Wearing a veil to mass?!?

Okay this sunday I am going to Mass and bringing my daughter with me. I have not stepped foot in a catholic church since I was 5 (my grandfather took me and then he passed away) long story short my mother refused to baptize me for reasons I don’t think I will ever understand and I now am old enough to go do RCIA and I dont need anyone’s permission.

My grandfather taught me to cover my head to pray as it states we should in the bible but my understanding from a catholic neighbor is that this practice fell out of favour with women in the sixties and its frowned upon now.

I have always covered my head to pray and its ingrained in me to do so, besides the bible says

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head—it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.

"For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels....If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God." (1 Corinthians 11:3-10,16) 

So what I want to know is if I go this sunday to mass and both myself and my daughter wear veils will this some how be frowned upon by the church and if so why? Logic tells me that women not wanting to veil themselves to pray doesn’t somehow rewrite the bible and therefore there is nothing wrong with me continuing to do so.

Also is there anything else that has changed that I need to be aware of so as not to cause a scene?

The church is not against wearing the veil. However, some feminist women view the veil as being a step back for women’s rights and return to a time where they view women had little power and were oppressed. This view is not very liberal in that it takes away the right for a woman to choose for herself but today many see the veil as a throw back to Middle Age thinking. If you go to a Novus Ordo church, nobody else will likely wear a veil. In a Traditional church or more conservative Novus Ordo church, there may be some that do. Many see the veil as being equivalent to Islamic fundamentalism and to religious extremism so sometimes some people may look at a veil as a sign of over the top religiosity.

My mother and sister mostly wore hats to Mass back in the 50s. They started wearing lace chaplets (not sure if that is the correct term) in the 60s. They never wore the mantilla veils.

A veil or chaplet might be appropriate if you are attending a traditional Latin Mass since such would be part of that tradition. I attend a cathedral parish and there are one or two women who wear a chaplet. The only time I see mantillas are when the various “knights” and their wives are in attendance. Wags in the choir call them “the Carmens” because they look like they just stepped off the stage in the opera of the same name.

You will likely see few at an Ordinary Mass and probably quite a few at an Extraordinary Mass. At an Ordinary Mass you may receive some stares but that would be about it.

Don’t worry anout what people think and do what you believe to be right in this case…

Hi! I am Greek Orthodox and in my Church the women tend to wear a veil when coming up to receive Holy Communion. The women years ago were during this during the whole service but now most women will wear a veil coming up to the priest at Communion time. In fact in most parishes there is a container with plenty of veils to choose from and it is located on the front pew so when Communion time arrives the women who choose to may select one and cover themselves when receiving Communion. After receiving Communioin they place the veil back. The Orthodox do not find it unusual and in some parishes you can still see many women wearing veils during the whole service. God Bless!

This brings back memories. It wasn’t all that formal back in the 60s and before. Hats were the thing. The hat matched the shoes which matched the purse which matched the outfit.And you wore gloves. Fashion was time consuming. On the far side of the hat was the babushka which was a kerchief or scarf worn on the head and tied under the chin. Nuns detested the babushka. The worst offenders were those who came in hair curlers, usually at the very early Masses, hiding them under kerchiefs. And this early bird group wore dungarees which is what jeans were called before they made it big in fashion. In an emergency, you stuck a hankie or Kleenex on your head and secured it with a bobbie pin if you wanted to enter the church.
Sometime in the early 60s the little lace circular doily made its debut. Handy and easily kept in one’s purse, it went with everything and was more attractive than a tissue. The mantilla got the fashion nod from Jackie Kennedy who wore it to Mass in the early 60s. And the mantilla didn’t give one hat-hair. The laced veil didn’t ruin one’s teased bouffant.

As St. Paul says (probably a few times) that a woman’s hair is her glory, so while in church, she must cover her glory. The reason why (which St. Paul doesn’t say) is that she is to cover her glory as a sign of humility in the presence of God’s glory in church.

Yep. This is what I remember too. Haven’t heard the term dungarees in years :D!

i attend a standard Novus Ordo (not Latin) Mass. we have people in everything from jeans and work clothes, to full dress.

i wear veils or scarves all the time, in fact i have started wearing them “all the time” not just to church. no one has said ANYTHING negative.
i have been asked “where did you get that!” a few times though, from people who wanted to buy a mantilla, or my scarf.

in most churches a mantilla will stand out more. a scarf will look more like “fashion” (especially in winter) so if you are afraid of standing out? maybe a scarf. i wear the “dutch crown style” a lot from www.tznius.com (instructions are there, somewhere)

I started headcovering intermittently during RCIA, no one made anything of it… i got complimented on my mantilla at both presentation and easter Vigil…

you WILL likely get told “you know you dont have to wear that” a few times. just be prepared to say “i like to” or “i chose to” and leave it at that.

ps. we have a headcovering women’s clubhouse in the groups, as well as a head covering thread… you may find them useful

There are a HUGE number of women here on the forum who cover their heads for Mass!! You will not be alone here! :smiley:

Do a search of the forum for “head covering” “veil” and you will find tons of threads that will be very helpful to you.

So happy to hear that you are fulfilling what surely your grandfather desired for you. I too only had my grandfather to take me to Mass when I was a child, and never was baptized until I was 35 when I will fully received into the Church. I thank God for his influence and example to me - he showed me where Truth was, it sadly took me awhile to get there. But now I am and I can’t imagine NOT being Catholic!!

Welcome Home!!!


Go ahead and wear it. If it’s pleasing to God, why should you care what other people think of it?

My wife, a former Evangelical Christian who converted to Catholicism about 4 years ago, regularly wears a veil to Mass.

There are two Churches we go to, one is a very conservative Novus Ordo Parish (Dominican Order), where there are quite a few other women who also wear a veil…never any comments. At the other, more liberal, Parish we attend; there are far fewer veiled women… and from time to time somebody will comment, but those comments are always complementary and encouraging…like “thats a beautiful veil” or “I miss the old days when women wore those to mass”… and in one or two cases they have followed suit.:slight_smile:

I do wish that at the very least, if young girls have to serve at the alter in place of boys, that at least THEY would wear veils… but thats another discussion.:shrug:

Anyone know a good source for traditional veils?

One my Wife likes is halo-works.com

Veils & scarves are actually turning up all over the place around my area lately. There is a large population of women in this city from cultures who wear scarves and I don’t think they are intimidated by feminists. The Spanish mantilla is popular but so are normal silk other woven scarves. They sell them at Macy’s and in all the little stores just for youth fashions. I just picked up a lovely pink & silver scarf for Spring at the local Sears store.

I have one from this eBay seller that I really like: stores.ebay.com/CATHOLIC-TRADITIONS

I just noticed she has some new ones!! I need to go look myself now! :smiley:


Wearing these styles of headcoverings…is this to signify you belong to some special order within the Church? Like the Third Order of St. Francis or something?

I looked at the tznius site. The women I’ve seen wearing this style of headcovering were Orthodox Jews. The “look” signifies, to me, Eastern European or Middle Eastern. I also find the mantilla which falls below the shoulder just a tad too much. Maybe because that length is, IMO, associated with a wedding veil.


I am a convert and have been in the Church about 33 years. I, too wear a veil. The more deeply i understand the Eucharist and the Liturgy the more I believe that I should wear.a veil. We wear veils when receiving Our first communion as we are part of The Bride of Christ. Since I came into the Church through scripture study, John 6 and really all the the scriptures that were never taught when I was a Protestant, I love Scripture. It truly does say in Scripture that we should cover our heads when praying and that in so doing it shows that we are under authority in the Church. We are under authority if we are married. We wear it also as a sign to the Angels. Other signs to the Angels are also found in the Old Testament…Passover and the blood of the Lamb on the door lintels which the Angels saw and passed over. Women cover their heads when receiving from The Holy Father…at least they are instructed to , I have been taught. Some women seem to look at me in a funny way. I have struggled with that at times…but if Our Lord said we should do it in the scriptures then we are trying to please him and not others. When we beging to realize that we are participating in the Heavenly Liturgy with the Angels in heaven and those around the altar and filling the church in awe worshipping then why would we not do it as scripture says as a sign to the Angels. I have received some very nice comments from people that say they wish they did this. Heaven and Earth will pass away and we will stand before God…kneel, I think we would be so humbled to kneel before Him as His Bride that I want to go to worship Him now with my head covered. We can do it in reparation, also for the lack of reverance that is in the Church today. I just know that when we dressin a respectful manner we act differently than when we just go without preparation. Sometimes people come from work for Mass and then thats different, they come as they are to just be with Him… Its not always easy to go with a veil bur the easy things are not always the best.

It signifies our devotion to Christ, obedience as women, and respect for the angels. I cover my head at every Mass and at adoration. I have considered covering my head while praying the Divine Office a home but have not done that yet. I also cover my head while in the confessional.

Until I cut my hair several weeks ago it was to the middle of my back. I would wear a longer veil to cover most of my hair - the shorter ones looked very silly with my long hair hanging out since I prefer to cover my hair and not only a patch on the top of my head. Now that my hair is just past shoulder length I will sometimes wear shorter veils. It is a personal preference how long or short a woman wears her veil. We have a few young girls (late teens) at our parish with very long hair and their veils (black and brown lace) are past their shoulders. They don’t look anything close to a wedding veil.


I like headcoverings by devorah. I cover for Mass and have for several years. I wish more women in my church would but there are only 2 of us that do. I’ve been to other churches a bit larger and there are more women. I wish the priests would talk about it a bit - that would help bring it back. I’ve heard a few make comments after Mass about how good it is to see hats and other headcoverings but never in a homily.

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