Wearing the Mantilla



Ok I would like to know why we stopped wearing the Mantilla. My Fiance and I go to the mass of Paul the VI and hardly anybody wears the Mantilla (or the Mantel) any more. Can someone help me explain this?

Pax et Bonem:confused:


I don’t know why other people have done this but I don’t wear one because, at this point in my life, it’s far to much of a distraction for me and my children from the Mass. Before I go on, I have wonderful kids who behave marvelously behaved (minus the 2 year old we’re still working on) in Mass but they are children. Somebody actually put one on my children’s heads before Mass one day and they were constantly trying to make sure it was straight. My kids are not the norm. I’m sure there are some out there that have no problem with this and there are others that do. My baby would be trying to get mine off my head. No hats and no mantillas for me because I want to pay attention to the Mass, not what’s on my head. My husband also feels that this is a distraction not to mention that shoes are hard enough to find sometime. If I believed this was still mandated by the Church, I would do it in a heartbeat. I have researched this to the hilt and do not find it to be so. I have absolutely no problem with the practice, encourage people to do so if they believe God wants them to, certainly do not believe anyone should use the “holier than thou” card against those who were them, believe it a beautiful practice, etc. but not for me at this stage in life and I’m glad that the Church has removed what is an obstacle for ME to paying the most attention I possibly can to the Mass.


Another objection is based upon the transitory character that one claims to see today in some of the prescriptions of Saint Paul concerning women, and upon the difficulties that some aspects of his teaching raise in this regard. But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on the head (1 Cor 11:2-6); such requirements no longer have a normative value.


1983 (although in practice it started pretty much with the Mass being in the vernacular).

When the Code of Canon Law was updated in 1983, there was no mention of the necessity for women to wear a headcovering. Therefore, while one may choose to do so, one is no longer obligated to do so.

Much like the non-Lenten Friday abstinence from meat–one may choose to continue this practice, or one may choose another practice, or (some argue) no practice is necessary at all (even though the Universal Norm outside the U.S. has all OTHER Catholics obligated to fast on all Fridays unless there is a specific indult for another country).

I loved my mantilla then, and I am currently ordering one to wear now. That’s just me. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to offer a personal gesture of piety. Perhaps someday we will ‘change back’ or perhaps there will be what I think the bishops of the 60s originally envisioned–a free choice by all Catholics to engage in pious behaviors, for the glory of God.


My understanding is that the Media ran with the story that this was one of the changes in Vactican II while the council was in session and their was no rebuke from the church.

Later it became legal in cannon law ( like many other abuses)



Another objection is based upon the transitory character that one claims to see today in some of the prescriptions of Saint Paul concerning women, and upon the difficulties that some aspects of his teaching raise in this regard. But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably [gotta love the certainty of these folks] practices of minor importance inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary , such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on the head (1 Cor 11:2-6); such requirements no longer have a normative value.

Using this method I could explain away about 40% of Scripture. Wait, that’s already been done.
1 Corinthians 11
10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.

Anyway, when the “transitory” angels **probably **ran awa… err passed away in 1970 from the New Mass, the headcovering went with them.
Also, as the quote above says, it was **probably **really, really, really “difficult”.
And so, they **probably **now only have AB-***normative value.
There was never a mandate for veils, just headcovering…even a hat, bonnet, scarf etc. was fine…no hankys please.
The Sig explains it all best…yet again.



I have heard so many reasons why this is no longer valid today… Most pointing to local custom of the time…

Good Job TNT!!!


All well and good, but what the heck does ‘because of the angels’ actually mean? Does it mean that they wear veils too? Does it mean that they give a hoot what we wear? (which would surprise me - I imagine my guardian angel sees me in the altogether often enough!) And why are they mentioned and not a word of what the Father or Christ thinks of the practice???

Now I’m all for keeping plenty of small t traditions along with all of the capital T ones, things such as Latin, ad orientem, Gregorian Chant (please, anything but the crud I hear so often in my NOs!). That’s because I and everyone around me can give a logical reason as to WHY these things enhance our devotion and why they are important, both historically and otherwise.

For the life of me, however, I cannot figure out this attachment to mandatory veiling. I appreciate that many women find it helpful. I roadtested it in my prayers at home and found it distracting and claustrophobic.


Maybe they are jealous of women’s hair – Maybe they have split ends… Don’t really know…

Since ST. Paul was writing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit - I can assume Christ and the Father are Ok with it…

My wife too has same problems … She now uses babushka


This is my understanding of it, too, however I think there were other factors at work. Hats used to be common for all women at Sunday services, and it died out pretty quickly in all of the denominations at about the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised if those bouffant hairstyles that were popular at the time had something to do with hats disappearing. :slight_smile:


While I’m sure veils weren’t unknown, they just weren’t standard headwear for Catholic women in the U.S.; hats were. Catholic schoolgirls generally wore little “beanie” caps when they went to Mass in their school uniforms.

While I don’t have any objection to women bringing back the custom of covering their heads (I wear a hat to Mass myself), I find this movement to “bring back the veil” kind of strange.


Ok with it as in ‘sure, it makes sense in this time/place’ or ok with it as in ‘make it mandatory for all time’?

My wife too has same problems … She now uses babushka

Oh man, great for some women I’m sure, but I’d look worse than awful in one!


Didn’t women wear veils at all times during the time of St. Paul? For a woman to leave her home unveiled in his time would be like going outside without pants (or a skirt) on.

I mean 150 years ago married women wore veils or hats outside of their homes? It seems that maybe the wearing of veils wasn’t just a Church thing but was all the time.


Our feeling is that it is a sign of respect for the woman to enter the church with thier head covered just as the jewish woman did when in the temple. And men usued to cover thier head with the “kippah” and now the bishop and some priests use the “zucetta” to cover thier heads.
So women wearing the Mantilla is one that showing great respect in the presence of the Holy of Holies.


I think it’s beautiful. I noticed that most of the women at the TLM I went to on Sunday were wearing lacy mantillas, not chapel caps, and not hats. Of course, I didn’t notice this till after the Mass when we all left, 'cause I was paying attention to the Mass, not looking around me at others.:wink:


I wear a mantilla to mass, adoration etc. It’s not a fancy thing actually. It was my MIL’s from many years ago. I use a couple of bobby pins to hold it in place. My little grandchildren don’t mess with it much. But some kiddoes might.
I have lots of scarves to wear as well. I feel it’s the right thing for me to do.
I would be glad if other ladies felt so inclined. But if they don’t that’s between them and God. He laid it on my heart to help with my humility and modesty. Some ladies just may not need the reminder.


I grew up wearing a veil, and I don’t now, especially since the literature on veils that had been shoved down my throat about it usually was more a rant on feminism and how women are to be always submissive to men, and should not go to college. I find that the veil calls too much attention to me, and i don’t want to distract other people at mass.


As it stands, you certainly do not have to wear the veil under pain of obedience.

But, just as a point, if something is right it is right, regardless of whether somebody is ‘distracted’ or if it ‘feels’ strange or even wrong.

I mean, you would not say, “I don’t want to go around saying abortion is wrong, because it would distract people or call too much attention to me.” (even though in this society anybody who does say abortion is wrong usually does get people screaming at them, with some very negative attention focused on them!)

So if a veil is right or good, it is right or good regardless of how ‘other people’ feel about it. You can say that you personally do not wish to wear it, but you really cannot give the reason that ‘it distracts people’ or ‘focuses too much attention on me’ as legitimate reasons not to do so.

It can’t be ‘good for others’ but “not good for me” because of external circumstances; neither can it be ‘bad for others’ but “okay for me” because of external circumstances.

I know this doesn’t sound politically correct. It sounds as though I don’t care about the feelings of others. That isn’t the case–I do care in that I would not willingly, gratuitously, choose to inflict hurt feelings. But if I were to ‘abstain’ from any action which ‘might’ distract, or focus attention on me, simply for fear of the distraction or attention, I would be caught up in a cycle where every word, or gesture, was only for ‘other people’ and never really for God Himself. Not good.


This is not correct (the bolded part). A veil is morally indifferent (unlike say, abortion in your example) and truly depends on the individual circumstances to determine morality. Look at it this way, wearing a brown shirt is a nice thing. If you do it because you like brown and you look good in it. Wearing the same shirt in a public way to say show your allegiance to White supremacy is not a good thing. The shirt itself is not determining the morality but rather the circumstances and intention that are a part of the act.

Wearing a veil (like any other clothing) is neither good nor evil but depends on where it is worn and with what intention.


I find it curious that as one moves towards showing more reverence towards God many individuals get angry. I wear a mantilla simply out of respect and devotion…it is interesting that scantily clad women receive less hostile response from women. Women can be very mean towards each other… we should put our differences aside and try to become more like our Blessed Mother Mary. What better model for womanhood is there?? I find that men generally appreciate seeing women dressed with reverence and modesty.


Wearing a veil (like any other clothing) is neither good nor evil but depends on where it is worn and with what intention.

I really think that we are claiming the same thing but we’re coming at it from a different way.

What I am saying, and I think you agree, is that if wearing something is good (and since wearing a veil was not only done as a good, but as an actual ‘obedience’ for centuries, and has not been ‘corrected’ by canon law revision of 1983–IOW, they do not say, “no longer wear a veil” but instead “the choice is yours”), then it is good despite the ‘appearance’ to others.

Thus, Ms. X wears a veil because she honors the Lord.
Ms. Y wears it to look ‘extra pious’.

Ms. Y is wrong, NOT for wearing the veil (which is good), but for her wrong intention. The wrong intention has really nothing to do with whether wearing the veil is good or not. See what I mean?

Ms. A wears a veil and gets pointed out.
Ms. B wears one and nobody notices.
Therefore, Ms. A should stop wearing the veil, but Ms. B should not.

Again, see the logical disconnect? One does not stop doing a good because somebody objects. What is ‘right’ for Ms. B is right, not because “nobody notices” but because it is a right action. The action of wearing the veil is right regardless of whether the onlookers notice or not. The INTENTION (as opposed to the action itself) of the person DOING the action does not impact on the action; thus, Ms. Y’s internal sin of wanting to ‘look pious’ does not invalidate the good of wearing a veil; what it does it invalidate any grace which she may have merited through the pious action.

Remember what Jesus said? Do not fast ‘as the hypocrites do’, they do not wash their faces and look glum so everybody knows they are fasting’. Note that Jesus did not say, “Do not fast because people might guess you’re fasting, or might chid you, or judge you”. The action of fasting is good. Jesus goes on to say, “I assure you, they have had their reward”. IOW, rather than receiving the merit of that good action which they would have gotten from doing this for GOD instead of for themselves, to look ‘good’ for others’, the ‘superior feeling’ or the praise of others was their reward.

Ms. Y will get her ‘ego boo’ from her pious action–and that’s it. She didn’t do it for God–it will not be accounted to her as the righteous act it was.

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