To Mantilla or Not to Mantilla?…That is the Question!

I have noticed a slow resurgence of the mantilla/chapel veil in Catholic churches here in my city. I remember, as a young girl in the early 1970’s having to wear a small, round lace kerchief to mass on Sundays. At my elementary Catholic school, part of a girl’s uniform was a foldable hat to be worn to school on mass days.

I don’t remember precisely when we stopped covering our heads for church, but it happened sure enough! I wish that I could find the statement or declaration by the Magisterium that did away with the requirement of women to veil their heads for Mass.

I was able to find some facts about the practice at I think that the mantilla is a beautiful tradition. I have read that there is a whole “movement” among some women to bring back the chapel veil at the same time that the new (old) Roman Missal Translation is instituted.

Do you have an opinion on the subject?  Check this out:

About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 14, 20 and 27. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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10 Responses to To Mantilla or Not to Mantilla?…That is the Question!

  1. maggie says:

    Honestly, I don’t know much about mantillas, so I appreciate the link. My grandmother had some, and my sisters and I all used one in our wedding bouquets.

  2. Ellen Brown says:

    I used to wear a mantilla to Mass. I attend the Extraordinary Rite, i.e., the Latin Mass. I stopped wearing the mantilla I think around the time of 9/11. It started to bother me that a woman should cover her head, because it seemed to echo the Islamic law that forces women to be veiled. I just did not feel comfortable with it anymore. Besides,
    when the Church mandated women to cover their heads for Mass, all women wore veils as a part of their everyday wardrobe. We see Our Lady veiled, because that was the garb worm at the time. Today we do not wear head coverings. It is not practical to wear them to church. But if someone wants to, go right ahead!

  3. Anima says:

    In my country (Europe, 85% Catholics) I have never seen this. Nor in our neigbourhood (most of them Catholic countries too).
    My grandmothers, when they were young, wore hats. Veils were too similar to Muslim veils.
    Judging from American Catholic scene, wearing mantilla is (predominantly) kind of “I’m better than your” attitude.

  4. Luisa Elago says:

    It used to be required during the Vatican I, but the Vatican II omitted the part which required women to wear veils. Some people argue that just because it was omitted doesn’t mean you can’t do it anyway. I think the Church recognized women’s rights and are letting them choose.

    I personally think it’s a beautiful practice, and still see some elder people do it. I wanna start but I know for sure it would attract negative attention. Oh well…

  5. Rebekah says:

    I’m a young Canadian woman and I just started veiling at Mass about 2 months ago. I first started with a kerchief and now I wear a mantilla. It wasn’t so welcome at my parish, so I switched to a parish that offered a more traditional High Mass in English, although some parts are sung in Latin. I was having other issues with my former Parish, so it wasn’t too difficult to make the switch. I even veil when I attend daily Low Mass, or when I pray at home. It’s a beautiful tradition and it helps me stay focused. I encourage you to try it if you’re curious – start with a different kind of head covering at first, or attend a weekday Mass and see how comfortable you feel wearing it. Bring a supportive friend.

  6. wanda H says:

    I have never thought that anyone wearing a veil was trying to be holier than me. Mostly I wanted to know where she got hers. If it helps a person to worship and pray to the Lord then I think its a great way to go. If pride in ones modest appearance is too pretentious maybe I better start wearing rags. But I dont think it would improve the atmosphere in church. I thought Mass was a celebration of the glory of God.
    I say dont overthink it and have a good time with a beautiful tradition of reverence to our Lord. OK lets see some beautiful designs!

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