, veiling was simply not mentioned not abrogated, mind you, but simply not mentioned). However, Canons 20-21 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law make clear that later Canon Law abrogates earlier Canon Law only when this is made explicit and that, in cases of doubt, the revocation of earlier law is not to be presumed; quite the opposite:
Canon 20 A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states, or if it is directly contrary to that law, or if it integrally reorders the whole subject matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, does not derogate from a particular or from a special law, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.

Canon 21 In doubt, the revocation of a previous law is not presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to earlier ones and, as far as possible, harmonized with them.
Canons 27 and 28 add to the argument:

Canon 27 Custom is the best interpreter of laws.

Canon 28 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 5, a custom, whether contrary to or apart from the law, is revoked by a contrary custom or law. But unless the law makes express mention of them, it does not revoke centennial or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular customs.
Hence, according to Canon Law and immemorial custom, women are still to veil themselves. :nun1:

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