Catholic, Culture, Parenting

I guess its time to start veiling

I grew up at what was then the most traditional parish in our diocese. About half of the women there veiled; none of the nine girls in my family did. I had a brief encounter with the practice when I was about nine or ten, but I remember it more as a chance to play dress up than a pious practice. My strongest memory of it was a distinct perception (real or not) of holier-than-thouness from the ladies who did.


Now that the Motu Proprio has been around for a decade, I am seeing many of my peers begin to veil. Not only do most of the women–young and old– at the local Tridentine Mass veil, as to be expected, but some of my best friends do as well. Even my two sisters-in-law who don’t even go to a Latin Mass on the regular walk into church sporting lovely lace over their heads.

At first I thought it was just peer pressure telling me I needed to go buy a mantilla. But a nagging voice (oh hey there, conscience) has been bothering me for over a year, and after this past weekend, I have realized it is not going away. So here are the reasons I am currently in the market for a chapel veil.

I have developed a few awful habits from being an organist for the last fifteen years. It is a wonderful opportunity to use my gifts to serve God in a very finite way, but it does demand a great portion of my attention during Mass. Especially at my first Mass of the weekend, I end up bustling around the choir loft, making sure I have everything I need for the next services, making sure everyone is on the same page, and that I don’t accidentally start playing the wrong Mass setting….

Things get worse for the Mass my husband brings the kiddos to. We try to sit upstairs together, but that means we have to keep the two year old away from the stairs, the rails, the sound equipment, and we have to keep them both quiet lest the mics pick up their wails. Its quite the circus, and it happens even if I am miraculously not playing Mass that day.

The worst habit of all though, is during the later Masses in the day. I tell myself that I already attended Mass, so I don’t really need to pay attention, and I end up messing with my phone up in the choir loft when I don’t have to play. Mea maxima culpa.

Yes, I do definitely have a responsibility to make sure the liturgy is running smoothly, and that my children are not disruptive, but nothing supersedes my obligation to attend Mass faithfully, and I have come to the conclusion that a chapel veil will help that. I tell my choir members all the time that even though they are in music ministry, they are primarily there to attend the Mass. Its time I started taking my own advice.

And as for the “I already went to Mass”, my pastor told us two weeks ago a story of a priest mentor who told him the best way to waste time was to waste time with Jesus. I am lucky enough to have two extra hours a week where I have to be in church. Why am I not using that time to talk to God?

I got up the courage to ask my boss-pastor what he thought of the practice, and he gave me the usual reasons for the devotion and said he thought it was a very good practice to voluntarily take up, but it was by no means necessary. He gave me the usual reasons women usually chose to veil– to honor the Eucharist, to imitate the Holy Women of the Bible, and as a sign of humble submission to God. Then he informed me that, no, if I was going to veil I couldn’t at just one Mass, and that I really need to be all in or not at all. Which I suppose I knew, and looking back it was an idiotic question to ask…

On a personal note, I feel as if we lost a lot when we stopped veiling. I get that it was seen as a sign of male oppression, which is specifically why it was removed from Canon Law as being mandatory. I am by no means a doormat and believe in the equality of genders, but there are distinct differences between men and women. I definitely enjoy a good old fashioned opportunity to exhibit traditional gender roles. And I think it is hilarious that traditionally only unmarried women wore white veils, unintentionally (or was it…) marking out the available women in church.

Additionally, it is fascinating to me that while the change in Canon Law removed the rubrics for both men and women’s head coverings, there is no self-respecting man that would dream of wearing a baseball hat in church. Nobody cries sexism (or false humility) over that.

In conclusion, here are my hopes for this new devotion. I hope that the act of wearing a veil in Church is a reminder to me that I am not primarily at work, I am primarily in the presence of God, and should act accordingly. I hope I get over my need for human approval, and grow in my need for God’s approval. Finally, I hope that I can be more productive in my prayer at church.

P.S. If anyone knows what St. Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 11:10 “because of the angels” please let me know! Even The Google can’t answer me this one.


september 9, 2019 - 2-00 pm - findlay residence (14)


14 thoughts on “I guess its time to start veiling”

  1. I always assumed it was because the Angels loved, honored and served God and yet God made us very near to them but with free will. The Angels , I think, were puzzled at best, as to why we didn’t reverence thee presence of God as they did. So to veil would be to show reverence to God as surely as they do. This is because when I veil, I remember whose I am, who I serve and who I reverence highest of all.
    But that’s just me. You may not feel that way at all.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I assume the angels are in our church services. In Isaiah chapter 1, the angels covered their glory when in the presence of the Lord. So we women, too, cover our glory (our hair) when in a public worship setting with angels in our midst, as a sign of humility and respect toward God and as an example to the angels so they will not be ashamed of us. The covering is also a sign of submission to your husband.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, they are humble creatures, covering their glory in their Lord’s presence, and they watch us in worship. We women should not display our glory, our hair, either. This is why a veil or hat or something is necessary in addition to the natural long hair that God gives us for a covering. Please pray for me. I cover in church, but am the only one who does and I don’t want people making fun of me.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you!!
    I too am one of a handful of women that veil in our parish. I am the only faculty that veils at the school Mass.
    Thank you for the encouragement !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi. This passage is so in depth, please feel free to message me if you want me to explain more… I was trying my best to condense because my response was so lengthy.
    So, Paul not only talks about natural coverings but also ourSpiritual covering- woman👉🏽man👉🏽Christ👉🏽God. The church had become so out of control and had gotten so off course that he had to remind us of the order of God and of the correct way to do communion until he came to set the other issues in order. 1Cor. 11:8-10‬,
    “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” Because of the order of God and this teaching on said order and coverings, it would be easy for a woman to be overlooked…Paul had to remind us that if you want power(authority or right) to be heard (praying and prophesying) than she ought to have something in her head… because of the angels. This is a sign of submission to the order of God, which God’s angels and Pastor-the angel of the church do notice and respect. They keep you safe and know that when you operate that you’re not trying to take over/control. Also you have protection from the enemy(and his angels).(psalms 91:11,34:7, 1 Tim 2:11-12)
    And then the Apostle comes back and tells us ,”Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.”
    ‭‭1 Cor‬ ‭11:11-12‬ ‭. He said that because even though this is God’s order we still need each other. So we shouldn’t feel bad because all things are of God. Because you cover, you have the right to operate in the house of God(i.e. 1 Cor 14:34 however covering allows you to pray and prophesy and not be silent) also because you are covered you don’t need permission from man to pray to God.
    💕 I hope this was a little helpful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi I just wanted to clarify that I meant 1 Corinthians 11 was so in depth… not what I wrote 🤦🏾‍♀️ also I didn’t mention times when the enemy and his angels were/are a threat. My mind goes Daniel 10:1-13,2 Cor 11:14. Also, I thought about how Rebecca covered when she saw someone coming- she didn’t know if it was a man(her head) or possibly an angel(messenger which also was man) but she covered to show her submission/ respect to man. Which Satan is afraid of our submission to God because he knows( just from observing our appearance/covering) the power that comes with being obedient and following God. Plus we have Angels(of God) always encamped around us, ready to war on our behalf.

      Thanks for allowing me to take part in the discussion 💕 Blessing always


  5. These are the notes in my Bible on it by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. “A warning that gender confusion and improper attire at worship will offend the heavenly hosts./The underlying idea is that (1) angels are ministers of the natural order (2) angels are present in the sacramental worship of the Church.”
    I got this Bible “Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament” with Commentary and Notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch
    I dearly love it as their notes cannot be beat and where things are also referenced in the OT and they really helped me to understand Revelations. I recommend it for anyone trying to understand Scripture. Hope this helps. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

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