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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Altcatholicah Article on the Mantilla

Altcatholicah has published an article on the mantilla

Click here! 

Article text below:
  On any given Sunday at Our Lady of Suburbia, one is likely to see women and girls dressed in halter-necks, strapless dresses, skinny jeans, and mini-skirts. Depending on the weather, one might also find flip-flops or ugg boots. In our parish, the extraordinary ministers sometimes choose to hand out communion in their sneakers and matching velour tracksuits. One might even see the occasional fanny-pack.
And at the same time, every once in a while, one is likely to see a woman in the congregation with a veiled head. It might be a silk scarf. More often than not it’s a beautiful lace mantilla – black if she’s married and ivory if she’s single.
Wearing a mantilla to Mass is an oddity now, but for nearly 2000 years all Catholic women veiled their heads in church as a sign of devotion and respect. In the West, this practice was largely abandoned only in the 1960s. While other nations (Korea and the Philippines, for example) have continued this tradition, we’ve swapped the mantilla for the proverbial fanny-pack.
Fortunately, however, the mantilla is making a comeback. Increasing numbers of young Catholic women (myself included) are choosing to ditch the skinny jeans and veil at Mass.
Dressing well for Mass is an external manifestation of the belief that what we are doing is important: it says that we care. It shows the respect we have for the other members of our parish. More importantly, however, it is also a sign of our respect for God in the Blessed Sacrament.
The same reasoning applies to the mantilla.
It isn’t mandatory for us to veil at Mass. But we can if we want to. This applies to the ordinary form Mass as much as it does to the extraordinary form. And if we truly believe that Christ is actually present before us in the Eucharist, then why wouldn’t we?
External acts can orient as well as express our inner thoughts and disposition. This is why our Mass (in both forms) is so rich in ritual and posture. These externals help keep our minds where they should be -- on the Mass and on Our Lord in the Eucharist. 
Ask yourself, why it is that brides still wear veils on their wedding day? One reason is that the veil indicates the solemnity of the occasion. It is a reminder that -- for her -- this day is unlike any other. It is also a physical sign of the gift of self that she intends to make through the Sacrament of Marriage. Both of these reasons (whether conscious or not) transform the bride’s veiling from being purely about the aesthetics into something else. Although she is the center of attention, her choice of garment, color, and veil sends a message to those around her: “when you look at me and see my veil, remember that I am here to participate in something greater and bigger than myself.”
Some women choose to wear a mantilla for the same reasons. The mantilla is a reminder that this place and moment in time is unlike any other and should be observed as such. It is also a sign of the spiritual gift of self that the woman intends to make to Our Lord during the Mass and as she prays before the tabernacle.
Others veil in imitation of the Blessed Virgin. They seek to follow her example of humility, modesty and purity -- as well as the Jewish custom of covering one’s head -- when they are near our Lord in the Tabernacle.
 Others still choose to veil because they want to conform to St. Paul’s words in Corinthians when he instructs women to cover their heads when praying:
. . . for a woman to pray or prophesy with her head uncovered shows disrespect for her head; it is exactly the same as if she had her hair shaved off. Indeed, if a woman does go without a veil, she should have her hair cut off too; but if it is a shameful thing for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, then she should wear a veil. (1 Corinthians 11: 5-6).
I veil at Mass because it matters to me that I am before God. I veil as an external manifestation of my belief that Christ is really present in the Eucharist. I veil because it helps me to be more reverent. I veil as an act of humility before God. I veil because I believe. I veil because I care.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Tradition behind Mantillas/Chapel Veils

From The Catholic Company: 
              "Since the early days of Christianity, wearing chapel veils has been a common practice among faithful women. Chapel veils, also commonly called mantillas, which comes from the word manta, meaning cape, are typically circular or triangular shaped pieces of black or white lace that are draped over a woman’s head when attending Mass, or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Traditionally, the black veils were worn by married or widowed women, while the white veils were worn by young girls, or unmarried women.
             Throughout the centuries, the use of the mantilla by women has had many purposes.  The wearing of the Mantilla is an act of veiling a woman's physical beauty, so that the beauty of God may be glorified instead. It is also a way of emulating, Mary, our mother, who is the archetype of purity and humility.   Moreover, the mantilla, or chapel veil, signifies the role of women as a life-bearing vessel.   The chalice holding the blood of Christ is veiled until the Preparation of the Gifts, and the tabernacle veiled between Masses. Both of these vessels hold the Eucharist – the very life of Christ. In a similar fashion, woman was endowed with the gift of bearing human life. 
Before the Second Vatican Council, the wearing of chapel veils was required for a woman when attending Mass, as a symbol of her modesty and humility before God.  Although this practice is no longer required, it is still very much supported and encouraged by the Church as a sign of reverence and piety while in the presence of God. "

Catholic Phoenix: For Better or Worse: Mantillas are Making a Quiet Comeback

"Poised to grab the one year-old at any moment, whose favorite thing to do is pushing the power strip button while Mommy is on the computer, I had been watching the first few minutes of Auxiliary Bishop Nevares’ ordination Mass when the processional hymn was abruptly interrupted by the jarring sound of an imaginary needle being dragged across this virtual recording. I saw heads veiled in black lace!
I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Growing up in the diocese of Phoenix, I never thought I would see the day when chapel veils would resurface, especially during a liturgical procession. Not that long ago it was more common to see graceful bare feet under flowing skirts dancing up the center aisle.
Many of the women in the Nevares procession looked old enough to have known what it was like back when all Catholic females wore the mantilla. I recognized one of these ladies–a thirty year family friend–and I have never seen her head covered except when it was full of curlers. Nope, I didn’t see any curlers.
Mulieres autem, capite cooperto et modeste vestitae, maxime cum ad mensam Dominicam accedunt: “…that when women approach the table of the Lord, it is best that they do so modestly clad and with covered heads.” This is what Canon 1262 in the old 1917 Code of Canon Law says, and it was at least in theory binding until 1983.
But the 1969 newspaper clipping to the left suggests a decline in the mantilla’s popularity was already underway at that time; the custom was changing even if the law hadn’t yet (he wouldn’t have had to “insist” anything unless there had been pressure to the contrary.) The new Code of Canon Law revised in 1983 no longer has any statement about head covering in it. My mother and grandmother were both pretty conservative Catholics, but I don’t ever remember either of them wearing the lace.  Not even a fancy hat on Easter.
Even though we don’t have to wear the mantilla anymore, I’ve noticed that some women want to. Depending upon which parish you are at, you may see one or several ladies graced in lace at a regular Sunday morning mass. The ladies I have seen are mostly under forty. I bet some of you reading this post are guilty of being veil-curious, and maybe even own one, buried in the back of your sock drawer.
Can it be that more women are unleashing their inner bride and donning the mantilla at mass?
After the “Extraordinary Form”—the 1962 Latin Mass, “EF” for short–started being said at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church here in Phoenix in June of 2004, some parishioners that I know of, including my family, were very curious about it.  (This could be happening all over the world.) For years I resisted the mantilla even when attending the EF–maybe a hat, if anything. But eventually, about a year ago, I decided to “pin one on”—and I have not stopped wearing it since, no matter whether I’m at the old mass or the ordinary mass.
Summorum Pontificum, effective on September 14, 2007, has made the old Latin Mass more widely available to Catholics, removing the requirement of the Bishop’s explicit permission. In his statements about this document, Pope Benedict spoke about the “mutual enrichment” that he hoped would follow from a broader re-introduction of the old Mass and its culture to the mainstream of the Church’s life. The number of EF masses in this country has increased by approximately 300% in 21 years. Will the growing number of Catholic women and girls exposed to this older form of worship and the old customs around it, even occasionally, start sporting the veil at all forms of the Catholic mass in the next 20 years?
I’d say it’s a lot more likely than a renaissance in barefoot liturgical dance."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Charlene Wittstock wearing a mantilla

The Princess of Monaco is a mantilla fan! So regal and beautiful! 

Funeral of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, 24 March 2011

Date unknown

Date unknown

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The veiled Virgin

From the collection at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

The Crucifixion with the Mourning Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist  
1460, Rogier van der Weyden 

Predella panel showing the funeral of the Virgin Mary 
Fra Angelico, 1425 

Panels from an altarpiece showing the Virgin and Child
1481, Vittore Crivelli

Virgin teaching the Christ Child to Read 
1500, Pinturicchio

Altarpiece showing scenes from Christ's life
(this scene: The Visitation). 
Unknown Flemish artists, 1535

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mantilla in the Movies: Columbiana

Apparently a character (the grandma) in the new (and violent) action flick, Columbiana, regularly wears a mantilla to mass.

Review by the Catholic News Service below.



By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Two things to note about Cataleya, the central character in the over-the-top action flick "Colombiana" (TriStar/Stage 6): As a trained assassin, she's very good at killing people; as played by Zoe Saldana, she's even better at looking good while she does it.

Lest you miss the latter point, Cataleya conveniently dons a skintight black leotard to carry out one of her elaborate trademark hits.

What's a nice girl like her doing in the death-for-dollars racket? Well, way back in 1992, as early scenes show us, young Bogota-born Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) witnessed the fatal outcome of a tiff between her parents and her father's employer, a Colombian drug lord named Don Luis (Beto Benites).

Making her way to the States, the orphaned Cataleya found shelter with her gangster uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis), a thug with a heart of gold -- if only for his kith and kin.

Already out for revenge against Don Luis and his chief minion Marco (Jordi Molla), the traumatized tot demanded that Tio Emilio immediately teach her how to introduce folks to the Big Sleep. With avuncular wisdom, however, he insisted that she graduate from grammar school first.

Flash forward to the current millennium and we find Cataleya executing contracts for Emilio while still pursuing her dreams of vengeance. But an FBI agent named Ross (Lennie James), though remarkably slow on the uptake, is at least lukewarm on her trail, while her heretofore anonymous romance with increasingly nosy artist Danny (Michael Vartan) also threatens to thwart her plans.

Pure pulp, director Olivier Megaton's shoot'em-up expends ammo at a "Scarface" pace, yet generally demurs from showing the gory consequences of its gun battles, or of its heroine's more creative rub-outs, such as that involving a shark tank.

Catholic viewers may be wryly amused by the fact that Emilio is portrayed as attending Sunday Mass on a regular basis, accompanied by his elderly mother (Ofelia Medina), who still wears a mantilla to church. Like many a mafia don on screen and -- who knows? -- perhaps off it as well, he seems not to have noticed that Gospel values and a life of violent crime are just a tad incongruous.

Maybe he missed that Sunday.

The film contains constant, largely bloodless, action violence, a vengeance theme, brief nongraphic premarital sexual activity, a few uses of profanity, at least one instance of rough language and frequent crude or crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

- - -

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Heads of State and Pope Benedict - Update


 2 March 2011, Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, Pope Benedict XVI and Chilean President's wife Cecilia Mores.


Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (R) kisses Pope Benedict XVI's (C) hand. 04 June 2011.


Pope Benedict XVI with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Orban's wife Aniko Levai, and their five children, December 6, 2010.


Pope Benedict XVI with Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson (L) and Grimsson's wife Dorrit Moussaieff (R), 04 March 2011.


Pope Benedict XVI with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers and his wife Lilita Zatlere. April 14, 2011.


Lebanon President Michel Sleiman and his wife with Pope Benedict XVI, February 24 2011


Pope Benedict XVI with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, May 2, 2011.


Pope Benedict XVI with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana, 17 February 2011. 

On the tongue and while kneeling: what are your thoughts?

Below is an article quoting Cardinal Llovera to the effect that Catholics should receive communion on the tongue while kneeling!

I receive on the tongue but do not kneel at the ordinary form mass.

I am not sure whether I am brave enough to start kneeling to receive ... I already feel like the odd one out wearing my mantilla.

What do you think?


“On the tongue and while kneeling”

Cardinal offers guidance on receiving Communion, urges correction of liturgical abuses

Lima, Peru (CNA) -- Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the cardinal said in an interview with CNA during a recent visit to Peru. His remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.” Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

“If we trivialize Communion, we trivialize everything, and we cannot lose a moment as important as that of receiving Communion, of recognizing the real presence of Christ there, of the God who is the love above all loves, as we sing in a hymn in Spanish,” said Cardinal Canizares.

In response to a question about the liturgical abuses that often occur, Cardinal Canizares said they must be “corrected, especially through proper formation: formation for seminarians, for priests, for catechists, for all the Christian faithful.”

Such a formation should ensure that liturgical celebrations take place “in accord with the demands and dignity of the celebration, in accord with the norms of the Church, which is the only way we can authentically celebrate the Eucharist,” he added.

“Bishops have a unique responsibility” in the task of liturgical formation and the correction of abuses, the cardinal said, “and we must not fail to fulfill it, because everything we do to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated properly will ensure proper participation in the Eucharist.”

Source: California Catholic Daily 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Should Women Cover Their Heads?

This article was posted more than a year ago but is worth reading and adding to in the comments section if you feel so inspired.

Should Women Cover Their Heads in Church?
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
First posted at Archdiocese of Washington Blog.

Now be of good cheer. This blog post is meant to be a light-hearted discussion of this matter. The bottom line is that the Church currently has NO rule on this matter and women are entirely free to wear a veil or a hat in Church or not.

I thought I’d blog on this since it came up in the comments yesterday and it occurred to me that it might provoke an interesting discussion. But again this is not meant to be a directive discussion about what should be done. Rather an informative discussion about the meaning of head coverings for women in the past and how such customs might be interpreted now. We are not in the realm of liturgical law here just preference and custom.

What I’d like to do is to try and understand the meaning and purpose of a custom that, up until rather recently was quite widespread in the Western Church. The picture at the right was taken by LIFE Magazine in the early 1960s.

With the more frequent celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, the use of the veil is also becoming more common. But even at the Latin Masses I celebrate, women exhibit diversity in this matter. Some wear the longer veil (mantilla) others a short veil. Others  wear hats. Still others wear no head covering at all.

History – the wearing of a veil or hat for women seems to have been a fairly consistent practice in the Church in the West until fairly recently. Practices in the Eastern and Orthodox Churches have varied. Protestant denominations also show a wide diversity in this matter. The 1917 Code of Canon Law in  the Catholic Church mandated that women wear a veil or head covering. Prior to 1917 there was no universal Law but it was customary in most places for women to wear some sort of head covering. The 1983 Code of Canon Law made no mention of this requirement and by the 1980s most women, at least here in America, had ceased to wear veils or hats anyway. Currently there is no binding rule and the custom in most places is no head covering at all.  

Scripture – In Biblical Times women generally wore veils in any public setting and this would include the Synagogue. The clearest New Testament reference to women veiling or covering their head is from St. Paul:

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head.  But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.  For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.  A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man;  for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.  Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been given (her) for a covering? But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God. (1 Cor 11:1-11)

This is clearly a complicated passage and has some unusual references. Paul seems to set forth four arguments as to why a woman should wear a veil.

1. Argument 1 – Paul clearly sees the veil a woman wears as a sign of her submission to her husband. He also seems to link it to modesty since his references to a woman’s  hair cut short were references to the way prostitutes wore their hair and his reference to a shaved head was the punishment due an adultress. No matter how you look at it such arguments aren’t going to encourage a lot of women to wear a veil today. It is a true fact that the Scriptures consistently teach that a wife is to be submitted to her husband. I cannot and will not deny what God’s word says even though it is unpopular. However I will say that the same texts that tell a woman to be submitted tell the husband to have a great and abiding love for his wife. I have blogged on this “difficult” teaching on marriage elsewhere and would encourage you to read that blog post if you’re troubled or bothered by the submission texts. It is here: An Unpopular Teaching on Marriage. That said, it hardly seems that women would rush today to wear veils to emphasize their submission to their husband.

2. Argument 2 – Regarding the Angels- Paul also sees a reason for women to wear veils “because of the angels.” This is a difficult reference  to understand. There are numerous explanations I have read over the years. One of the less convincing ones is that the angels are somehow distracted by a woman’s beauty. Now the clergy might be  but it just doesn’t seem likely to me that the angels would have this problem. I think the more convincing argument is that St. Paul has Isaiah in mind who wrote: I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple. Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.(Is 6:2-3). Hence the idea seems to be that since the angels veil their faces (heads) it is fitting for women to do the same. But then the question, why not a man too? And here also Paul supplies an aswer that is “difficult” for modern ears: A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. In other words a man shares God’s glory immediately whereas a woman does as well but derivatively for she was formed from Adam’s wounded side. Alas this argument too will not likely cause a run on veil sales.

3. Argument 3 – The argument from “nature” – In effect Paul argues that since nature itself veils a woman with long hair and this is her glory that this also argues for her covering her head in Church. What is not clear is that, if nature has already provided this covering, why then should she cover her covering? I want to take up this notion of glory in my conclusion.

4. Argument 4-  The Argument from Custom-  This argument is pretty straight-forward: Paul says it is customary for a woman to cover her head when praying and, other things being equal, this custom should be followed. Paul goes on to assert that those who insist on doing differently are being “argumentative.” In effect he argues that for the sake of good order and to avoid controversy the custom should be followed. However, in calling it a custom, the text also seems to allow for a time like ours where the custom is different. Customs have stability but are not usually forever fixed. Hence, though some argue that wearing veils is a scriptural norm that women “must” follow today, the use of the word custom seems to permit of the possibility that it is not an unvarying norm we are dealing with here. Rather, it is a custom from that time that does not necessarily bind us today. This of course seems to be how the Church understands this text for she does not require head coverings for her daughters.

Conclusions -

1. That women are not required to wear veils today is clear in terms of Church Law. The argument that the Church is remiss in not requiring this of her daughters is hard to sustain when scriptures attach the word “custom” to the practice.

2. I will say however that I like veils and miss women wearing them. When I was a boy in the 1960s my mother and sister always wore their veils and so did all women in those days and I remember how modestly beautiful I found them to be. When I see women wear them today I have the same impression.

3. That said, a woman does not go to Church to please or impress me.

4. It is worth noting that a man is still forbidden to wear a hat in Church. If I see it I go to him and ask him to remove it. There  a partial exception to the clergy who are permitted to wear birettas and to bishops who are to wear the miter. However, there are strict rules in this regard that any head cover is to be removed when they go to the altar. Hence,  for men,  the rule, or shall we say the custom, has not changed.

5. Argument 5 – The Argument from Humility – This leads me then to a possible understanding of the wearing of the veil for women and the uncovered head for the men that may be more useful to our times. Let’s call it The Argument from Humility.

For both men and women, humility before God is the real point of these customs. In the ancient world as now, women gloried in their hair and often gave great attention to it. St. Paul above,  speaks of a woman’s hair as her glory. As a man I am not unappreciative of this glory. Women do wonderful things with their hair. As such their hair is part of their glory and, as St. Paul says it seems to suggest above  it is appropriate to cover our glory before the presence of God.

As for men, in the ancient world and to some lesser extent now, hats often signified rank and membership. As such men displayed their rank and membership in organizations with pride in the hats they wore. Hence Paul tells them to uncover their heads and leave their worldly glories aside when coming before God. Today men still do  some of this (esp. in the military) but men wear less hats in general. But when they do they are often boasting of allegiances to sports teams and the like. Likewise, some men who belong to fraternal organizations such as the various Catholic Knights groups often  display ranks on their hats. We clergy do this as well to some extent with different color poms on birettas etc. Paul encourages all this to be left aside in Church. As for the clergy, though we may enter the Church with these ranked hats and insignia, we are to cast them aside when we go to the altar. Knights organizations are also directed  to set down their hats when the Eucharistic prayer begins.

I do not advance this argument from humility to say women ought to cover their heads, for I would not require what the Church does not. But I offer the line of reasoning as a way to understand veiling in a way that is respectful of the modern setting, IF  a woman chooses to use the veil. Since this is just a matter of custom then we are not necessarily required to understand its meaning in exactly the way St. Paul describes. Submission is biblical but it need not be the reason for the veil. Humility before God seems a more workable understanding especially since it can be seen to apply to both men and women in the way I have tried to set it forth.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guest Blogger: Genevieve from Theology of Swing

Why I wear a veil: Theology of the Body and much more!

By Genevieve. First posted at Theology of Swing.

Since many women… and men… ask me why I wear a veil, I thought I’d post a brief response here.

Included at the end are links to the late Pope John Paul II’s Wednesday audiences which make up the collection of writings that are called, “The Theology of the Body.”

The following is a response that I gave to a recent blog, found here:

I’m 36 and started wearing the veil 5 years ago. It felt awkward at first, but that was because I was concerned it would cause controversy. I was surprised to find that I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback for 5 years – usually from men – priests and lay – who LOVE to see women wearing the veil.
Here’s what my grandfather told me when I was about 8:
White veils are for unmarried women.
Black veils are for married women.
I never thought about it until I was over 30, strongly called to the vocation of marriage, and painfully single.

Wearing the veil helped me to remember that my FIRST vocation (everyone’s FIRST vocation) is a call to holiness. Regardless of your station in life – single, divorced seeking an annulment, married, widowed, seminarian, clergy, consecrated religious – our vocation is to holiness. Christ is the bridegroom, and we as the church are His bride. The veil reminded me that I was already a bride – it wasn’t something that was going to be kept from me.

Wearing the veil was also inspired through my study of the Theology of the Body where I became aware that women have a particular propensity to control things and avoid submission. (Men have their own particular propensity – their own weakness in another area.)  This is why Ephesians 5:22-33 is so important and such a bitter pill for women to swallow. I realized this was true in myself and use the veil to make a conscious statement to God that I desired to be submissive to His will. This also reminded me of Mary’s full submission – her Fiat- her 100% yes to God’s will.

Veils are also just simply feminine. They’re girlie. It was (is) a way of embracing my womanhood. God made me a woman – so I get the privilege of wearing a beautiful veil.

I also wanted to find a spouse that delighted in my beauty – to be delighted in the fact that I desired holiness. Wearing the veil was another way of stating to prospective suitors that I desired God’s will- that I was striving for holiness – and that there was no mistake about it. I dare say, that while wearing the veil, it’s quite impossible, if not unnatural for a man to lust after a woman. It just elicits a different response – one of admiration and a desire to protect the woman.

I’m happily married (it’s been one year!) to a wonderful, respectful, courageous man who is also striving for holiness and who is striving to live out Ephesians 5:22 – 33 – especially verse 25.

Now that I’m married, I wear a black veil and have passed the white veil along to another single friend. Many women approach me and ask me about the veil. I tell them these details and they all respond with, “Wow- I think I’m going to start wearing one now.”

So if you’ve been wondering about it – try it out for a while- I found mine on Ebay. See if it helps your prayer life. I bet it will!


If you are curious about what Pope John Paul II had to say about the Theology of the Body and man and woman’s “particular disability” (or propensity to sin in a certain manner), see this link

To read more about what Pope John Paul II had to say about Ephesians, Chapter 5 (in the Theology of the Body), go to
and probably more importantly, this link, which helps illuminate how submission does not destroy one’s uniqueness or individuality.

Honor Roll Nomination

Tyburn Convent Chapel, London.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Easter Vigil

Photo of Janice (taken by her son) at the Easter Vigil. I love that she is wearing white for Our Risen Lord!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Lace

There is something incredibly lovely about new fabric and working out what you want to create with it. 

These two shots are of Samantha with some beautiful new lace that she plans on making into a mantilla or two! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Can someone improve on this?

Over at, someone posted this question:

 What does the roman catholic church think regarding women wearing a mantilla at church?

This is the current response:

I do not think that the church of Rome is as appalled by the lack of mantillas in these days as they were in the sixties. I was eight when my mother who's long jet black hair reached the small of here back wore for the first time in her life a black hand weaved mantilla. The priest stopped the sermon he was delivering to yell out "blasphemer, You dare to come into the house of God without your hair being Covered!". My Mother ran out of the church collapsed on the steps and vowed never to return. She cut her hair to a mans length and is today 78 years of age. She still has short hair and has only gone to the roman church for my wedding, under protest of course.

I think this could be improved, no?

The site has an edit option for this response - would some be willing to contribute something a little more factual and a little less dramatic?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Comments please!

The following question was posted on Yahoo answers:

Do many Catholic women wear the mantilla veil to Mass these days?
Do other denominations of Christian women also wear veils to their churches?

I personally have great respect for the women choosing to wear a veil at church, because since it is not required, by doing so, they are showing their humbleness and modesty.

And this is what was voted the best response:

In the USA, generally no.... they went out of fashion (so to speak) in the mid-late 1970's. Although a few may still wear these to show they are more religious, and set apart from the rest of the women.

Can you believe that?! 

Would any of you like to contribute to the discussion and vote for a new best answer?

I hope you will!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mantilla Sightings: Mass for Catholic Artists, NYC

The Catholic Artists Society recently had its inaugural mass at Church of Our Savior in NYC.

The church was packed (with at least 450 people in attendance) and many of the women chose to wear mantillas!

For more coverage, see here and here.

Awesome Catholic Herald article on a return to the mantilla (or something similar)


Could we re-learn respect and modesty by covering our heads at Mass?

Now that the bishops have reinstated fish on Fridays, the tradition of wearing a head covering at Mass could also be revived
By FRANCIS PHILLIPS on Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Having now read some of the blog posts at the (new) Association of Catholic women bloggers, I must apologise to the good lady who asked me to join it. At the time I saw it as a kind of breakaway movement from the proposed Guild of Catholic bloggers which has been discussed on the Herald blog site, and felt that we needed to be united, not divided. What I did not appreciate, in my haste to reject the proposal, is that it is not a question of ‘Either/Or’ but of ‘Both/And’. The Church is rich, diverse, and we Catholics have a multiplicity of different ways of communicating our common faith; thank God for it.
There are obvious difference between the posts on the Catholic women’s blog site and the Herald’s: the former is more personal in tone, less engaged in politics, less disputatious and argumentative, more concerned with sharing stories of conversion or ‘reversion’ and how faith is lived in family life and in adversity. In short, it points to the difference between men and women.
A remark on one of the posts has triggered this blog: “I [now] cover my head at Mass.’ I have sometimes debated this question with women friends. I grew up in the days when women always covered their heads at Mass, with scarves or hats; if I or my sisters emerged from the house on a Sunday without an appropriate head covering, my father would send us straight back indoors to find one. It came as a shock after Vatican II to see that this ‘rule’ was now totally disregarded. Even the elderly gradually stopped covering their heads.
The exception was and still is those who attend the Extraordinary Form of Mass. There you observe a sea of black mantillas. Keeping to the Old Rite meant keeping to the old respectful form of head attire. This makes me ask: is it disrespectful for a woman not to cover her head in church? St Paul, naturally, says ‘Yes’. Cardinal Raymond Burke says ‘No’ – but he makes a careful distinction between women who attend the New Rite, for which head covering is not obligatory, and the Old Rite “where it is the expectation.”
Fr Zuhlsdorf, quoting Cardinal Burke, agrees that in the Latin Church “women are not bound to do so” but interestingly, he admits he “wants the tradition to be revived, even though it would not be obligatory.”
For myself, attending the New Rite, I cover my head for at least nine months of the year.
This is for the same reason that Pope Benedict gave when asked why he was once spotted wearing the camauro: “I suffer from sensitivity of the scalp.” i.e. I feel the cold. I have a friend who attends Mass in both forms; for a time she wore her mantilla to both; then started to feel that at the Ordinary Form she was drawing undue attention to herself and looking ‘too pious’, so she now keeps it strictly for the EF. The blog post that triggered these thoughts suggests that its author always covers her head at the OF.
Now that our bishops are reinstating the rule of ‘fish on Fridays’, I rather wish, as Fr Zuhlsdorf does, that the tradition of wearing a head covering could also be revived. Just as the bishops have argued that we need to remember Christ’s suffering on Good Friday by a particular observance, could they not argue that the modesty and respect that scarves once symbolised has now often been lost by participants at the OF, and that restoring the practice might help to remind us that casual dress is not appropriate?