Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Do You Think?

I've been spending a lot of time working on my new mantillas. In between stitches, I've been wondering if there is a difference between what I believe people are thinking when they see me wear a veil before the Blessed Sacrament, and what they really are thinking

I've always loved seeing other women veiling in church, even before I started on the path to veiling full-time myself. I've had a sense that it was appropriate, even prior to reading up on why women veil. On my end, I didn't do it because, well, I simply never had.

Several months ago, Hallie Lord did a great job of putting into perspective the "What will others think of me?" question:
For a while I resisted the idea of covering my head at Mass because I was afraid I would come across as holier-than-thou. I’ve come to realize what an uncharitable assumption that was, though. I never feel anything other than delight when I see a sister in Christ wearing a veil at Church. I’m a bit ashamed that I assumed others would react less graciously than I did.
I agree, but I would love to hear what you think. What goes through your mind when you see a sister in Christ wearing a veil in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament? 

Longing for God,

The Catholic Wife

30 comments:

  1. When I see a woman veiling at our N.O. Mass I get really excited! It doesn't happen often and it makes me feel so happy. If she is nearby I try to compliment her on her mantilla. I always have a positive reaction and I feel frustrated with my own reluctance to veil at the N.O. I find it so much easier to veil at adoration or at the TLM. I struggle with the fear of other people's reactions because I have gotten some odd looks in the past.

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  2. Before I started veiling full time, I would look at women who veiled with wistful longing. There is something supernatural and sacred about veiling and I wanted to take part in that mystery.

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  3. When I see another woman veiling at Mass, I don't have a strong reaction either way. I tend to think that she is of the more traditional Catholic mindset; and now that I think of it, I think the only women I've seen veiled have been of the older generation. I do struggle with judging those who appear to make no effort to dress properly for Mass, however. In terms of veiling myself, I've never seriously considered it. After reading this blog, I've started to ponder the idea, but I don't feel confident that I will personally decide to veil. I agree that it is important to be aware of the Holy Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and for those who feel compelled to veil, that is certainly one way to remind yourself and others. I think that either way, we probably all struggle with complacency during Mass and Adoration to some degree. It is always good to remind oneself that we are truly in the Presence of our Lord and Messiah. What an honor!

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  4. This is something I've been praying about a lot. I did buy a shawl to use as a veil and wore it a couple of times, but felt very self-conscious about it (esp. when my little one pulled it off my head).

    But with some of the other changes I've been making in my life lately, this may be something I re-examine.

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  5. I wear a head-covering myself and am always pleased and encouraged to see other women do so.

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  6. Veiling is a most excellent, humble practice. As a man I respect women who veil and hope to have my daughters practice veiling.

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  7. I have started wearing a veil. At first, I only wore it to the Latin Masses I attended, but that, for obvious reasons,began to seem less than honest to me. Now I wear it all the time. I'm not trying to draw attention to myself--I'm only trying to be obedient.

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  8. I started veiling over 3 years ago. At that time, we attended NO and I only knew one woman and her children who veiled. They were very, very traditional--modest dress, no TV, homeschool, 10 children. As I watched her, I noticed how full of humility see always seemed to be and I admired that. Personally, I wanted to have what she had. But I was nervous about it. I began reading about the tradition of veiling as our family was already fairly traditional minded and fed up with the liberal NO Masses available to us. I started slowly with a hat in the winter. By Easter, I had order a snood (like a mantilla only it ties under the hair) and I wore it for the first time. I noticed immediately that I approached the Eucharist in a much different way. I never had one person comment, positively or negatively, regarding my veiling. Eventually, I "graduated" to a full mantilla at the encouragement of our #2 son. He commented that the mantilla was beautiful and amazing. This year, we left the NO for a Tridentine chapel where all women and girls veil. On the very rare occasion I have to go to NO, I also veil. It's not about custom, IMO, it's about obedience and humility. The only reason I wouldn't veil is if I had doubts that Jesus wasn't really present there.

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  9. I love my veil. My mother gave us the example and put us all in hats as little girls, even in the NO when the others were throwing them off. She was ridiculed for it and for keeping to other traditions (Communion in the hand, dresses at least for Mass, Confession etc...)but she instilled those values and that respect for Our Lord so deeply in us that we still express it in that way. I am not near a TLM at the moment but I wear the veil at the Ukrainian Mass we attend. No one else does (not sure if it was never a Ukrainian custom or if they have given it up too) but they notice and respect it because whether they wear it or not, they know it speaks to the true presence of Our Lord.

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  10. I like to see women wearing a veil at Mass. It automatically makes me think that they are a serious Catholic and not a feminist. A double ++

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  11. I guess I've always been judgmental about veiling. Now that'd I've read more about it, I understand why someone would wear one. It makes me want to wear one, but I don't think I would be comfortable. I know my husband and family wouldn't be supportive. Because of that it'd make me even more self-conscious.

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  12. I began veiling a about a year ago, and was very concerned about negative reactions, so I started with a kerchief-like headscarf from Headcoverings by Devorah. I began wearing a lace veil that ties on Ash Weds of this year, and the First Sunday of Lent I was scheduled to Cantor, and was very-very nervous about the reaction. But it just so happened that a REACH retreat team had given a Jr. High/High School retreat that day, and one of the retreat team entered the Sanctuary wearing a Mantilla! So my thoughts/feelings when I saw her? Relief, but even more than that AFFIRMATION!

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  13. i feel very happy and pleased...i know that having a great respect and love for God goes far beyond wearing a headcovering alone, but its a real sign of reverence and humility for a woman to wear one. I struggled with wearing a headcovering beyond the Latin Mass i go to, but i soon got over it and i just try to avoid thinking of what other people might say. Just focus on God and it will get easier after time =D

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  14. I love veiling but have encountered serious ridicule from my mother and sister (both feel it's silly). Last Christmas, I arranged for us all to attend a TLM in Nice (France). I bought beautiful mantillas for both of them and they refused to wear them. After that, I've felt very self conscious when I'm not at a TLM. I began to feel that I was calling attention to myself at our local NO parish. I haven't gotten over that feeling, but I'm working on it.

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    1. I'm so sorry your mother and sister feel it's silly. Stand strong in what you believe and try to make them understand the history behind wearing a mantilla. Though they might think it's silly there are LOTS of women out there who DON'T think it's silly and DO wear them. Courage my friend.

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  15. Hi, I am a bit late coming to this post, but I wanted to put my two cents in also.

    I started wearing my mantilla regularly this summer, prior to that, I would wear it when attending a TLM or a more conservative NO parish in our Diocese. (My husband worked for the parish we used to belong to, and after accepting the position, we discovered that it was very liberal. I did not feel comfortable veiling there as I was afraid that my husband would be criticized. Instead, I made sure to have something on my head each week, be it a fabric headband or something similar.)

    After he was thankfully able to find another job, we moved states and began attending a different parish. That parish was pretty much the same as the one we left, but I happily wore my veil each Sunday.

    We began looking around for different parishes though, and found "the one". Howe did we know this would be our parish? Well, aside from the reverence with which Father celebrated the Holy Sacrifice, women in this NO parish wore veils. I would say around five women, which in this small parish is about 10 percent of the members! My heart soared when I saw them the first day we were there. I thought, "Yes! Women who understand modesty and being so in front of our Lord!"

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  16. I have one questions to my sisters in Christ: Do you wear your mantilla to "ordinary" western cloth? Or do you wear costumes (coat and skirt)? Because I am not sure if it will look wired to trousers, shirts or jeans...

    Greetings from Germany
    Stephanie Maria Alexandra

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  17. Great question, Stephanie! I did start wearing a mantilla with jeans but quickly switched to skirts because it did indeed seem weird!

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  18. I never understood why women wanted to be free of the veil or hats for Mass. All the years that I didn't wear a veil I LONGED for it, missed the feeling of being cherished that the veil gave me. Like many of you, I was afraid of what people would think if I wore my mantilla so I did nothing except wish I had the courage to do what I knew in my heart was right.

    Several months ago we attended a Traditional Latin Mass in Michigan. Because I knew we were going to a pre Vat II service I made myself a simple mantilla from lace and took it with me. When we arrived and I put my mantilla on my head I felt wonderful, it felt so RIGHT.

    Since then we have found a wonderful NO Mass in Toledo Ohio and I veil. The feeling is so special. When I wear that simple piece of lace I feel cherished, loved, quiet and peaceful. The Mass takes on a whole different feeling and when I leave I feel like I'm 'filled up' inside and about 2 feet off the ground =-) It's an amazing feeling.

    As to what to wear with your jeans to church... Well look at it like this...
    If you had an invitation to dinner at the White House or Kensington Palace, or any other important place like that what would you wear?

    Most men would go out and buy a new suit, shirt, tie and polish their shoes and get a hair cut and spiff themselves up.

    Most women would want a new dress, shoes, purse, haircut, make-up... in general they would go the whole nine yards to make sure they looked wonderful out of respect for the person they are having dinner with and out of respect for themselves.

    Each Sunday you are invited to attend a miracle, sacrafice, at the house of GOD! Certainly the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are more important than any politician or royalty. Why come to church looking like you don't care? Shouldn't you always dress with great respect for God and for yourself?

    For men, shouldn't you look like you took time to prepare yourself for this important meeting? Would you go to a meeting at work looking like you just got off the lawnmower or just finished washing the car? I bet you would not =) Yet you feel comfortable going to church wih tshirt and sloppy shorts and sandals??????? Really???????

    Women, do you really think it's proper to arrive at church with your family in a tank top with bra straps showing and a pair of shorts or jeans that take you 10 minutes to get into them???

    Last summer we sat behind a family with a teen daughter who was wearing a pair of shorts so short, so tight that her cheeks were hanging out of the shorts, a LOT. She had paired that with a tank top with spaghetti straps over a brightly colored bra........ Dad and son were decently dressed, Mom was decently dressed. My question is why didn't someone correct the daughter?

    So, jeans with a mantilla? Why not just put on a pretty skirt and eliminate the entire quandry? No one cares if you wear the same clothes every Sunday =) I'm betting no one would even know. Just make sure that you look like you cared enough to do the very best you could for this most important meeting.

    Granny

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  19. I am old enough to remember wearing the little round head covering to Mass as a child. I couldn't wait to be old enough to wear the mantilla chapel veils, then came VII.

    A cradle Catholic, I never renounced my faith, but spent many years non-practicing. I came back several years ago, and have been on a wonderful exploration of the depth and fullness of my faith. My husband faithfully attends Mass with me, even though he was raised Methodist, his father's side was Catholic, and he says he feels Catholic. (I hope he will formally convert before long) Ever since I've returned to active practice of my faith, I've missed the veil, and somehow felt disrespectful having a bare head at Mass. Only a very few ladies at my parish veil.

    I began 2011 wearing the veil to Mass. I had a lace mantilla that had belonged to my husband's deceased Aunt. I was still nervous, and a couple times wore a hat instead, worried that my husband was not comfortable with it, and not admitting it.

    Well my husband recently surprised me on my birthday with TWO lovely lace mantillas! One black and one white! Thank you Jesus! He ordered them from EWTN along with some wonderful books and other inspirational gifts. That was the confirmation I needed and I am so happy and proud to be able to veil with the full support of my husband.

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  20. Anon on Feb 12, that is wonderful! How thoughtful of your husband to give you Catholic gifts, as a non-Catholic. Seeing as he may be another "Catholic in spirit only" (as opposed to Catholic in name only), I will be praying for his formal conversion.

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  21. Like many of the ladies here I started wearing a mantilla to the TLM Mass but felt that I should wear it at the NO Mass as well; I started off wearing a beret then graduated to a chapel cap, and now a shoulder length mantilla; I wear skirts mainly to Mass as I no longer think jeans and trousers are appropriate. I have had a number of encouraging comments and only one slightly negative one. I no longer feel self-conscious at the NO Mass and always cover my head now when I go into a Catholic church. I carry a little chapel cap in my handbag for the times when I make a visit and just want a covering for my head.

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  22. I've desired and admired the practice of veiling/headcovering ever since I finally attended an Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy out of curiosity (which eventually led me to discover the Extraordinary Form...I figured if a beautiful liturgy could be found outside the Catholic Church, then Christ's True Church HAD to have something). This was in 2007 or 2008 and I have been an EF lover since.

    I hadn't started veiling until Advent 2011 shortly before the use of the Revised Roman Missal and I just dived straight in with a white mantilla and although it felt a little uncomfortable at first (no one at the parish I attend veils), I got over it that same day and now confidently do it for God and for the Blessed Virgin who is definitely my inspiration for veiling.

    It helps me focus on myself and why I'm worshipping God, to let me know I'm in His Presence, and that the Holy Angels are there and that I should submit to Him regardless of who else is there (of course I would stop if the pastor asked me to, but he's been very supportive).

    I love the veil and always appreciate when I see other women wearing them, and am always filled with such joy!

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  23. Huge chicken here! I've felt called to cover my head in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament ever since I returned to the Church at the beginning of Lent 2011 (after a thirty year absence,) and even went so far as to buy two mantillas, make a third, and win a fourth in a contest on another website, and wore these to the Tridentine Mass, which I occasionally attend (it being twenty-five miles away and gas being $4 a gallon.) I usually attend OF Mass, several times during the week as well as on Sundays, and am even friends with a couple of the priests (one of my second cousins is a deacon at the church I attend during the week.)

    I cover my head alright, but it's usually a seasonally-appropriate beret, cloche, or sun hat at the OF, and a mantilla at the EF. I go way back to the days when all females wore something on their heads, and even have a few memories of wearing the Kleenex of shame pinned down with a couple of bobby pins!

    I have no idea why I'm not wearing a mantilla at OF. I certainly haven't let other peoples' opinions of me stop me from doing anything else in my life that I wanted to do!

    Sisters, pray for me that I "get over it!!"

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  24. I'm a cradle Catholic who's only recently (within the last year) returned to the Church after a 41 year lapse (my family fell away when everything changed). I am drawn to the Extraordinary Form of Mass as it is so solemn and sacred and is the way I remember Mass... The Ordinary Form is very foreign to me and I feel out of place and out of step - even with the recent changes to the liturgy.

    As for covering my head, I veiled as a child for Mass and so I do now - I was born with a caul, so it is very personal for me. . It's wonderful to see the practice returning, whether it is a lace veil or a nice hat...

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  25. Well i am really late in responding as i just found your blog!! I have wondered if the women who veiled thought they were better than others or holier than though yes but only briefly because then i think what courage it must take to wear that, my thought goes to the humility of it and can see how different they act. I also have wondered why they veil, and asked myself the question "do they not trust the Church?", since the Church has said that it is not required. That said I have been drawn to it and wish the Church would make a requirement again. I do believe many women who don't think at all about what they wear or allow their daughters (or sons) to wear to the mass would then be very aware what is worn to mass and how they act in mass. I am also with many women who wrote before me here, I do not want to stand out in mass. I do make sure to wear a shawl during the summer when i am wearing a sleeveless shirt or dressy tank top with my skirt to keep my shoulders covered. Something i will definitely think about more and offer in prayer and look for God's guidance.

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  26. Well ladies, when I see a mantilla I have a strong negative reaction. It reminds me so much of the pre vatican II church that I grew up in. Unfortunately that church did not teach the full gospel, i.e. Jesus died for our sins, but a very intimidating version that put the emphasis on us saving our selves by being perfect. It made God and holiness out of reach. As a teenager, I questioned that church and rebelled completely. As a young adult, I became full commited to it again but only through the incredible grace given to me through the charismatic renewal, where I finally experienced the knowledge of the forgivenss and love of Jesus. That experience, and the incredibel blessing of the Eucharist keeps me faithful to the church, and to loving God and others. When I see someone wearing a mantilla, I am intidimdated by that. I feel that I can't be myself around them without beign judged. (by myself I mean a pro life feminist who beleives that GOd wants us to welcome all regardless of how they are dressed, or what their past was like) Sorry to all the fine people who may feel called to wear them, but they are not for me.

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  27. i've always wanted to wear one.. and since i am native american..its in our traditional way of life to cover our heads as women(at least in the navajo tribe) and my grandmother covered her head daily, I would like to do this partly in her honor as well..Anyway-- because of my traditional(tradish native amer.) and catholic upbringing, i've always wanted to wear one to mass but here in utah-- seems like they have mantillas just for the little girls making their 1st communion. I didnt know that many women were trying to go back to the tradish mantilla again.. i ll have to try & find a place online to look for one... much love to you all--esp to the 1 who created this site.. its good reading & i'm proud of all of you who have started or have been veiling... lets bring it back :)

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    1. Thank you for your comment! You can find my veils at Veils by Lily. :)

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  28. Thank you ladies for all of your comments. I'm a young (mid twenties) woman who has recently decided to take up the practice of veiling. It began when I took up Eucharistic Adoration. I signed up and then realized I had absolutely no idea what it entailed. True to my generation I "googled" it and, in my research, came across the concept of veiling. For the last month or so I have been veiling during my once weekly "Date with Jesus" as I sometimes refer to it. This coming Sunday will be my first time veiling at Mass and I am nervous but your comments have helped renew my spirit and enthusiasm for this practice. Thank you so much and blessings to all of you!

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