The Great Head-Covering Experiment

After the huge amount of interest and commentary generated by my musings on wearing a head-covering to church, I thought I would give an update!


No, I did not look this pretty

So, yesterday, I went to mass and I DID obey the nagging, nudging urge I’ve had to cover my head.

But I did not use the black, veil-y scarf I’d been considering. Instead, heeding all the good advice so many had left here (or emailed), I chose a scarf that matched my blouse and wore it as a scarf, pausing before entering the sanctuary, to just raise the back of it over my head.

Suddenly, I was not a woman with a “traditionalist” veil whose action might be perceived by some as “holier than thou” or even as a silent rebuke to bare-headed women; I was just a lady who chose to loosely drape her scarf around her shoulders and over her head. It almost felt like a mere fashion statement – ala the beautiful lady in my original post.

My self-consciousness disappeared under that scarf, and I not only did not notice anyone giving me the hairy-eyeball about it, I didn’t even look to see reactions.

Covering my head subtly changed things for me. I was only aware of the scarf when I lowered my head to pray, or to read the missalette, but it was not a distracting awareness; instead, I simply felt like my vision and thus my attention was brought into more intense focus. More importantly, that sense of being nudged and nagged was silenced, replaced by something that was just very quiet and settled and peaceful.

I have covered my head at Adoration for a very long time, and at home, while at prayer. The scarf seems to be the answer for me. It is light and unobtrusive; although I am by nature a fidget, I did not find myself playing with the thing at all. Best of all, no one else seemed offended by my veiling. When I left the sanctuary, I simply slipped it from my head and it remained, still…just a pretty scarf.

I asked my husband if he minded being beside a veiled woman and he said, “well, it sort of makes you look short and middle aged. But since you are short and middle aged, I guess there is nothing to be done,” he teased.

“If it bothers you, though, I won’t wear it when I go to church with you,” I offered, because -after all- I did offer to share my life with him all those years ago.

“No, it doesn’t bother me, Babuska Lady,” he replied.

Well, if I look like a short and middle-aged Babuska Lady in my scarf, at least I can’t see myself. And anyway, all that matters is how God sees me, right? Hopefully that is always in a better light than I see myself. Or, at least, a perfect, just and loving light.

Meanwhile, I am curious to know if any of you ladies -having been vocal here or in emails- tried covering this week, and what your experiences were both with regards to others, and within yourselves? And lets have another poll or two:

Did you try covering this past Sunday?
Yes (if yes, do tell!)
No, but I am praying on it.
  
pollcode.com free polls
Has your thinking on head-coverings changed?
Yes, I am LESS open to the idea
Yes, I am MORE open to the idea
No, I still think no one should wear them
No, I still think all women should wear them
No, I told you you would look dumb
  
pollcode.com free polls

For the record, it is not my intention with these posts to try to persuade anyone to cover their heads. This is just a thing going on with me, and the only reason I’m asking others for their thoughts is because so very many women, either here or in emails, indicated that this issue has become meaningful for them, lately.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mel

    Anchoress, thanks for posting the update! You’re an encouragement for me to try this at daily Mass (where I attend Mass on Sunday, it’s not such a big deal to have something on your head, so I wear a scarf, but at daily Mass, it seems those who do wear something are all in lacy veils and I didn’t want to stand out). It’s been helpful to see responses from so many who have some sort of desire (and not a women-must-wear-a-veil tirade) and yet perhaps have been a bit timid. It’s good to hear the scarf blended in so well. I’ll get up the gumption now, for daily Mass!

  • Another Old Catholic

    I did not veil this Sunday, I was worried about my motivation and wanted to pray on it a bit. I did find a couple of links to Russian Orthodox/40′s scarf tying. I wore the long scarf version at home for hours without it falling off or needing adjustment. I’m going to try wearing it next time I go to Church.
    Ehow, cover head large square scarf

    More like that

    [Edited to admit links -admin]

  • Sue from Buffalo

    I have no problems at all if women wish to wear a head covering. It’s not required any more though. (I know, I just threw that in.)

    Wearing a head covering would be difficult for me. I’m a church organist and I have to have peripheral vision. I need to see my choir and the priest. Not at the same time. :)

    I guess what bothers me would be if women thought that they have to wear the head coverings. If they wore them because they wanted to…I’m all for it.

  • Michael Zappe

    You need a sixth option on the poll “No, I still subscribe to the teaching of the Church that it’s optional.” Although I would love to see more of them.

  • NanB

    I am glad to see a post on head coverings!
    I find that I am less distracted when I wear my mantilla at Mass. I started wearing a mantilla a few months ago. I felt awkward at first but I am quite comfortable wearing one now.
    Ebay has a lot of lovely mantillas both new and vintage.

  • Maxine

    the pool should have an option for “no, but if others want to I don’t mind.”

    [I actually had that and then meant to move it, took it out, got distracted and never put it back. -admin]

  • Naomi

    I usually wear a straw hat when it’s warm, and a stocking cap when it’s cold (and being in Florida, there isn’t a lot of in between.) This started out as as strictly functional move when I had a full hour’s walk to get to Mass. But I did notice that feeling of greater focus.

    I am ADD, and I need all the focus help I can get, so I thought, hmmmmm.

    Sometime later, in the temperate weather, I tried a mantilla and it was, itself, a distraction, I have fine hair and it was floppy and slidey and … arrggh.

    But my hats feel so natural now I feel weird without them (as happened last week, when, due to rain, I left the straw hat at home).

    So I guess all I need is a waterproof scarf and I will be all set.

    I’d hate to see head coverings made mandatory, because we humans are such good rebels. But I would like to see a custom take hold… without any judgment to those who feel so led.

  • RS

    I ordered a couple lace veils from here 3 years ago:

    I chose this business after the Jewish site in your earlier post did not have quite what I was looking for, and after I and my Thomas Aquinas College friends couldn’t find a Roman Catholic site with easy online ordering.

    I keep a couple veils in a coin purse in my purse. It has a separate zipper-enclosed space to keep bobby pins, which are the only way I can keep a lace veil on. Keeping the veils in my purse means I always have them with me. Using traditional veils instead of a scarf means I don’t worry about matching my head covering to my outfit.

    Even with bobby pins, I have to readjust my veil after every bow. In our Anglican Catholic services, there is one at every mention of the name of Jesus and also at a couple other times during the Creed and Gloria; also at the passing of the Processional Cross during the processional and recessional.

    I almost always wear a veil in a Roman Catholic church. I consider it so much a part of the Roman Catholic tradition, I figure Roman Catholics should not be surprised or offended. If they’re distracted by a part of their own tradition, that’s their problem.

    At my parish home, sometimes I bother with a veil, and sometimes I don’t. I almost always do at mid-week Masses, when visitors are not expected. I don’t want to surprise or distract them. Chapel veils are not as deep a part of our tradition.

    Some of the older members of my old parish (really mission) in Virginia loved to see a young person resurrecting the tradition. There the trick was to remember which Sundays Mass was to be said in our rented space in the Municipal Arts Center and which it would only be Morning Prayer. I consider covering the head to pray apart/away from the Real Presence a Protestant misunderstanding of the custom.

    Which brings me to the actual theology of these practices. My good friend, the foundress of my parish (or the wife of the founder, depending on who’s telling the story) has made a careful study of the biblical Greek and concluded it just means long hair. At Thomas Aquinas College, one argument for chapel veils was they are women’s liturgical garment, like the dalmatics and surplices the altar boys wear. At first, to assign a liturgical garment to women, and thus a liturgical role during the Mass, seemed to me to misstate women’s role in the Mass. (I guess I should mention here that the Anglican Catholic Church does not have women acolytes or lectors or the like.) This resonated with my good friend, however, and I guess it resonated with me, because that is how I actually employ my chapel veils.

    Also, in matters indifferent, like dress mostly is, why not dress to please older fellow parishioners? I have been told St. Thomas Aquinas argues women may adorn themselves to please their husbands. The priest saying this felt St. Thomas’s argument could extend, in moderation, to fathers and brothers and friends, which seems right to me.

  • Peter

    My wife started wearing a veil about two years ago when we would attend the Tridentine Mass. About three months ago, with some hesitation, she began to also cover her head at our normal parish which has only the Ordinary Form. Her reasoning…if I veil my head out of reverence for Christ’s Presence in the Tabernacle should I not veil myself at the EF and the OF? Our daughters, 9 and 5, also now wear veils at either Form. I think it is a lovely practice and I would encourage any one who feels moved in that directioin to listen to this great homily at audiosancto.org titled “Precious Things are Always Veiled.”

    The direct link is here

    God Bless

  • Another Mel

    I thank you for speaking about this, as a convert to the church I never knew why I saw ladies who covered their heads in church.

    After reading your posts, and the other comments, it has given me something to think on. As a sometime historical re-enacter I am accustomed to using veils and snoods, and they’re a part of taking up my character and putting aside the modern.

    It could be easy to let them help me make a space apart in my modern life as well.

  • mrp

    Reminds me of the days when I was a young lad, and when it time for a Student Mass, Sisters would be posted at the church entrance with a stack of paper towels on one side, and a bowl of bobbie pins on the other :)

  • Peggy Coffey

    My grandmother always covered her head before Mass and insisted that we cover also. If I were to go to Mass now, I would cover my head.

  • http://deleted Jessica

    +J.M.J.+
    I would be interested to know what other mothers (with young children) use for a headcovering at Mass?

  • Amy P.

    This, along with receiving the Eucharist on the tongue, are two things that I’ve given lots of consideration to.

    When I go to our local Latin Mass, I wear a traditional chapel veil. No question.

    I’ve thought about wearing one to my parish, but don’t know how it’d be perceived. A few older, Latina ladies regularly wear them…but, well, they’re not me. Who’s been heavily involved in ministry and is wondering if anyone will say something…

  • RS

    I intended to have a link to a business at the beginning of my prior comment. I don’t see the link. The business is “She Maketh Herself Coverings” and is easy enough to find online.

    [The link is there (see the word "here" and here it is again I embedded it because when you post open url's they most of the time end up in the spam filter. This helpful tutorial on how to make a link is very useful. -admin]

  • dellbabe68

    I have hesitated to write what I think about this because I needed to sort it out.

    I am not one for wearing these, though I encourage you to do it if you like it or if it helps you feel less distracted. I was taken by your mention of a silent rebuke of veiled women towards unveiled. The thing that strikes me is, how much do we all think of this (in either direction) and it may not be what the person is trying to do at all.

    I attended the Tridentine Mass a few years ago, out of curiosity. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they don’t just “do the regular Mass” in Latin. I honestly cannot relate to it and did not like it at all. I like my open confessions, and open-styled Mass, though I want it to be orthodox, if that makes sense. I am very much a product of post Vatican II. (And, let me add, I am fuming over coming changes to the simple language we all know in the Mass, all to please some that apparently don’t have enough work do). Still, thinking on this makes me feel for those who were once veiled, were used to that, and then all of a sudden, they are out of step. I feel badly the Big Change happened, if only for the one’s who felt pain over it, and I don’t know I would have survived that dramatic and all-encompassing change as a Catholic. Yet – and here’s the rub, I am grateful I did not get raised in that Mass as I cannot relate at all.

    So, if it makes you feel more comfortable, you go girl (sorry – I know that drives you nuts). Me, I’m going to keep my focus on Him in the way I do each week, with personal appeals to Him before, during, and after Communion, when I say what needs saying and thank Him for his sacrifice.

    [I'm not much of a girl for the Latin Mass, either; I prefer the Novus Ordo, but with a smattering of Latin, say at the Agnus Dei, the Sanctus, Sanctus, but lacking that, I can live pretty happily with the NO. As to the new language of the Mass, please try to be open to it and not so scornful; this is not some "make work" project for those who do not have enough to do; it is an important correction. All that is really happening is we're bringing the language and responses back to more accurate translations - the very translations I originally learned, when the mass first went vernacular. "The Lord be with you," ("and with your spirit") is the classic, 2000 year old response, so is "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof; speak but the word and my soul shall be healed." "Holy Holy Holy, Lord God of Hosts..." The changes are small, but they are meaningful; they will instantly bring the mass more into focus as a supernatural and vertical - very spiritual - worship, emphasizing the Trinity, and the invitation to Holiness, I hope you will not simply reject it without first trying it out...I suspect you'll like it! :-) admin]

  • Mary

    I tried a scarf at Eucharistic adoration and … nothing. I had neither an increase in focus nor fidget in distraction. This may be due to the fact that I tend to go when so few people are present and therefore, there are few distractions to be advoided.
    As for Sunday mass, I always have on a hat. It finishes the dress. It feels right. I don’t know but, to dress nicely and with a hat does help me get into an attitude of celebrating the mass and being formal.
    Since the act of getting dressed formally for mass helped to adjust my morning attitude, I will continue with a scarf at Adoration, at least for now.

  • Jim Batley

    Women wearing head coverings mark a serious and formal occasion.

    This improves things for all.

    For children more than adults, for men more than women.

  • http://theobservatorium.blogspot.com The Watcher

    ‘instead, I simply felt like my vision and thus my attention was brought into more intense focus’
    I completely understand the idea of focus and attention. When I was in college I took to wearing a hood while I studied. It made the task of concentrating so much easier. Now, when I read and study my Bible, I drape a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) over my head while I read, and my concentration goes straight to the words I’m reading.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Well, I’m always dressed up for church. Just no head coverings. My daughters all wear dresses to church, too. I don’t know what to say….I’m always reverent in church. I always pay attention. I’m a church organist but even when I’m not at the organ, I’m always staying focused on Our Lord. It just…sounds strange…to hear that you feel more focused because you wear a head covering.

    (shrugs). I’m sorry. I don’t know. I’ve only been in the Church for 8 years now. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world…to go to mass. I look at before and I look at now. I’m glad that you’ve all found something that can bring you so much closer to Our Lord. For that it is indeed beautiful.

  • Mary

    To Sue from Buffalo,

    I also am an organist/choir director and I always veil. It doesn’t impede my view of the choir or the priest, at whom I’m looking with a mirror positioned on the organ. If the long ends on either side get on my nerves, I tie them together behind my back.

  • Mimsy

    I say, do whatever brings you closer into communion with God. I, however, would feel distracted by wearing a veil now, although I did wear one as a child when it was required. I do see lots of women at the ”young” adults’ mass on Tuesday evening wearing veils–even some who really are pretty young! I bow my head and close my eyes to avoid being distracted, except when I am focused on the priest and the consecration. It is easy to be distracted, I’ll grant you that!

  • Lucia from Oakland

    I am a recent convert (this past Easter). The first time I entered the church (traditional Latin Mass) I knew I was home. I instinctively wanted to wear a veil. After years of evangelical churches, I loved being in the holy house of God and wanted to manifest my submission, and humble myself in his presence. The church was totally silent with everyone kneeing in prayer, or silent in their seats waiting for Mass. No chit chat going on about what you did over the weekend. It was sublime, and still is.

  • dellbabe68

    Anchoress, I appreciate your response on the updates for the Mass. What is not understood by those changing it is how it feels to change something again and again, when you count on it being what it is each time you go. The Mass is sacred, and yet every so often we can have an update. What makes this particular translation better? Could they not translate as well all those years ago? People come to count on words remaining as they are written. It’s a needless distraction, in my view. The words role off my tongue effortlessly and I am able to concentrate on their meaning and on Him, and now that is interrupted. I’m not sure it’s worth it to interrupt that.

    Sorry to be cross about it but seeing now the Bg Change people went through, and these smaller changes, I feel people should be able to count on something remaining the same and be able to revel in it as is. There is something beautiful and comforting to know the words inside and out and say them without necessarily thinking at that moment as one would during the rest of our time doing this or that.

    [Adele, I understand. I made my First Holy Communion (remember when we always called it Holy Communion, and not just Communion?) in the midst of these changes, and literally one week we were singing Panis Angelicus and the next "Blowin' in the Wind." But it is I think because so many parishes are flounding and undirected, or dealing with liturgical abuse that going back to original texts, correctly translated from the latin, will help stabilize a great deal. It's like the chant. When monastic foundations have difficulty pulling themselves together, they often find that if they renew their commitment to the chanting, and really create a firm foundation on HOW they pray the hours, how they chant them, everything else strengthens. I think this is an exciting time, actually. I think it will be clarifying. Then again, I am one of the few catholics I know who is not really afraid of the inevitable schism in America and the creation of a rival "American Catholic Church." -admin]

  • http://www.marymission.org Barbie

    it always fills me with joy to read other women’s journeys into headcovering… covering has always blessed me tremendously. Catholics, in particular, forget that their headcoverings are sacramentals, and miss out on an avenue of grace that has truly blown me away. THanks for sharing!

  • Carl Eppig

    Last night we celebrated the 14th anniversary of our charismetic prayer group. At the exchange of peace I turned to find two ladies covered with black mantillas, one middle aged and one young. They were both beautiful.

  • Joey

    It was gratifying for me to read all the comments about headcoverings, because I sensed the great spirituality of all the women who responded. God bless you all.

  • Jennifer

    Question: for those women that do use a veil, do you have children, and if so are they young children, and if so, is the veil a distraction when you are trying to corral them?

  • Maureen

    Hats and other headcoverings have been part of normal human dress for… well, probably as long as humans dressed. Winter or summer, you’d always want something on your head. We of the last few decades are the weird ones. Which is why hats are coming back.

    Re: translation — Actually, they purposefully avoided translating the bits they didn’t like, and simply made up a lot of the rest. Other languages didn’t suffer from this kind of arrogant meddling. What rolls off our tongue was designed by the translators to keep us ignorant of basic Church teachings. We have been fed sawdust gruel mixed with real food, and only the Church’s supernatural powers have kept us from slowly starving to death. At first it will taste strange, but after a while, our cheeks will stop looking so hollow and pasty, and we’ll feel much stronger.

  • Shannan

    Every time I come to your place I find something I did not know I was looking for. Today it is The Scarf. I am not Catholic so there isn’t a soul in church wearing one. BUT, I have found myself disturbingly distracted during my daily prayers and devotional time here at home. Even when I sequester myself in my room with nothing but my Bible and good intentions I find myself pondering chipotle or adobo in the chili tonight? My mental wandering disturb me on many levels. I am going to try slipping on a veil before settling into the scripture tonight. I think it will help me focus, put my mind to my purpose… maybe make the connection better.

    Thank you Anchoress. Also, thank you for introducing me to the wonderful Pioneer Woman site. Strangely I had few problems concentrating on her recipes and black heels story.

  • joan

    Here is a link to a beautiful picture of Jesus and I especially think the quote by Bishop Sheen is true.Most people are orientated and directed by their feelings instead of Faith and Truth during their worship of God at The Holy Mass. This has allowed great abuse.This post and comments are all about how “we” feel and what “we” like as opposed to what is correct.If you understood how modernism and the New Mass are so opposed to the true Church and her traditional teachings, you would weep to understand how serious and dangerous it is.It saddens me that almost all Churches are now modernists and liberal.
    The quote and picture can be found at catholictradition.org/Week/week.htm

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Jennifer, when my son was younger, he used to pull my scarf off during services, so I stopped wearing one (or wore a Russian style babushka instead, which he didn’t seem to find as fascinating.)

    He seems to have grown out of that now. Watching other women at my church in headscarves, I would say that they’re not hampered at all looking after their kids.

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Re: Translations.

    I received my first St. Joseph Sunday Missal for my First Holy Communion and it featured Latin on one side with the English translation on the other. I received my St. Joseph Daily Missal for my Confirmation and it’s entirely in English, but it’s the first (original?) translation. Even now, 44 years later, I still find myself responding using that translation instead of the more recent one. I don’t even realize it until one of the kids gives me a strange look. :)

  • Claudia

    Dear Anchoress,
    I completely understand your journey. For several years I felt the nudge to cover my head during Mass and I ignored it. One Sunday, while visiting my father who is 86, I suddenly felt compelled beyond ignoring to pull my light weight shawl from around my shoulders and placed it over my head. I knew that if anyone would understand and support me, it would be my father. During Mass I worried, since it is a small parish and my fathers hometown, what would people think etc. But, when it came time for Communion, I was no longer concerned.

    When I returned home, I told my husband of my decision and asked him how he would feel. He kissed the top of my head and said he thought it was fine if I felt called to do it. My teenage boys kissed my forehead and said, “Cool.”

    Like you, I do not want a lacy netting veil. I want one that is more like something I would imagine Our Lady wearing. So, I chose an ordinary woven scarf that I bought on sale at the local discount store. It is lightweight, doesnt slip and slide and I can double it as a scarf on my way in and out(in my mind–Im getting my money’s worth.lol)

    I feel as though I am pulling a veil around myself and my Beloved during Mass. I am rarely distracted by noises around me or anything else. I don’t even know if anyone has given me the “hairy eyeball”, I don’t look. I have had a few comments, but they are all positive and the men almost always give a slight bow when I interact with them.

    I am glad I listened to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit that day and I hope you will continue to keep us updated.

    Thank you for the wonderful work you do on your site. Peace be with you.

  • http://centralpennsylvaniaorthodox.wordpress.com/ rightwingprof

    At our parish, approximately half the women cover their heads, either with hats or scarves (mantillas in an Orthodox church would be culturallly odd). We do many deep bows and full prostrations, which I suppose is why women don’t just pin the scarves on, but wrap them. What’s interesting is the distribution. Almost none of the baby boomers cover their heads, and nearly all of those older or younger do. It’s also interesting that the church self-segregates by sex (mostly), men on the right and women on the left, as is traditional, but there are women with their heads covered standing on the right side of the church and women who never cover their heads who always stand on the left side, and never with their husbands on the right side. So head covering and standing on the traditionally appropriate side for your sex are obviously not connected. And neither the priest nor the matushka do anything to encourage either head coverings or segregating the worship space. It just happens. The older women tend to wear hats; none of the younger women do.

  • http://www.vivacristorey.blogspot.com Donna P

    Ah … hence the value of deep wimples.

    I have not worn a scarf or mantilla, but for many years now, after Communion, I kneel with my elbows propped on the pew back in front of me with hands cupped around my forehead (my pinkies wimple). It is an immediate signal to my body to enter more deeply into prayer and thanksgiving. I was initially self conscious about it – but no longer. At daily Mass I aim to sit in the back pew and often just rest my forehead on the pew back in front of me after Communion. Life’s too short and opportunities for deep prayer after Communion too few to worry about how one appears. I’m talkin’ with my Jesus.

  • dellbabe68

    The Blowing in the Wind comment made me laugh out loud. Okay. I understand. I just hope they got everything this time. Sheesh.

    Now, a rival American church scares the hell out of me! This is the place that made abortion safe, legal, and frequent. And I think we invented liturgical dancers. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

  • http://underhermantle.wordpress.com Mary Kay

    Donna P, I do the same or similar during the Consecration and post-Communion.

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  • La Gallina

    About kids and veils,

    I have 5 kids, ages 17 months, 3years, 5, 7, and 12. I wear a regular mantilla. I don’t use bobby pins or anything, and I really haven’t had a problem with the babies pulling on it. Once in a while they notice it and give it a tug, but I usually manage to distract them with my necklace or something. I guess they just get used to seeing it. Once or twice it has been pulled or slipped off, but I just pull it back up. I’m not self-conscious about it anymore.

  • Catherine

    It is not about whether one personally feels comfortable, strange, pretty, awkward, etc. or not about covering your head… this is where things go wrong. It is not about fashion either. When one subsitutes sacred tradition for personal feelings or views, relativism and “creativity” comes into play. This is evident everywhere. Our focus should always be on giving glory to God, always pleasing God; it should never be about oneself. God is all that matters in our lives and all we should be concerned with. We were put on this earth to know, love and serve God. God bless you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03414765854670926854 Enbrethiliel

    +JMJ+

    When I hear that a veil or other head covering is a “silent rebuke” to women who do not wear them, I have to wonder whether those who think so are just projecting their own feelings about the issue. How many of us think we were rebuked silently–about anything–when the other party didn’t even care?

    I also think the oft-repeated “You should do it if it makes you feel closer to God, keeps you less distracted, etc” line is quite condescending. It looks only at what the head covering means to certain individuals (whether they love it or hate it) and not what it means in the tradition of the Church. This reflects the fact that the veil has become a highly politicised symbol, but doesn’t tell anyone what the veil actually is.

  • Andrew

    Growing up, I never saw a woman cover their head in my home parish. Rarely, when at other parishes, I might notice one, but it was few and far between. Now, however, I see about 10-20 every Mass. It was distracting to me initially (i.e. the first couple minutes of Mass the first time I saw them), but now that I’ve grown accustomed to it, it actually removes some of the distractions. As a single 23 year old, focusing on the Mass can be difficult if there are young women in front who dressed more to look pretty than to go to Mass. The veil, combined with even remotely modest dress, goes a long way to remove that distraction.

    Now this is not a screed demanding that they be worn, but from a practical standpoint, they not only may help remove distractions from the wearer, but they help add an overall tone of reverance and focus on the Mass. I like seeing the “comeback”, and hope that it is part of an overall revival on orthodoxy in the American Church.

    Just my $.02.

  • http://www.farm-hijabi.blogspot.com Coffee Catholic

    I have a whole variety of head coverings! Flowered hats, square scarves, rectangle scarves, Mennonite-style kapps, sun bonnets… I just wear whatever I feel like wearing and I don’t care what anyone thinks or if I “blend in” or not.

    This sunday I wore my yellow gingham (sp?) sun bonnet with my yellow striped modified Regency dress. Sun bonnets are great for having something to quickly toss onto your head!

  • http://modestfashioncents.blogspot.com/ Ms.Modest Fashion Cents

    I found your article here through another blog. I’m glad you had a good experiance with your scarf.

    I wear head coverings to church too (I wear them most of the time outside the house) and I’m the only one in my church who wears a scarf. I’ve been at this church now for a little more than a year and most of the people are pretty used to me. Actually there are only two people at church who’ve ever really asked me about my scarves.

    Any ways; I’ve discovered too that wearing a head covering that matches your outfit does seem to be less intimidating to people. It can be a “fashion statement” or it can mean something else. That all depends on who’s “interpreting” what they are seeing.

    So any how – glad you were happy with your scarf experiance.

  • Pingback: Blogging about the Covering at Mass « Catholic Hijabi

  • http://yahoo gilad

    My mother has always used a lace veil! my other sisters and my neices use scarfs(like in the Middle East) for worship in the Church!

  • Bernadette Song

    In my opinion, ALL women should cover their heads when attending Mass. (Doesn’t anyone read the bible?) I am disappointed that nuns have been allowed to ditch their habits….the irreverent, lost world we live in today needs role models of purity and humility. And God STILL deserves our utmost display of respect. Like my grandmother used to say…”The way you dress to come to dinner shows your level of respect for the hostess”. How much more this applies to God…our Host.

  • sv

    The only reason I truly consider covering my face, is to protect my skin from the sun. I grew up Catholic and the women wore headcoverings when we went to mass. I even did so as a teenager until about 22. But really, it has nothing to do with my spiritual connection to God, so I don’t wear one now. I say, whatever floats your boat, and makes you feel good. That’s great. Keep at it.


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