Veiling challenge


It also drifted away from the topic long ago.


This Catholic would.

If I desired a liturgical position and the requirement is as what you said, I would comply.


Well, those were not my words, or my position, that is merely what Scripture says along with other Church saints throughout the centuries.

“For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” 1 Corinthians 11:10


I’m not a man… as a woman I think it makes women look far more beautiful and for me, personally, that’s not my goal when I cover so I choose not to use veils.


Yes, I most certainly would defend him. As I’ve mentioned more than once I belong to a small men’s choir specializing in Gregorian chant. We have a sober dress code for the purpose of uniformity, so that no one chorister stands out. We train our voices similarly so that no one voice stands out, it is one of the principles of Gregorian chant.

So a conservative dress code for liturgical functions does not seem like a foreign concept to me.

When our board (of which I am a member) debated the issue of imposing a dress code, we did think about choir robes but rejected them for numerous reasons. One, we did not want to be mistaken for clergy or religious; we aren’t. Two we did not want to draw undue attention to ourselves. Three, we did not want to impose the expense of owning and maintaining a robe for choristers. So we chose black trousers, which is a common article of clothing in most men’s wardrobes and if not are easy find at cheap prices, and a black shirt, also available cheaply at Wal-Mart or similar stores. Oddly, when the Gregorian Institute of Canada has its annual colloquium, the requirement for the ad-hoc colloquium choir is black trousers and a white shirt. I don’t throw a hissy fit and insist that I wear the black shirt from my regular choir because black is a significant colour to me as a Benedictine and white is too Cistercian. I just wear a white one, also a common men’s wardrobe article.

Members who forget to attire appropriately cannot sing with us unless we are in a choir loft where we’re invisible to the faithful.

I’m also a Benedictine oblate and am very close to the monastery I’m attached to. So the notion of obedience and wearing clothes to not stand out are not foreign concepts to me.

Paradoxically, obedience is a very liberating experience. Folks should try it some time.

Lastly, if the priest had decided that all the women in the choir had to wear a (presumably identical for each) head covering, I would equally stand up for his right to require it. I might question the practicality of this requirement but ultimately it’s his call and I would support him making that call.


Not really. It’s more emotion over the name and associated verb being used (by some) for a piece of “cloth”.


Nice. I am of the same sentiment that rules and uniformity are important. And I am one to encourage such discipline. However, for some women, a woman’s veil or head covering, is not a matter of fashion or clothing, but an act of humble reverence to God, one they feel is not just a matter of ‘personal choice’. The fact that many are nervous, shy and sometimes discouraged to wear it due to the negative stigma that usually feminists put on it, would be sufficient enough to show that it is not a pride or glory thing to them, as the opposite effect would be gained (disgust, disdain, animosity, etc). So, their readiness to follow other dress codes (as it would conform to rules or norms), would not mirror the same sentiment when it comes to their head covering or veil. For it is more of an intimate act, to say the least.

While I agree that one should not do things (wear in this case) to make one stand out, as if it were for pride, I do not see any problem in doing so to show or reflect the sanctity of where one stands. Both the Old Testament and New Testament respected the sacredness and holiness that the House of God had, in furniture (the adorned curtains, among others), priestly garbs (with beautiful embroidery, the breast plates having pearls and gems), absolute respect expected (silence when necessary, etc.), the holy vessels which were made of gold and silver, and many other things which were made to make known the beauty and holiness (sacredness) of God in the Sanctuary. Even then, the veil or head covering, is not something of such extravagance. Nor is it a sign meant to stand out for one’s personal pride, but a sign to show respect for God’s natural order of things.


Femininity isn’t that rare, it just doesn’t look like it once did. And stop blaming everything on feminists. When women had to work in factories and doing other male dominated work during the wars,that men started, they dressed in a way that helped them work safely and efficiently. The men weren’t dressing masculine but dressed according to the work they did. What men wore was appropriate to the work they did and were allowed to do, and the same for the women (except the “allowed” part was even more limited.)


Some women wore veils. But in the United States it was very cultural. Italians and Hispanics were the ones likely to wear the beautify lacy veils such as we see today. Before Jackie O came along, the English, Germans, and Irish were more likely to wear hats on Sundays. They might wear something that was really more of a scarf than what we think of as a veil now, usually on weekdays and perhaps to early morning Sunday Masses. I think scarves were more of an Eastern European thing.

The mantilla did gain some popularity in the mid 1960s but by that time head covering were starting to disappear altogether.

Young girls might wear a chapel veil like this. Often, if made in a color similar to the hair, they were practically invisible.


I think it is your hatred of the veil that makes it stand out to you. I have never heard anyone speak so about the veil before.

That said, I love hats, I have a lot of hats but I can tell you that many times I stand out with my hat and have received certain looks from people because I am the only one wearing it and sometimes my hat may seem very silly to some, especially on a hot summer day.

The looks are sometimes hard to handle, no matter what I choose to wear on my head, because I do not like standing out, but I want to be obedient to God also, and pray that others will be kind and understanding.


Love that photo. Wore alot of those.


My memory is that most women covered their head with something like this:


Yes, a lot of women did. Women used to wear a lot of very pretty hats.


Presuming that what we are talking about here is a “veil”, as in a small piece of lace pinned to one’s head, and not one of these massive mantilla jobs that cover the whole head and shoulders and might make it difficult for the director to use her arms and face to communicate with the choir, I would be concerned about this request. It’s seems pretty petty to me. It would raise concerns with me about how much drama comes along with this gig. (Is it a paid gig, by the way?) I don’t think I would want to be in charge of a choir of adults where I was expected to enforce strict uniformity of appearance. Are they going to be required to wear matching robes or shirts? Are these provided? Is this going to be one of those deals where I have to assess if Sue’s almost-completely-black blouse is good enough for this Sunday? This is stress I don’t really need. The parish choir is supposed to lead the congregation in musical worship. They aren’t in competition. They aren’t performing for the purpose of a performance. They are there to pray. They don’t have to be “uniform”. And if the pastor is going to be so fussy about something this trivial that is obviously going to cause hurt feelings for no apparent reason, what other demands is the director going to be expected to enforce on a volunteer choir? I’d think hard before signing up for ring-master of that particular circus.


The veil.

I’m even more convinced this is worldly attachment to an affectation.


Yep that’s what I remember in Canada too. I think for some women Mass was a kind of hat contest as well. My mother, a cradle Catholic born in 1918, never in the time I knew her wore a “veil” (or that lacy, doily-like thing that people here call a veil). But she did wear hats. And no sooner had the requirement disappeared, so too did the hats. My mother was not very educated and a lady of simple, no-frills piety.


When I see women covering their heads today, it is usually with a mantilla or other such head covering. For instance, images

That is what I think most people mean when they talk about “veiling”: the head covering that arose out of a specific cultural minority.


Yes,a romanticized notion of what was once just common place. Women wore hats & gloves. It was expected.

Now, while not required, one if free to cover if they want, just stop with the romatic notions that it has always been a “spiritual practice”. Women did it because the law said you did, and it was expected.


My mom had a couple of mantillas. But she got them when she lived in an area with a high Hispanic population and were common. My grandma never had a mantilla but did have a couple of nice hats but usually wore a kerchief or headscarf, babushka style. If it weren’t so personal I’d post a pic of my parents on the day of my baptism. My mom is wearing a wool scarf. It’s not fancy or feminine. My dad could have worn it around his neck as a winter scarf.


Some people also went to Sunday mass just because they had to (due to parents) or because of societal norm, this does not mean there is no spiritual meaning behind going to mass, just because some felt mostly obligated to go.

Women did it because the law said you did, and it was expected.

Your statement has no basis, and is an over generalization based on a certain few who felt that way.

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