Skip to comments.Wear Your Mantilla with Pride! (Ladies' Opinions Solicited)
Posted on 03/05/2006 5:52:15 AM PST by markomalley
It is sad to note that so few women when attending the traditional Mass cover their heads out of respect to the Lord. And equally sad to see the intrusion of immodest clothes or leisure wear. The two short articles below point us in the right direction.
Why Wear the Veil?
In ancient traditions dating back even thousands of years, the “veil” represented purity and modesty in many religions and cultures. A veil, or head covering, is both a symbol and a mystical sacrifice that invites the woman wearing it to ascend the ladder of sanctity.
Receiving Holy Communion, proudly wearing the mantilla
When a woman covers her head in the Catholic Church it symbolises her dignity and humility before God, not men. It is no surprise women of today have so easily abandoned the tradition of the chapel veil (head covering) when the two greatest meanings of the veil are purity and humility.
The woman who covers her head in the presence of the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is reminding herself that she must be humble before God. As with all outward gestures, if it is practised enough it filters down into the heart and is translated into actions that speak volumes. The “veil” covers what the Lord calls, in Holy Scripture, “the glory of the woman”, her hair. Covering her hair is a gesture the woman makes spiritually to “show” God she recognises her beauty is less than His and His Glory is far above hers.
In doing this she is reminded that virtues cannot grow in the soul without a great measure of humility. So she wears the veil to please God and remind herself to practice virtue more ardently.
There is no other piece of clothing a woman may wear to serve this function. The veil symbolically motivates the woman to “bow” her head in prayer, to lower her eyes before the great and mysterious beauty and power of God in the Blessed Sacrament. By the bowing of her head and lowering of her eyes, she is more able to worship God in the interior chapel of her heart and soul.
The veil or head covering a woman wears gives a beautiful sense of dignity to a woman. When she wears it, she identifies herself with God’s greatest creation, the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God. There was none on earth that loved and loves the Lord Jesus more than the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her love, her humility breathed forth like sweet scented incense before God. The veil she wore symbolised her purity, modesty and of course her profound humility and submission before and to God Almighty.
Those women who love Jesus must come to realise the imitation of His Mother in wearing a chapel veil (head covering) and in other virtues is a small sacrifice to make in order to grow in spiritual understanding of purity, humility and love.
The covering of a woman’s head in Church is a striking reminder of modesty, something old but lost in the society of today. Modesty and purity walk hand in hand.
When a woman veils her head she is shielding her heart to be wooed by the love of God in the Blessed Sacrament. This is a mystical ‘country’ that only the Eternal Father may enter. Her veil is like the lighted lamps of the virgins waiting for the Bridegroom, an indication that she is prepared to receive Him at a moment’s notice; an aureole of her spiritual love for the Bridegroom. Wearing the veil is an act of love of God.
Why should a woman wear a head covering or veil in church? Not to be praised, not to go along, not for tradition’s sake, not to stand out in the crowd, not because you say or I say or anybody says…But because she loves our Eucharistic Lord Jesus and it is another small sacrifice she may offer for her soul’s sake and for the sake of many souls who have no one to offer for them. Amen.
(Sr Patricia Therese, OPB)
Again, not trying to start a fight, but just looking for opinions...
I have always worn my head covering...it is like it is said, to show My Lord I am with Him in Respect and will follow Him...
PS: Where is this picture taken? Good Masses are hard to find!
We came into the Catholic Church last year. I am drawn to the mantilla, too. It is a beautiful custom, it seems reverential. I always notice them, and I have been searching for one. Maybe that is too much to ask of the CC bookstores in LA Diocese??
Mantilla (man-TEE-yah; the diminutive form of manto) is Spanish for Chapel Veil.
I don't think it's a moral obligation, but it can certainly be an additional reverential gesture.
However, bear in mind that the custom dates to a time when women always kept their heads covered. In fact, even as late as the 1950s, it was unusual for a "decent" woman to go out into public or especially to anything formal without wearing a hat. Covering one's head wasn't particularly unusual then; but as people stopped wearing hats, this became more difficult. Some people carried chapel veils, but others did not. I recall seeing, in the early 1960s, women wearing Kleenexes pinned to their hair at Mass, or in one truly remarkable case, a woman with a dollar bill clipped to her hair!
My feeling is that it's nice, but it shouldn't become a fetish. I have met people who were afraid to go to Tridentine rite masses because they weren't sure if they had to wear a veil, if so what kind, how they should put it on, etc. And they were afraid they would be severely criticized or thrown out if they didn't get it right. That's silly stuff, and I think it should be offered as an optional sign of respect, but not something that is all-important.
Thank you ladies for your inputs. I personally don't see enough ladies who keep their heads veiled in the church.
The way I personally see it is that the veil is an icon for the dignity of the woman, particularly in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord. It is almost unheard of that a woman who (voluntarily) veils herself in the presence of her Lord would otherwise debase herself and tempt others through the wear of immodest and inappropriate clothing. It is also almost unheard of that a woman who (voluntarily) veils herself in the presence of her Lord would act irreverently in His presence, as well. Unfortunately, there are too many modern day women who not only reject the veil, but also reject the idea of their own dignity, as well. Unfortunately, I see that as having a negative influence, not only on themselves, but on the general attitude of reverence during the Mass as a whole.
Am I saying that reverting back to the wear of the mantilla would solve all of those problems? Of course not. As I said before, it's an icon...what it represents is far more than what it is, in of itself.
I will add this: one of the most inspiring things I see from time to time is when I see a young (20's - 30's) lady veiled and in an attitude of prayer at Mass or kneeling in prayer outside of the Mass, it's almost like I'm seeing Our Lady in prayer in the pew next to me.
FWIW. And, again, thanks.
I wear a scarf over my head - wool for winter, cotton or silk in warm weather - or a hat for church. I'm the only "veil wearer" in my parish, although there are other "hat-wearers" in the spring and summer, this being the South, after all.
An advantage of the scarf is that I never have to worry about how my hair looks!
I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago and was interested to see the endless rows of ecclesiastical clothing stores. I peered into on store and even saw bras for nuns.
What are you doing looking at Nun's bras?
They were right there in the window for everyone to see.(Nun not included)
Now granted it wasn't like passing by a Victoria's Secret at the mall, but there they were!
"Cross your hearts" I'm guessing?
Good post-Bravo! The women model themselves after Our Blessed Mother-in dress and veil.modesty a lost sight in todays Vatican 2 churches !
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