Why Women Should Wear a Veil in Church

Msgr. Pope, as always, has another informative article here on the Washington D.C. diocesan website pertaining to the age-old custom of women wearing veils or head covering in church. He cites a pastor in Sri-Lanka who wants to restore the custom and implement a dress code in the cathedral of Colombo. Sounds to me like a good idea, long overdue, but commonly practiced by those women who attend the traditional Latin Mass. I would add another reason to Monsignor’s in this regard. I came across the argument a few years ago on some Catholic website. The reason had to do with Our Lady. One of the prophecies from the Old Testament regarding the Mother of God reads: How long wilt thou be dissolute in deliciousness, O wandering daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth: A WOMAN SHALL COMPASS A MAN (Jeremias 31:22). The last words are actually in capital letters in the Douay English translation. To Jesus through Mary is a favorite Marian axiom. Well, did you know that the veil covering the tabernacle symbolizes the Blessed Mother, who is always veiled and who always “encompasses” her divine Son? Therefore, as Monsignor Pope points out, since scripture says that a woman’s hair is her glory, it is fitting that she imitate the humility of the Blessed Mother and cover her hair in church so as not to take away the glory due to God in His holy tabernacle. “Lord, I have loved the beauty of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwelleth,” the priest prays during the Lavabo. Many saints have applied these verses from the Psalms to Our Lady who is the unique “place” where the glory of God dwells most abundantly.

  • joan mikluscak

    The very first obstacle that must be overcome is one’s pride! Wearing a veil or a hat requires a certain amount of humility which I had to struggle with during the first few weeks of wearing a veil. It sounds silly but there it is. Humility is what is required in order to conform oneself to the order required in God’s House.

  • Lexie

    I take objection to the syntax used on this post’s title. This website claims the article explains why women “should” wear veils. Instead, it is a discussion about the custom of veils and the reasons why women prefer to wear them. The actual article in question states that the “blog post is not meant to be a directive discussion about what should be done.”

    Modest dress is certainly appreciated at Mass, but let’s be real: a skimpy halter top is not the same thing as entering church with a bare head. Modesty is possible without a veil. I respect the women who wear veils, just as I hope they respect my decision to not wear a veil. Both are in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic church.

  • Lexie: The way I see it, you don’t take exception to the syntax. You take exception to the content. I’m sorry if the article we linked to didn’t adequately prove the proposition “women should wear a veil in Church.”

    Truth to tell, the present discipline of the Church is the same as the 2,000 year tradition of the Church: Women are to wear veils in church.

    I suggest you review this article:

    http://www.fisheaters.com/theveil.html

    I agree with your objections to skimpy halter tops, but I suggest you go all the way to the perennial traditions of the Church (East and West) to discover the full truth about how Catholic ladies should dress in Church.

  • Lexie

    Thank you Brother Andre. The link was an interesting read and certainly provided food for thought!