Chapel veil, that is.
For the past year and a half or so, I have been having an internal discussion with God. It revolves around the wearing of the mantilla, or chapel veil.
In a bout of pious-ness two summers ago, I bought one, very similar to the one pictured above. Since that time, I’ve struggled about whether or not to wear it. Some days I do, some days, I don’t.
I do not attend the Latin Mass, where it is most common for women to wear chapel veils. I do, however, attend a church where the Latin Mass is performed, and I receive the Eucharist on the tongue, kneeling at a communion rail. I often FEEL that I ought to be covering my head.
And yet…I hesitate. The main reason for this is, I think, the fact there are only a few women at my church who wear the chapel veil, and so I fear drawing attention to myself during Mass by wearing it. Of course, the point of the chapel veil, along with showing reverence for and submission to God, is to promote modesty while at Mass. So, if wearing a chapel veil draws attention to myself, because I am one of the only ones wearing one, then am I contradicting the purpose of wearing the mantilla in the first place?
The last week or two, God has really been putting this issue on my heart to consider. I keep remembering what I wrote in my post on modesty; namely that women should do what God asks them to do. This applies to me too.
In doing some research, I found an article that is really though-provoking about some of the reasons for wearing the chapel veil. The section of his article I liked the most was this:
“The authentic Catholic reason for wearing the chapel veil is the Biblical reason. It’s just something that all Christian women (regardless of denomination) are supposed to do, not because they have to, but because they’re supposed to want to. The Catholic Church has decided to no longer enforce this Biblical custom through Canon Law, and in doing so, the Church is saying it does not want to be our nanny. The chapel veil is a custom for women to do voluntarily, because they want to, not because they are being forced to. The idea is that women are to read what the Scriptures have to say, and be convicted according to what is contained therein. In order for a chapel veil to be an authentic sign of humility and holiness, it must be voluntary. Indeed, Christian women are supposed to wear one, but it is never to be forced.”
The whole thing is here.
I think this practice differs from say, the practice of women in Islam covering their heads. In Islam, a woman must cover her head whenever she is in the presence of a man. In this Christian practice, women cover their heads when they are in the presence of God (in the Eucharist at Church).
Has anyone else struggled with whether or not to wear the chapel veil? What are your thoughts about taking up the veil? I’d love to know what you think!