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Mantillas in Mass

Are There any Mantilla Rules?
Many of you that go to Mass with me, know I started wearing a mantilla a few years ago. It always brings joy to my heart when I see others inspired to wear a mantilla to Mass-- either because they saw someone else do it, or because they mustered up the strength to answer the call (is it a call, that  is debatable?) of reverence from God. You might know that I am very fashion forward and I like my mantilla to match my outfits-- just ask my husband...he laughs at me every Sunday before Mass! Generally, when one attends the Traditional Latin Mass, one should follow the original "mantilla code"-- (White or ivory for unmarried women and girls; black for married/older women). Now, when one goes to the Novus Ordo, I personally feel that the "traditional" colors are not necessary! I like to use my mantilla to show reverence, and to be a stylish "Godly-Gaudy Girl!" I enjoy wearing scarves with print, black laced mantillas, antique white mantillas, or y favorite ivory mantilla from my grandmother; I am currently looking into getting an infinity mantilla with pink flowers, but not sure about what outfits it would match!

So WHY do I wear a mantilla and WHAT does it mean?
I began veiling after a rough patch in my life. One afternoon, my husband mentioned it to me. Like anything he brings up, I got defensive-- but then went to God with it. Hubby was just talking with me about it and never pushed me to do anything. Since I thought it took him such courage to tell me about wearing a mantilla, I thought I would give it prayerful consideration and go for it! The reason one would continue to wear a mantilla in the Novus Ordo, (Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite) is to mainly show reverence! If we as Catholics believe that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is actually at Mass with us, why wouldn't we show it, externally? If I was meeting Jesus, I wouldn't show up in my bathing suit cover-up, clubbing skirt, or spaghetti strap open back dress, would I? I would approach Him with the utmost reverence. Our external actions, show how we feel, internally, so why would I equate receiving the Holy Eucharist with washing my car, shopping at Wal-mart, or laying out on the sandy beach?

What happened when you wore a mantilla?
The first time I wore a mantilla, felt nervous. I literally was shaking the entire Mass, hiding behind my veil, fearing that everyone was staring at the fourth pew. They weren't. HELLO! They were there for God, not to stare at me. It was not a distraction, as I argued before. It actually helped me pay attention and focus on the crucifix more! You don't wear flip flops and a mantilla-- even in Texas, y'all--  so the first time I wore my mother's first communion veil to mass, I had to "step up my game" and actually dress up for mass! I felt special--- like I really thought about mass, even before I walked in!

So, do you still feel this same when you wear a mantilla?
Now when I wear a mantilla, I feel reverent. I feel like when everyone is talking and texting in mass (yep, people do that here) I can really focus on my reason. WHY am I at mass? Am I there to look at every one's outfits or watch the kiddo next to me on the ipad? No-- I am there to pray and to show reverence, and a mantilla helps me to remember that! In the midst of talking, I can find silence. In the midst of clapping, I can find reverence. In the midst of confusion, I can find stability.

I thought women didn't have to wear mantillas anymore now that we don't go to the Latin Mass/have Vatican II?
The Catholic Company, blogs on the idea of mantillas and states:

"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."     Helpful sites:


  1. Great posts!! I also wear a veil for mass!! You look beautiful!

    1. That is wonderful that you veil for mass. How long have you been doing so?

  2. Thanks for linking to my earlier post:

    I just wrote another mantilla post based on the one-year anniversary of choosing to veil at Mass:

  3. Excellent!! Thanks for the great, very informative post!

  4. Thanks for this post. I recently started wearing a mantilla at Mass. I read SO MANY posts about wearing mantillas before deciding to do it and this one helped me the most of all!

  5. I love the idea of wearing a mantilla, and I still cling fast to the rule no short skirts, jeans or tshirts to mass. I am super nervous to wear a mantilla though because not one single person has worn one to my church. I pray for a way to get over that fear!

  6. GGG, I think it's wonderful that you practice head covering. Am I correct that your husband brought up the idea to you asking if you ever thought about trying? Did wear your mantilla to church the very first time you wore it or did you wear it at home first? I did the opposite in that I tried a head covering first, then asked my husband what he thought about my starting to do so for home prayer, and eventually mass.