This Week’s Ask Alice: Wearing mantillas (chapel veils) at Mass

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Adelaide Asks: Why don’t men wear mantillas (chapel veils) at Latin Mass/Novis Ordo? Why do women wear mantillas?

Alice Answers: Traditionally, men in Western society remove their hats as a sign of respect upon entering a church, classroom, or meeting, and they tip their hats when meeting a lady, or any person in a position of authority.

Latin Masses attendees who wear mantillas in church, cite the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians regarding conduct at public worship:

“Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. Similarly, any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered brings shame upon her head. For a man ought not to cover his head since he is the image of God and the reflection of His glory. Woman, in turn, is the reflection of man’s glory.” (I Corinthians 11:5, 7)

St. Paul’s remarks concerning head coverings for worship conformed with the dress code of his day. During the 1st Century, A.D., Christian women wore head coverings in public places. Their veils were worn to promote modesty. Head coverings were not mandated for the Christian man’s public apparel in the 1st Century. Women donned veils for cultural reasons, so St. Paul simply adapted their worship wardrobe to their clothing customs.

However, St. Paul gave us flawless fashion advice for being the best-dressed Christians in every century:

“Because your are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience….Over all these virtues, put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect.” (Colossians 3:12, 14)

In Christ’s Love,


That which is Veiled is a Holy Vessel

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