Wearing the veil to Mass


Dear brothers and sisters,

I do wish to wear the veil in reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, and I have in the past, for about two years. However, I do not anymore (when at my parish), for a couple reasons. I am in no way advocating that women should not wear veils! I think it is a great practice if done for the right reasons. I just wanted to write about my situation.

The practice of wearing the veil is absent in my parish. So, when one person is wearing the veil amidst those who are not, she will stand out and people will naturally look at her. (In a parish where many wear the veil, one who is wearing the veil will not so much stand out.)

Hence, wearing the veil at my parish drew a lot of attention and comments. I did not necessarily mind the comments, but the comments themselves showed how much attention people were paying to the veil. I would rather have people be focused on the Mass rather than on my veil. And because I knew how much attention the veil was attracting, it began to distract me just to wear it. When I entered the church, instead of being focused on the Blessed Sacrament and on prayer, I was distracted about knowing that I am drawing attention and that people’s eyes are on me.

I decided to discontinue wearing the veil at my parish since ultimately it is distracting for me, and I am able to pray better during Mass without it. Even though I wore it in reverence for God, and I have now removed the veil, God understands my reasoning for ending this practice and the most important thing is our disposition of heart.

When I visit a parish that has many women who wear the veil, wearing my veil there does not distract me because I know that I am not drawing attention to myself or feel people’s eyes on “me”.

However, if you are one of the women who wear the veil in a parish that does not practice this tradition, but it does not distract you when you wear it, I think that is fine, and that you are lucky!


I am a man and have a woman friend who had a similar approach to you. She “replaced” the veil (for the same reason) and instead covers her head with a beautiful (but modest) hat. Except at Easter when she wore a more elaborate but still beautiful hat. She finds that it works for her.


What kind of comments were these? People should really be focused on Mass rather than a veil. :frowning: In my parish, I wear the veil and so do about three or four other women… no one has ever said one word to me. :shrug:


Well, you are lucky. There are a great many of people that tend to be focused more on headcoverings (or lack of them) on women than what they are supposed to be focusing on. Be thankful you have a parish that is neither obsessed or hostile to headcoverings!


Two main types of comments: One being compliments on the veil, and second being comments of concern when I happened to not wear it (“I noticed in Mass you were not wearing your veil today. Why not?”) . Both types of comments were always in a kind nature, I never received anything negative. But lots of attention and fuss!


I started recently wearing veil at Parish where no one does. At first I felt a little tense but I feel God telling me to not be ashamed to stand for my love of him. It helps me pray better and at the end of the day all that matters is what God thinks.
I feel Mary is very pleased also. I think you should not be afraid to do it . It sets an example of the reverence we should have for the Eucharist. I see myself as called to set this example and to therefore possibly even encounter negativity towards it. People should be free to wear the veil without others making such a fuss. If they make a big deal it could very well be considered oppression. Though you didn’t receive any negative comments, I certainly feel the negativity towards me when I wear… Which in fact gives me all the more reason to do so. I also started kneeling and receiving on the tongue too and I will never look back. The graces are enormous :smiley:


Considering how few women wore veils when covering one’s head was mandatory, you would easily opt for a smart beret, seasonal hat, etc. Along with head scarves, that’s what most women wore before Jackie Kennedy’s fashion statement. Later a veil became something you kept in your purse in case you had to pop in to church for some reason but if you had a hat that’s still what your wore to Mass.


I think you should wear a hat or beret or headband if wearing a veil attracts undue attention to yourself. That is what we wore pre-Vatican II. Veils were never required, a head cover of some sort was. I can understand and agree with your reasoning–if too much attention is drawn to yourself and your veil, it’s probably better to either take away the object of attention or change to something that won’t be drawing comments. I admire you for your humility in the matter.


Its up to you how you cover your head. The veil option is one of many. I find it in the summer months since I got a summery type hat that looks good for Mass, it looks good on me and is more comfortable. I will save my mantillas for the EF Masses as I see very few if any women choosing the hat option as most wear some type of veil, chapel cap or mantilla. I will return to my black mantilla for both Mass types some time in the fall when the weather turns cooler.


[quote="CB_Catholic, post:8, topic:291206"]
I think you should wear a hat or beret or headband if wearing a veil attracts undue attention to yourself. That is what we wore pre-Vatican II. Veils were never required, a head cover of some sort was. I can understand and agree with your reasoning--if too much attention is drawn to yourself and your veil, it's probably better to either take away the object of attention or change to something that won't be drawing comments. I admire you for your humility in the matter.


I agree. Women in the early 60s used to have those little chapel caps that they carried in their purses. They came in this little packet and were really portable and common among Catholic women. When you couldn't find one, you'd put a kleenex on your head with a bobby pin, which people also used in those days. :p It wasn't really very solemn like people think it was nowadays. That's all romanticized drama over V2.

I certainly think that tying a kerchief around your hair or putting on a beret or a nice headband would do the same thing and draw less of the unwanted sort of attention.

PS. Don't put a kleenex on your head. Old women will giggle.


Good advice. Way back when, it was only elderly immigrant Italian ladies in our parish who wore “veils”. Our Catholic school uniforms included a matching beret for Mass, and we all had to resort to the occasional Kleenex/bobby pin. On Sundays, we had hats, scarves, appropriate to the season.

If someone chooses to wear a headcovering, all well and good for her; it’s nobody’s business! However, I do think that there has been a certain recent romanticization of veils - often among younger women - which hadn’t been typical American headcovering, anyway.


I wear a wide headband or a scarf tied behind my head, like a bandana. It draws less attention, and I prefer it for practical reasons.

Here are two of my favorite sources for the wide headbands:




In the last couple of years of mandatory head covering, these two were the common head coverings for teen girls.
Often with shoe lace type ties:
Minus the flower, often in a white staw

Veils? Very rarely.


I have covered my head at mass for the past 18 yrs. my choice of covering has always been a simple hat, usually a nice staw one with a small brim and a colorful scarf tied around the crown for a little color.

I dont like veils on me as they look way too “formal” and I live in Florida and tend to dress light and casual.


Attention is not always a bad thing. You wearing the veil might make people think about this practice, they might do a bit of research to understand what it means and why women did it until recently. I bet some would love to do the same but are afraid of what others will think. The list goes on. If people are so distracted by what others are wearing on their head during mass, that is their problem. But from what you have written it sounds that you are assuming that they do. Maybe people just glance your way, notice you are wearing a headcovering and move on.


Please consider joining our social group here on CAF for women who cover: Veiled in Grace



I only wear my mantillas for adoration/benediction or traditional latin mass. Otherwise, I would feel out of place (which shouldn’t matter). I have hats but they are the elaborate (Kate Middleton off to the Ascot kind) so I feel those would be just as distracting LOL. I have berets for the fall/winter. I need to find some simpler hats I guess.


I was just thinking that perhaps it is unwise to consider so much what all the “others” think and how they feel about what is on or not on our heads. Why so much consideration for what the mere mortals think or such a sensitivity to what might offend them? I like the idea of women covering their heads. That probably makes me unpopular with the majority who debate this issue.


Sometimes it is a matter of not wanting to be a distraction to others, not so much worrying about giving offense.


For me, wearing any headcovering to Mass, I no longer care if others take offense or not to it. For those that consider it a distraction that I wear a headcovering, they need to focus elsewhere and not on me in my opinion.

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