On December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, many young Catholic women across America will wear the veil at Mass.
I grew up in the pre-Vatican II era when chapel veils or mantillas were de rigueur. All the women wore hats or veils to mass as a sign of reverence. In elementary school, I wore a round white chapel veil, pinned to my ponytail with a bobby pin. Jackie Kennedy later popularized the Spanish mantilla; and older girls preferred the elegant lace headgear that fell over the shoulders, most likely in black. The girl who forgot her chapel veil wore a Kleenex bobby pinned to her hair.
But after Vatican II, the world has moved away from the rigors of the Tridentine Mass. The liturgy was offered in the vernacular, and the rules requiring the wearing of hats for women were relaxed. Catholic Answers offers a historical perspective:
Throughout history, it has been common for women to wear headgear. This is something that has a precedent in the epistles of Saint Paul (see 1 Cor. 11: 2-16).
It was mandated in the Code of Canon Law of 1917. Canon 1262 states:
1. It is desirable that, in accordance with ancient discipline, women be separated from men in church.
2. Men, in a church or outside a church, while attending sacred rites, should be bareheaded, unless the approved mores of the people or the particular circumstances of things so dictate. other ; women, however, will have their heads covered and be modestly dressed, especially as they approach the Lord’s table.
It is something that has gradually fallen into disuse.
In the 1970s, a judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was rendered in a document titled Inter Insigniores which essentially stated that since chapel veils were not a matter of faith, it was no longer mandatory for women to wear them. In paragraph 4 it says:
It should be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the time, concern little more than disciplinary practices of less importance, such as the obligation imposed on women to wear the veil on the head (1 Cor. 11: 2-16 ); these requirements no longer have any normative value.
In the years following Vatican II, the chapel veil was rarely seen, except at Tridentine rite masses; but a new movement, especially among young women who probably don’t remember wearing their mother’s veil on Sunday mornings, has rekindled interest in the veil.
The “Wear the Veil” day started a few years ago when two women from Charlotte, North Carolina, began an apostolate called “Our Lady of the Veil”. Their aim was to encourage women to take back the veil and promote the true Christian virtues of obedience, humility and modesty. Andrea Hines and Tina Witt, the founders of Wear the Veil, believed the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception would be the perfect time for women who were considering starting to wear a veil.
Veils de Lily, one of America’s leading mantilla designers, posted an explanation for the veil:
For 2000 years, Catholic women have worn some sort of head covering in church. While the particular reasons for doing so have varied (e.g., modesty, submission to God, etc.), this practice has always emphasized the transcendence of place – the church, the very home of the Presence. Reality of Christ in the Eucharist. . Having received this magnificent gift from Jesus himself, every Catholic Church holds something that cannot be found anywhere else: the true living presence of our Savior, hidden under the guise of bread and wine.
Today, wearing a veil – any type of blanket – is a symbolic gesture which refers to the astonishing reality of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As women we are symbols of the Church – the Bride of Christ – and “the veil is meant to be a visible reminder of the Church’s perfect submission to Christ’s rule of love.”
On December 8, join a worldwide movement to encourage devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, present in every Catholic church. Encourage your friends to join you – you won’t be the only one! – and wear the veil whenever you are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, whether it is present inside a Catholic church for Mass or simply passing through temporarily.
How? ‘Or’ What?
With any type of sail, and with the appropriate interior layout. Similar to religious attire, your veil is a public proclamation of your desire to submit to God’s will for your life and your commitment to respond to the universal call to holiness and continual conversion. Yesour veil is also a sign of the great dignity inherent in a woman, who has the potential to receive life within her… both human life and the supernatural life of God.
What about “other people”?
It’s natural to be concerned about what other people think. Of course, some may think of the veil as a meaningless outdated practice in today’s culture while others may judge us as trying to be more holy than you. Love, however, seeks to adorn love with beauty and to worship with humility. An act of devotion like the veil does both, while putting our love for God above all else first.
But the Church does not require it
Just as the Church does not require that every person pray the Rosary, neither does it require that every woman wear a veil. This does not mean, however, that either is not worthy devotion. On the contrary, these devotions are pleasing to God when they are done out of love for Him.
Where do I start?
While any type of headwear is fine, most women choose lace veils. You can browse all of Lily’s Veils here. For this campaign, we designed a beautiful lace mantilla, the most affordable to date. See the starting veil.