Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chapel Veils: not just for Grandma, but still optional

I wear a veil to mass. I haven't always. It used to be I would only wear head covering if I was attending a Tridentine mass. Veils are more common in those situations, and I just preferred not to annoy anybody. Later, when I began to wear a veil at every mass, it was purely a personal gesture of obedience, and not a public statement.

Then one Sunday at mass recently, a very nice lady, probably old enough to me my grandmother, and sporting one of those little round lace caps, came up to me and complemented me for wearing my veil. "It's in Canon Law," she said, and she lamented that nobody covers her head any more, and was sooo pleased to see me "setting an example". I was pretty sure she was mistaken about Canon Law, but I didn't have the detailed knowledge I needed to tell her this.

Then, lo and behold, through the magic of the Information Age, today I stumbled across In the Light of the Law, the blog of a canon lawyer, who explains the entire thing quite well, including specific citations. Some of the details are really quite fascinating, and I highly recommend reading the entire post.

The bottom line? Head coverings are indeed optional.

Via Rosetta Stone, via Kitchen Madonna


Kitchen Madonna said...

This is so neat to hear that more and more women want to wear their veils to Mass. Wanna start a movement? Pomtini's included!

Christina said...

Veils, aprons, and pomtinis!

Look out world! :)

Charlie and Andrea said...

Oh I just happened upon your blog by accident today! Thank you for the links and the story. I have just recently started to wear a veil at mass. One of my greatest fears is to have to defend it, as I'm afraid I am not quite articulate enough to express my reasons for wearing one. Have you seen the booklet that (maybe it's org?) has available with information about why women should cover their heads? It's very helpful!

Christina said...

Thanks for stopping by!

I haven't seen that booklet yet.

So far, I haven't had to defend the veil to anyone. The only people who have said anything to me have been quite complimentary about it, even the ones who do not wear veils themselves. Of course, I do attend a parish that tends to be a little more conservative in its approach to liturgy.

diana said...

I used to wear one, but:
1) my son kept yanking it off.
2) my hair is long and it would slide around and once I went up for communion with it hanging by one bobby pin and looking ridiculous.
3) I am vain about it. When I found myself admiring my appearance while wearing one I felt it was not being done in the right spirit of humility. They look so pretty!

The nicest thing about it is that it hides crummy looking hair.

My grandma never wore veils, they wore hats to Mass. That would be another option, although my grandma, like me, was vain about how nice she wanted her hat to look.

Christina said...

Haha. Yes, a small child in one's lap can render the veil impractical instantly. :)

I have a slippage problem too. I finally just started putting my hair up when I go to mass on Sunday, and then stick a hairpin in.

Might have to wear a shorter one though, once the family starts expanding. I've had my hair pulled often enough to know that tiny hands can have a positively Herculean grip. Hmm. :)