"The veil" and sematics

To open a new thought and not disturb others-

An aspect of this whole “veil” thing is semantics. Why not just call it a hat and be done with it? Why this preoccupation with the word “veil”?

When I was a girl, “being called to the veil” meant a young woman was going into the convent and all that implied (Cut off from the world, a habit, poverty, chastity, obedience, etc.). It did not mean wearing a piece of lace on one’s head.

Mainly, most like because they are not hats. It’s not just systematics hat means one thing veil means something else. IMHO, there is no way a veil can be a hat. The more proper term is mantilla, now if someone called it a veil that would be an example of systematics.

Actually, around here at CAF it seems those who wear ‘em throw them all under the title “mantilla” and “veil” which is inaccurate. They also use the term “veil” to mean anything from borrowed Jewish ladies’ headcoverings to snoods and hoodies.

I try to refer to them as headcoverings, or just coverings, but sometimes I forget :blush:

I am old enough to remember back well before Vatican 2.

Women had their head covered; sometimes it was with no more than a hankie or Kleenex and a bobby pin. However, the majority of women wore a hat.

It seems to me, that the veil, or mantilla, ahs become a symbol in iteself in at least some areas. The old rule did not say that women had to wear a veil, it said they had to have their head covered.

Now, granted, I live on the West Coast and we are somewhat notorious for being “relaxed” sartorially; butr id does seem that this is becoming a sort of badge of authenticity.

In the 60’s when the lace scarves became popular, that’s what we called them; lace scarves. Before that, in the 50’s it was hats…or ordinary scarves; tied under the chin. In the later 60’s I would tie my scarf on the side gypsy still…I still do that. And hardly wear my lace scarves. I always liked the regular ones. I still have both. As well as the fancy lacey hankies. But we never used the term veil or mantilla.

Maybe veils are the vogue and hats are out. Don’t the stores sell some item called a “chapel veil”?

Yes. I am not old enough to remember if “chapel veil” was something that came into vogue in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s but we all wore a chapel veil or hat to Mass. As a matter of fact, from what I saw, little girls and teens were more likely to wear a chapel veil than a hat (could have been a local thing) and the adult women wore hats or mantillas and some wore a chapel veil. Everyone I knew kept a chapel veil in their purse though for those quick trips to visit with Jesus in the Tabernacle or to stop in for Confession and if they didn’t have one there was always the ever present Kleenex that could be used.

I can say that my parents have pictures of both my sister and I with our chapel veils on when we were little - I was born in 1958 and my sister in 1956 and most of those pictures are from when we were in Japan so I was 2 or 3 years old at the time.

Semantics or not, here on CAF and in other places it has become shorthand for “covering a woman’s head” ;).

Brenda V.

From what you describe, this sounds quite logical. Hats can’t be laundered or folded into small spaces. Children might do better with such a small, cleanable item. Also, perhaps it continues to serve even if the head gets a little larger or if it needs to be passed to another child.

In the south, colas, sodas, pop, soda pop is all called COKE (that’s a brand)

Then all those little self sticking bandages that we put on boo boo’s are called BAND AIDS (that’s a brand)

Headcoverings are sometimes refered to as Mantilla’s or Veils…(that’s a type)

Just my thoughts…

I really do not care what they are called…I don’t see the problem…:shrug: but of course, from my examples, it’s obvious that I’m use to people calling something what it really, literally isn’t…oh well.

I agree with much of this post.

As to putting Kleenex on one’s head, well I’m glad that it’s no longer a requirement to cover one’s head at mass. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that a female would have to appear so undignified simply because she forgot a headcovering.

When I was a kid we all wore hats to church…in fact a beret was part of our school uniform. When I went to another school we wore a beani. I remember most women wearing elaborate hats. In the summer we would wear humongus bows on top of our heads. I saw very few veils, but some women did wear kerchiefs, especially to wedding masses because they had curlers under them so that they could do their hair for the reception after mass.

From catholicculture.org
Any one of a variety of symbolic coverings of persons or sacred objects as a sign of reverence,

Then we also have the humeral veil, the chalice veil, the ciborium veil, a bridal veil, at Lent we veil the crucifix…

I think the word veil is used because it is seen as a reverent type of headcovering. I also think that most would interpret St. Paul’s admonition to cover our heads to mean that we are to cover our hair since that is what he is particlarly mentions. A hat in most cases can not cover the hair - a veil or mantilla (which is the same thing) would be necessary.

newadvent.org defines 1 Corinthians 11:10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. (Ideo debet mulier potestatem habere supra caput propter angelos) in this way A power… that is, a veil or covering, as a sign that she is under the power of her husband: and this, the apostle adds, because of the angels, who are present in the assemblies of the faithful.

The lace chaplets and mantillas didn’t come about until the early 60s. My mother wore hats to Mass and my sister wore both bonnets and hats. (Oh, the black and white pictures we have :smiley: ) The girls wore blue beanies at my Catholic grade school - all of the time.

I saw something on TV about the memorial for Princess Diana last month at their church (I’m guessing Anglican, I don’t know) … Every single woman, at least that the camera was on, wore a hat. They were beautiful. I saw one woman with a nice rectangular scarf worn over her head, the ends were criss-crossed loosely under her chin and thrown over her shoulders. Just thought I’d mention it. I thought it was nice.:rolleyes:

No - it is not a thing of semantics. It is a sign of the times. More and more I’m seeing women covering their heads for Mass. Today my DH and I went to an all day retreat here: mileschristi.org/ and there were two of us with our heads covered. I was surprised that I wasn’t the only one, which I expected.

The times are changing - just as they always do. More and more women, young and old, are enjoying this return this role of the feminine, the obedient, the chaste, the submissive, the devoted. There is nothing wrong with it. What I would love to see is that all those out there who have such obvious discomfort over what other people are wearing to Mass just get over it and stop making it such a big deal.

It’s not semantics - it’s lace (or silk, or crochet, or wool, or whatever.). Whatever we choose to call it is totally irrelevant.


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