Question about headcovering


I have a strange sort of question about headcovering for Mass. I know it’s no longer the requirement, but optional. However, it seems it’s fallen out of practice in the Ordinary form of the Mass, at least for most people. I go to a parish where only around 2 women cover their heads and that’s at a different Mass than the one I go to.

When I was on my way to becoming Catholic, I was reading about St Padre Pio. I think he’s a really awesome Saint. Well one day, I read about how he saw the spiritual reality of the Mass, with Our Lady, all the angels and Saints, etc. So before going to Mass that Sunday, I asked him to help me appreciate the Mass more and to participate in it more fully than I do.

During that Mass, I had a very distinct impression that I’m in a very holy place. Nothing really happened to me, I didn’t feel anything or see anything, but I wasn’t trying to and that’s not what I asked for. I just had that impression ,that it’s holy. And suddenly, I just wanted to cover my head. I don’t know why… I remembered that verse where St Paul says women should cover their heads “because of the angels”. There must be countless angels at Mass!!

well ever since then this has been on my mind, and sometimes it bothers me. Because I really want to wear a headcovering, but if I do at my parish, everyone will stare at me. I don’t want to draw attention or make it seem like I’m “holier” which I’m not, or distract people from their prayers. Yet I don’t live near any really traditional parish… I live in a small town and it’s very new, and all the churches are newly built and sort of modern. The only time I saw people wearing mantillas is when I went to Latin Mass, in the city. It was a beautiful Mass but I can’t go there every week.

So I don’t know what to do… I still feel like it would be a good idea to cover my head, and I can’t. I almost feel like I’m being disobedient to God …or…did I imagine this? Did I just think of the verse about headcovering for some other reason? It really struck me as the truth though. I can’t discern this at all.

I don’t really know what I’m asking, but what are all your thoughts?

is there any way to cover your head without drawing attention or standing out? a mantilla might be too much unless it’s Latin Mass or a really traditional Novus Ordo… but is there any headcovering that can just look like part of your outfit. lol.

am I wrong for considering this, is it proud to want to do something that many others do not do?

but they used to… I really wish mantillas would just come back, to be honest. I wish VII didn’t make it optional. I think it really adds reverence ?


It seems to me that if you feel moved to do this in reverence to God, go ahead and do it. Try not to worry about what others will think…you never know, maybe there’s someone else wanting to cover their head too, and you doing it might give them the confidence to do so as well. As for those who might think you’re doing it for attention or b/c you think you’re “holier,” that’s their issue: if you know you’re doing it for the right reason, don’t sweat their judgements.

Best wishes in your decision! :slight_smile:


I can completely relate. I find the headcovering such a beautiful act of humility. But I feel that my actually wearing one would bring forth the opposite of humility and it would draw attention to myself which is not what I want. I am not embaressed. I just feel it can’t serve it’s true purpose in the base chapel. Sad really.

When I move back to the US I hope to find a really traditional mass.


I wear scarf style headcoverings (here is an example- I have ordered other coverings from this site before and they do beautiful work, but they are Protestant, if that disturbs you :wink: )

It shouldn’t be a surprise that people might be “distracted” by lace mantillas. Mantillas are not part of the culture for many people. It is rare to see much, if any, lace even on women’s dresses these days- it seems mostly reserved for our “unmentionables.” Pre-Vatican II, most women in the U.S. wore hats to Church, so even older female parishioners who recognize the custom may raise an eyebrow at seeing a mantilla, regardless of their personal feelings about covering. It does stand out, unless it is part of the culture of that parish already (as you might see with those who mostly utilize the Extraordinary Form of the Mass). I’m not saying this to be critical or to discourage those who choose the mantillas, I’m just giving you another perspective on it.

Simpler coverings, more in keeping with our times and culture even outside of the very narrow “Traditional Latin Mass only” focus, do not draw the eye, or the commentary, in the same way. I have never received a comment or been treated differently or caught anybody staring for covering in Church, even in parishes where I have been the only one who does so. My 7 year old daughter now covers as well (from her own choice- I don’t force it on her anymore than the Church does). Hers “stands out” more than mine (it’s covered in sparkly butterflies :p) but frankly, people seem to think she’s a cutie. (Well, I do, too, I’ll admit!)

I think you’ll find most people don’t care what you wear on your head if it’s something they easily recognize. If you feel called to this beautiful practice, please don’t put it off for fear of other people’s opinions. Christ is just as Present and just as Holy at an Ordinary Form Mass as the Extraordinary. If you wait for the right parish or perfect time, it might never come, and I think you could miss out on a lot of graces. I find covering puts me in a more reverent frame of mind no matter what kind of parish I’m in. It reminds me of where I am, of Whose Presence I’m in.


thank you everyone!! :slight_smile:

yes, I might just get something that wouldn’t stand out… and save wearing mantillas for when I go to Latin Mass. I agree that ‘standing out’ would not only be a distraction for others but would be a temptation for me as well (to pride or vanity or whatever).

Pray4Life, (nice name ;)),

My 7 year old daughter now covers as well (from her own choice- I don’t force it on her anymore than the Church does). Hers “stands out” more than mine (it’s covered in sparkly butterflies:p ) but frankly, people seem to think she’s a cutie. (Well, I do, too, I’ll admit!)

aw :slight_smile: that’s so cute!

God bless


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