Veiling during scrutinies for RCIA elect?

This Sunday I have to get in a brown robe (for something that I don’t fully understand yet) and I have to get in front of the congregation on my knees with the rest of the elect. My question is regarding veiling. I decided that because of what Paul says in Corinthians and because of what’s always been the tradition of the Church (boo feminists) that I feel I need to cover my head in Church. But, sitting in the pew is one thing, getting in robes in front of everyone and on my knees is another. The problem is I only have a brightly colored scarf. No mantilla nor plain colored scarf…I think the bright one is going to grab waaaay too much attention for this occasion. What to do? I’m also afraid of it constantly sliding off because it’s silk. Could I buy something more secure for this Sunday, like a head band that has an attached small scarf or some kind of hat ? Tips? Better yet, pictures? Has anyone veiled during the scrutinies while being in RCIA (“the elect”)?

You guys are wearing robes for the scrutinies? That’s interesting. We did the first one last Sunday (since spring break is coming up, and many people will be out of town), and just wore what we normally wear for Mass.

Someone wore a veil to the Rite of Election, I remember, and it was no big deal (it wasn’t bright colored though). I noticed because I thought it was lovely–black and purple. :slight_smile: If you’re worried about it sliding off, why not just secure it with bobby pins? That’s what I do when I borrow a mantilla for Latin Mass. If it’s just that it’s too bright, head out and buy a more subdued color scarf.

Or, alternatively, order a veil you really like and feel is appropriate. Do the upcoming Scrutiny bareheaded, and start wearing it when it comes in.

Is this normal? Is this the usual practice? For adults to wear a special “vestment” / garment for RCIA ceremony?

This is news to me. Have never seen it. Last Sunday during Mass, several people went up to the front of the church and went through a brief ceremony conducted by the pastor as part of their RCIA process. But they just wore their normal Sunday church clothes.

In the past, my pastor has asked me to be a baptism sponsor for an adult entering the Church after taking classes. But everyone just wore their normal clothing.

[maybe I’m just not up on all this stuff]

In all my years working with RCIA I have never heard of wearing robes for any of the rites except following baptism (although parishes that practice full immersion might have the Elect wear darker robes during the baptism then change to white). It seem that this parish is trying to be innovative in that the brown robes might represent sackcloth that the Elect would wear during the period of Purification and Enlightenment in the early Church. The actual rite does not call for it.

The colors here have meaning so I would get one that is a brown or gray color. White will be worn AFTER you are Baptized at the Easter Vigil.

I might be off key here but this Sunday is the Third Sunday in Lent and is the First Scrutiny for those who will be Baptized at Easter Vigil.

Feminism has nothing to do with head covering. I am a staunch feminist–if I am told that my daughters or I don’t deserve pay, respect, or opportunities equal to a men, that person will get a taste of my cane. :wink:

And yes, I do cover my head–not only at Mass and at my current church’s services, but all the time. It’s a personal spiritual decision between me and God, not affected by things of this world.


Forgive me but I have to object. Feminism, specifically radical feminism, has EVERYTHING to do with head covering and opposition to it. Covering our head (versus men not covering theirs) has to do with being submissive and obediant, something which feminists decry in the name of equality. BTW, you don’t sound like a “feminist”, you just sound like a person who has a sense of justice. That is not one and the same. Feminists would be more the type that pushes for women’s ordination and a woman’s “right” to “choose”…

this has nothing to do with veiling for modesty, or with what Paul prescribes for women in his time and place. You kneel for the prayer and blessing (there may also be a minor exorcism prayer to strengthen you in your fight against sin and evil).

the brown or grey robe is the ancient garb of the penitent or convert, which the Elect now are. You will probably be asked to put it over your regular clothing, and I doubt it will cover your head. you will wear it again on Holy Saturday evening for the beginning of the Vigil until baptism, then you dress in your new clothes and will by given the white garment to put on symbolic of your new life in Christ.

we use a grey robe only for the Vigil but I have seen other parishes bring their catechumens to the rite of election in their penitential robe (over normal clothing, no veil)

I know the robes have nothing to do with modesty, and you’re right in your explanation as to why we’re wearing the robes…that’s the same thing they told us at Church. But what I was asking about was how to wear a veil during this event coming up next Sunday. I want to veil, and I totally disagree about the “in his time and place” comment because if it was just meant to be for that then why have women veiled all the way from Paul’s time up until the mid 1900’s? I suppose that another lengthy discussion to be had.

Brown robes and kneeling for the scrutinies? Good heavens, what is this, the middle ages?

I suppose the priest will slap the elect, too?


Congratulations, dear elect!

Even though every Sunday is an Easter, this being Great Lent it seems to me that it would be more appropriate that throughout this period any head covering not be brightly colored. I don’t know if that is something Latin Catholics do consider, but it would be my own take on it. :slight_smile:

:slight_smile: The sign in American Sign Language for the Sacrament of Confirmation still is a slap. I remember being slapped by our Bishop, as an Anglican in the early '60s.

I am totally unable to understand why you would have a problem. If you are convinced you should wear a veil, hat or other headcovering in church wear it. What is to discuss?

The Catholic Church is pro-feminist. Pope John Paul II called himself as “il Papa Feminista.”

It is erroneous to reduce feminism to “women’s ordination” and “a woman’s ‘right’ to ‘choose’ [abortion].” Historically, feminism has been pro-life, and there are still many pro-life feminists today.

Oh, come now–I rather like the idea of a robe. I wish we’d gotten to wear something like that. This is Catholicism after all–we like all that ritual, symbolic stuff. :smiley:

And why wouldn’t one kneel to pray and receive a blessing, which is basically what the scrutinies are all about?

You could wear a brown mantilla or brown scarf if you feel you should cover your head.



Why is it so horrible to ask for suggestions? :confused:


She didn’t say it was horrible to ask for suggestions. The OP asked “Could I buy something more secure for this Sunday, like a head band that has an attached small scarf or some kind of hat?” Puzzleannie wonders “Why is this a question?” The obvious answer is yes, the OP can wear a different headcovering than she normally wears if she so chooses, just as it’s her choice to wear a headcovering in the first place.

The Church does not require women to wear headcoverings, much less a specific kind, so women are free to choose a headcovering they want or not to wear one at all. :slight_smile:

Firstly Wow!!! I just attended mass this morning, our first scrutiny being “the elect” with another girl in our parish doing the same. We were not required to wear any special robe or even kneel for that matter.:highprayer:

However we were both made to approach the altar after the fathers Homily and stand before the church facing everyone with our sponsors hand rested apon our left shoulder whilst some prayers were given to us. We were also made to bow our head in prayer. Then a minor exercicism was performed. It was all very quick believe it or not…And although upon entering the church I was so nervous leading up to it all but once I sat in the pue I felt this almighty calm come upon me. :signofcross:

It was something so amazing, I then felt so at ease in front of our parish for the first scrutiny. Something I just couldn’t explain. Our church is small so there were a few people who happened to be there who hardly ever attend mass look upon me with surprise…So be it, it is out there now…The town now knows - judge me if you will I say! I must not listen to the whispers of discouragement but concentrate on my faith journey and those people who wish to support me…

Happy lenten journey everyone…well done to the elect. Not far to go now everyone…:grouphug:

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