Father Zuhlsdorf recently posted about veils/mantillas on women during Mass. The comment thread made me think that sometimes Father Z is actually better off posting about what he’s eating than wading into the minefield of ladies fashion!
I wear a chapel veil to Mass. Some times I wear a snood or a hat rather than a veil but my head is usually always covered at Mass. I’ve been doing this for several years.
I can’t select one reason why I like to veil, but I have a couple.
•The veil helps me focus on Christ. I’m wearing it for Christ so right there I’m forced to reflect upon Christ simply by putting it on.
•The veil often acts almost like blinders. It can cut my peripheral vision a bit which, again, helps me focus on Christ and shut out the disturbances around me (people talking, people walking by etc.)
•The veil forces me to step up my dress. I’d feel ridiculous wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with a nice veil on my head.
This is all about me. Why? I have NO issues with women who choose not to wear a veil to Mass. We can quibble all we want to about whether the Canon Law of 1983 abrogated the Canon Law of 1917-fine. Until, that issue is definitively settled we are free, as women, to elect to veil or not.
Also, allow me to make it clear that I do NOT think that by veiling it's an outward expression of my inward belief that I'm holier than everyone else. On the contrary, I'm well aware of my shortcomings and no veil can cover those up.
Sometimes, I deal with sour expressions, usually on other women, when they see me with my veil. I have a method for dealing with this: smile, nod and acknowledge them quietly "hello". The smile you wear underneath the veil goes a long way towards placating those who think the veil is a throwback to some legendary era when women were slaves.