Veiling today - some questions

I have been discerning whether to begin wearing a chapel veil to our parish NO masses. I would be the only woman wearing one which is probably why all the hesitating , but also I want to be certain I can answer the kind queries I’ll receive and thus perhaps inspire other parishioners to wear one, too.

My question here is this: does anyone know any firm traditions about when a woman should wear her chapel veil? Is it from the time one enters the church, when the mass begins, or always in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (which would mean wearing it when entering the “Eucharistic Chapel” which houses the tabernacle in our parish)? I want to be consistent as well as informed!

I attend a weekly class in theology that is held in a Catholic school chapel with the tabernacle present but covered in a veil of its own. Would one wear a chapel veil for the lectures if held in the presence of a tabernacle?

I want to veil to show my great respect and modesty before Our Lord, and hope I will have the courage to follow my conscience in this matter!

Thanks for your thoughts,
Your sister in faith

Good afternoon.

After ignoring the repeated nudges of the Holy Spirit, I started wearing a veil last year to our NO Masses, but before I did, I spoke with my husband and told him I was nervous about it and I needed his support(for me that meant sticking close beside me in case anyone said anything) A curious thing happened though, no one said anything unkind or rude and to be honest I don’t know if anyone looked askance at me because I was so focused on the Mass.

I understand your feelings of nervousness, even if you are not the only one veiling as I was. But, now I am happy to say at the 8am Mass, I am no longer the only one.

As for specific rules, I am not aware of any, but if you consider the reason why you are veiling–to show your respect and humility before our Lord–then I think the answer becomes self evident–whenever you are in the presence of our Lord. Since I don’t like fiddling with my scarf on the way in the door of the church, I put it on before I get in the car and remove it after I get back to my car.

I don’t wear a lacy mantilla type veil, although there is nothing wrong with those, I choose to wear a scarf. I like it because it is longer and I can drape one end over my shoulder if I need to and since it is made of linen it doesn’t slip and slide.

If you would like to read more, here is a website that will give you alot of encouragement and some solid answers to any questions you might have–I know I consulted it several times before I finally took the plunge.

God be with you as you work through this decision. My best advice–sit in the back pew and give it a try or two, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the gift you will receive. :thumbsup:


Hi, Claudia:

Thanks so much for your encouragement! My young daughter (12) and I purchased chapel veils - hers white, mine black - at a church where we attended a Tridentine mass recently, and she is ready to wear hers to our NO parish which is bringing this decision to, well, a decision for me!

No one in our parish, even the more elderly members, veils, so we would be the first. Yes, I think it is very helpful to have one’s husband in on the decision. After we attended the Tridentine mass, my husband actually suggested I wear the veil to our church because he was so struck with the sense of reverence and humility it denotes.

And, of course, the mass is the focus, so it shouldn’t be an issue at all if a woman wears a head covering!

I’ll let you know how it goes.

In Christ,

There isn’t a right and wrong answer to this. I (my personal choice only) wear a covering whenever I’m in the vicinity of the Blessed Sacrament (exposed or not). To our local NO Mass I usually wear a long scarf and put one side over my shoulder, as the previous poster mentioned. Since I am blessed to have a perpetual Adoration chapel near me, I wear my mantilla in there (I love lace!). Although there are no TLMs near, if I was able to go to one I would probably wear a mantilla.

Also, I have very slippery, fine hair and a small piece of velcro near the front underside of the scarf/mantilla doesn’t show and keeps it properly on my head, so I don’t have to keep fiddling with it. My hair is even too fine for most hair combs to keep it on, but the velcro piece works like a charm!

As others have said, ‘veiling’ doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a veil. What we are trying to do is cover our heads, so a hat or scarf would be fine. Since the weather is getting cooler a hat would not be out of place (I am thinking a beret or women’s fedora type hat–although a wool cap would work too).

I do not wear a veil or hat, but those that do at my parish wear it both at Mass and at Adoration. I’ll see them slip it on in the narthex before going into the church proper.

My wife started over a year ago wearing a veil… She did a lot of reading as to when and where.

Inside the sanctuary, when the blessed sacrament is present… Weather in the tabernacle or exposed.

During confession (act of reconciliation)… Why, because you are in the presents of Jesus… The priest is acting Christi Persona.

Other sacraments where your know our Lord is present. (Most Sacraments are done in the sanctuary, so you would already be covered)… However, some maybe done outside the sanctuary like >>. Eucharist at home, or in a hospital… Pretty much anywhere a priest is in Christi Persona during a sacrament, or when the Eucharist is present.

By the way… My wife has received many compliments and praise for wearing the chapel veil.

I am not sure what NO mass means, but at my regular 12:00 mass I saw an older lady wearing a black laced veil. I didn’t cover her face and was about the size of a handkerchief. Anyway, my thought was, " oh, she must be very deep into the faith." I didn’t stare long, but it does stand out-in a good way. Although, not having grown up in the Latin masses, I really don’t know enough about it.

I had heard somewhere that the reason women covered their heads, as in middle east, was because their beauty was enticing the angels. Does that sounds right to anyone? I think I had seen it on the Ancient Mysteries of the Bible.

Back when it was still the custom for women to cover their heads we used to wear something anytime we were in a church or chapel. In those days we took it for granted that the tabernacle was in a church and the Blessed Sacrament present (well except for when removed during the Triduum).

But it was actually not that common to wear mantillas except for certain ethnic groups. If they were worn is was more commonly done for weekday Mass, private devotions, or adoration. For Catholic school Masses we usually wore a beanie or a small circular chapel veil which was about the size of a yarmulke. (And if we forgot we used a bobby pin to attach a folded hankie or Kleenix to the top of our head.

For Sunday Mass adult women and girls usually wore hats that complimented their outfit. If not a hat then we wore circular chapel veils.

No one will ask you any questions or challenge you in any way.

<< Weather in the tabernacle or exposed.>>

Do you see thunder and lightning when the tabernacle is opened?

I find that wearing a headcovering helps me to pray and to focus on the Mass. I don’t wear an actual veil or mantilla, but a simple brown kerchief-type covering. Nobody has ever made a comment or looked at me funny, but I was nervous about this too before I started wearing it.

Interesting that you have a class in a chapel in front of the reserved Blessed Sacrament. I don’t know what I’d do in that case. It’s kind of an unusual situation, but I guess if you cover your head in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, then it’d be appropriate to cover in your class. This is one of the instances where it’s much easier to have just a scarf or kerchief other than a full-on lacy mantilla. I ordered both my simple kerchief and my wedding veil from this site: Headcoverings by Devorah.

Hope that helps!

I could not agree with you any more

Thank you all for your thoughts.

I wore my chapel veil last Sunday to mass and was stared at a lot , told I looked beautiful , and actually gasped at. And yet. . . when the church is packed with people in tank tops and flip flops, no one lifts an eyebrow.

It was pretty surprising to me that there were actually reactions to my new accessory! How silly. I will wear my veil again, and trust that next time no one will notice so much.

Peace in Christ,

Be brave!! A young lady started wearing one at our NO masses, and I started noticing a few more women wearing them. She started a trend (which I joined!)

You may be a comfort to other women who’ve thought about it, but might be too scared to. :thumbsup:

I put mine on at home (I wrap it around my hair, so I like to check the mirror to make sure it’s on right), and take it off after I’ve left the church.

Thank you, Jennyz! It may take a little time, but it’s surely worth it. Just a question about your own experience: has your pastor “weighed in” on the women veiling? Have you spoken with a priest at your parish about it??

Peace in Christ,

Nah, neither of them have said anything… though one of our priests is very traditional Nigerian, and we have a large population of Nigerian Catholics in our parish, and all the women cover their heads (not with mantillas, but traditional Nigerian headwear), so I’m sure he’s all for it :smiley:

I am so proud of you! :slight_smile: I’ve had a few very positive comments, one from my priest who is from Africa–he told me I remind him of his mother–the women of his homeland always wear headcoverings for Mass. And my dear deacon who said “I love to see you at Mass, it is nice to see a woman honor the dignity and mystery of being a woman before God.”

You will grow more comfortable as you continue, but be aware…when we grow closer to our Beloved, sometimes the evil one will do all he can to distract us with self doubt, worry, anxiety and fear.

Don’t be afraid :thumbsup:

I only wear a mantilla at TLM, am too scared to wear it at NO. But I really want to so your experiences are very encouraging. I once wore a mantilla to eucharistic adoration and I did get a few curious looks. I’ve decided to wear it again next time I go.

I wear my veil for the Sacrifice of the Mass both for the Traditional and Novus Ordo Mass. I will also sometimes put my veil on when I pray in church. I don’t wear if for just entering the church. I do a lot of routine maintance around the church and don’t feel called to wear my veil at those times.

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