| | |

6 Excuses American Catholic Women Use Not to Veil

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Beauty So Ancient, and Catholic businesses!

When Catholics refer to ‘veiling’, they simply mean a woman’s act of covering  her head during  Mass.  Often it refers to using a mantilla or chapel veil, but it can also mean wearing a hat.

The current 1983 Code of Canon law, which contains the law of the Catholic Church, does not mention veiling, unlike it’s predecessor, the 1917 Canon. With a misplaced, new  sense of freedom, many women threw away their mantillas.

Time is funny.  What is out of vogue, becomes fashionable again.  And so, the mantilla is back in style, especially in ladies who attend the Latin Mass.

Of course we don’t wear mantillas as a fashion item, but since mantillas are back in style, it means there are more retailers selling them, and so they’re easier to find.

So, why do Catholic women wear mantillas?

2018 Poll on Catholic Veiling

BeautySoAncient.com polled a mall sample of 72 women in a traditional Catholic Facebook group and asked why they veil.  Here are the results.

  • 37% – out of reverence for the blessed sacrament
  • 21% – it is Catholic tradition
  • 18% – as a symbol of modesty
  • 18% – the Church veils things that are sacred
  • 7% – veiling is a sign of subjection to men (husband)
  • 1% – as a remedy against vanity

These days, some Catholic women are curious about veiling, while others have no desire to veil. It is almost as if they are afraid that they will go backward and prefer a progressive direction in the Church and Mass. However, some women are still resistant and I find that there are 6 main excuses women use not to veil.

In speaking to women, we found 3 Reasons women use not to veil.

1) Only Spaniards Wear Mantillas

It is true that before Jackie Kennedy, American Catholic women were used to covering their heads with hats.   Jackie brought back the mantilla and American Women fell in love with them.

So although these mantillas were very popular in Spain, American Catholic women adopted it as part of their culture as well.

Either way, you don’t have to wear a mantilla. You can wear a hat.

Let me point out that in some  circles, wearing a mantilla is considered to be more holy or more traditional than a hat.    Don’t let anyone deceive you.   As long as your head is covered, you’re good.

Veils on Catholic Company

2) I Look Horrible with a Mantilla

Not everyone looks like a mantilla model.

I’m sure everyone has seen the pictures of the pretty 20-something year-olds on the trad net.  It is as if everyone who wears a mantillas is in their 20’s.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it),  everyone does not look like a mantilla model.

Isn’t that the point?

Our focus, during Mass, should be  on the holy sacrifice of the Mass itself, not on our looks.  The same reason that you don’t not want to veil is exactly the reason why you should.  It’s not about you!

Having said that, I’m going to say that all women look beautiful  in their mantillas, but it’s a spiritual beauty – the best kind.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus: An Introductory Latin Missal for Children

3) If I Wear a Mantilla at the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) Mass, I will Bring Attention to Myself

Here we have reverse modesty.   “ If I wear something modest, I’m not actually modest am I?

I wonder sometimes if anyone really means this.

excuses american women use to not veil

It is true that sometimes dressing over the top actually brings more attention to yourself. It’s like you’re saying, “Look at me… I’m so modest”!  

A perfect example of this is those who dress like they’re on a “Little House On the Prairie” set.  The dress is so outlandish, it actually brings attention to the women.

However, wearing a mantilla or hat is a tradition of the Catholic Church.  It is no longer required (more on that in the next section) but it is not forbidden either.

4) We No Longer Have to Veil According to the Code of Canon Law

It is true that the 1983 Code of Canon Law doesn’t mention veiling. In response to a question about whether women are required to wear mantillas at a Traditional Latin Mass, Raymond Cardinal Burke responded:

“The wearing of a chapel veil for women is not required when women assist at the Holy Mass according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is, however, the expectation that women who assist at the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form cover their heads, as was the practice at the time that the 1962 Missale Romanum was in force. It is not, however, a sin to participate in the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form without a veil.”  


Let me paraphrase.

Wear a mantilla anywhere  you want, but if you attend a traditional Latin Mass regularly (I’m not speaking to visitors), please wear a mantilla. It is expected!

I am often shocked at the number of uncovered heads I find at even traditional parishes!

5) St Paul was a Misogynist. Why Should I listen to him?

Some Catholic women have a problem with  St Paul’s views on submissiveness and the role of  the woman in regard to her husband. 1 Corinthian 11: 3-5 particularly is troublesome to those who consider St Paul to be a misogynist.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.”


I just want to point out that covering one’s head does not demean a woman.   It elevates her.  She is precious and she should be veiled.

St Paul is one of the most important figures in the history of the Church.  He should not be dismissed so easily.

It is true that the head of a wife is her husband.  Scripture says so.    

In this modern time there  has been a move from teaching wifely submission to teaching that husband and wife are to submit to one another.  Although it is true that husband and wife are to submit to one another and, in fact, Catholic brethren should submit to one another, there is a specific admonition that wives submit to their husbands. 

Catholic women all over the world continue to cover their heads during Mass, especially Eastern Catholics. 

Are we more enlightened than they are?

***If you are a seller of veils, email me for possible inclusion on this list.***

I hope I’ve done a good job of debunking the 6 excuses American woman use to not veil. Let me know if I haven’t or if you agree or disagree.

Now, why not try veiling?

6) I don’t have a “Catholic veil” and I don’t know where to get one?

This last excuse is somewhat legitimate. I noticed there are plenty of articles on veiling, but not  enough actually point the readers to where to get these veils. You can get them at your  parish or online.   Online stores offer more diverse options.

One does not have to wear a traditional mantilla as a Catholic veil. Any head covering can be used including scarves, hats & mantillas.

Below you’ll find a variety of places where you can buy a mantilla. I’ve purchased many a mantilla from Amazon, surprisingly. The Catholic Company also has some beautiful mantillas, plus they’re Catholic, which is a plus!

There are also lots of Mompreneurs who sell mantillas and they usually market on social media

Buy Mantillas from Amazon or the Catholic Company

Follow us!

Roman Catholic Daily Missal: 1962

6 Excuses American Catholic Women Use Not to Veil
By Angelus Press

Tan books coupon

Veiling Resources

Similar Posts


  1. I always enjoy your facebook events, but I can only “like” or share. Since my youngest started attending Franciscan University, she has been veiling (had asked for her first veil that fall as a Christmas present). I have been reading literature and have been trying to have an open mind. Since I am 61, I was part of the generation who had to have her head covered. In fact, if I was at school and going to Mass directly afterwards, the teacher would give me a tissue and bobbypin. I have negative memories of always having my head covered. I do respect and think veiling can be beautiful. I belong to two churches. The one that is 45 minutes away I am involved in youth ministry. In my local church, some teens are actually returning to Mass and I see them in the high school and have some I have already been considered somewhat of an “oddball” at church because I teach NFP, kneel when we are supposed to (as opposed to everyone else who stays standing), am pro-life person in our parish and NEVER dress immodestly at Mass. These things already cause me to stand out, so I am just not ready to stick out even more. I DO admire those who do veil (although no one does at either of my parishes).

  2. I wore as little girl looked like a doylie. I remember my grey aunts wearing all the time for Mass and a different one for Blessed Sacrament.
    Now I wear mine for Blessed Sacrament.
    I don’t care what anyone says, I’m here to be with my Lord Jesus Christ! I wear in reverence to Him. My God.

  3. I veil because Jesus asked me to from the Tabernacle plus after thinking what He asked me to do I thought about His Mother Mary always has wears a Mantle and dresses modestly.

  4. I do veil at the latin Mass–out of love for Jesus and I am not worthy of His love and graces. I am a sinner at large, but humbly I like to come to Jesus veiled. I need His help a lot in life..What I do not like with veiling is it turns some priests “off” when your veiled—especially at a norvus ordo Mass. One time, I was making a thanksgiving after Mass, and the visiting priest was so bothered by my veil and thanksgiving, he spoke real loud to other parish people, to distract my prayers, not far from me. It angered him. I do not mind if people don”t like it–it bothers me when priests don’t like it….Some won’t talk to you, disgusted, and some will—depends on their personal view…It is sad…

  5. I attended a parish for many years, and was told, not asked, by the pastor to remove my veil and never wear it there again. Needless to say, we are looking for a new parish.

    1. Jaime,
      I wouldn’t look for a new parish. I would stand my ground at the current one. He has no right to ask you to remove yours, when he does not admonish men and women on abortion. My eldest Granddaughter, 22y now, started veiling a few years back. It was well received at an Novus Ordo church.
      “Be Not Afraid” by Michael Talbot on YouTube.com

  6. My husband’s asked me not to veil, and I respect his wishes. I know I can’t be the only woman out there whose husband asks this, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t have a “trad Cath” husband.

    1. Very interesting. I have never heard of a husband specifically asking his wife not to veil. You should obey him, of course. He might come around in the future!

  7. My Dear Sisters in Christ Jesus, Our Blessed Mother and the Holy Angels,
    We are surrounded by a multitude of witnesses when we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and when we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Our Deacon commented that I look like a Italian Grandmother and that’s fine with me.
    Honestly, my hubbie was baptized into the Catholic Church after 29 years of marriage. At first, he said “Oh, we are doing this.” I told him “This isn’t the first time, the Secular Francsican Order Meetings, we wore our burial shrouds and the professed women were veiled. He has changed his mind, there’s three of us in church that veil now…hopefully it grows.

    1. Veiled, Italian grandmothers are gorgeous, so don’t mind him! Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  8. I never minded the way we dressed for Church before Vatican II. But I would stand out veiling now and be very uncomfortable.

  9. I go to the Traditional Latin Mass regularly, but I don’t veil. I found that veiling was a huge inflation to my pride. I would always notice who did and who didn’t veil, and though I wasn’t judging them for not veiling, I kinda was… I felt EXTREMELY self conscious if I forgot mine, to the point where I didn’t even go in the chapel when taking a tour of a building with one. I prayed about it, and decided to start not veiling. I notice veils every now and then, but I’m able to focus my attention differently.

  10. Elizabeth, you bring up a point that is shared by many, on both sides. I refuse to wear a headcovering (it’s not “veiling,” or “taking the veil”) because it was strictly enforced in my SSPX chapel, which I left after many years to rejoin the Catholic Church (the SSPX is in schism). I spent a few years in an Eastern Catholic Church and it was optional, with no pressure, so I discarded the practice of headcovering. I don’t need more trauma and reminders of my life from the SSPX cult. I think there is a strong current of “virtue signaling” within Latin Mass circles about wearing veils, and it’s important that we don’t encourage a new generation of girls to feel like they are valued according to their outward appearance of “how Catholic” they look.

  11. I veil to humble myself before my Lord. When I put it on, my prayer time at Mass becomes him and me alone. I care not what others think, only what I feel the Lord is calling me to do. I am not better or worse than anyone else, just doing my best to be reverent and to witness.

  12. -Do not conform to the pattern of this world. (Romans 12:2)
    -Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
    Praying and meditating on the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary every day is teaching and also touching my heart to imitate the moral courage Jesus showed us when he was crowned with thorns (third Sorrowful Mystery). I truly believe and want to veil in adoration for my true Bridegroom – Jesus. AMEN

  13. Here’s the thing, most American women didn’t wear a veil at Mass prior to the 1983 Code of Canon Law. They wore hats. Look up photos of Masses, even Ordinary Form after 1970, and see hats took precedence over the mantilla or doily cap. Mantillas outside of Latin-heritage women is a new thing. Pretty, but new to those not of Hispanic or Italian descent.

  14. I am very troubled by this trend. Wearing a veil is a choice , but remember
    Vatican 2 happened and liberated Catholics from antiquated practices that were based on traditions rather than the Gospel’s message. When young , we recited the mass in Latin and didn’t understand a word being said and it didn’t make sense than, and and it does not make sense now. Women in Iran are dying for the right to drop the Veil and their religious leaders mandates it all the name of piety . Wake up people.
    I am so glad I belong to a mainstream Roman Catholic Diocese and I don’t need to wear a head piece to show my reverence to the holy Christ . To those who choose a mantilla please remember that you are a Christian and you don’t get a pass if you don’t t get practice Christians values of kindness ,forgiveness and compassion for all.

    1. Hi Maria,

      It’s not a “trend.”

      It’s not “antiquated practices.” It’s the faith of our Fathers. The Gospel message is the Traditional Catholic message.

      Wearing a veil is a choice, but it’s a good choice.

      Take a look at the mainstream churches. They’re mostly filled with older women.

      Now take the same look at Latin Mass communities. They are bustling with young people and babies. Young people want the Traditional faith.

      So, you might like a more modern Mass, and that’s fine, but no matter how much Pope Francis attempts to suppress the Latin Mass, it is the future.

      God bless!

  15. Some of the younger women in our parish are wearing veils and encouraging others to do the same by having a box of veils at entrance. I have been resistant and don’t really know why. In my youth (I am 77) mass was in Latin but we had a Missal with Latin in one column and English in the other so we always knew exactly what was happening. Given time I might accept the veil.

    1. Blessed Day!

      We also have Missals at the Latin Mass. Tradition is so beautiful. Give the veil a try. It will be awkward at first, but you’ll grow to love wearing it!

  16. In the late 1970s I taught English in a Catholic school for young women in suburban Philadelphia. The Sisters of Mercy were an extraordinary group of women devoted to their various ministries, and were discerning whether their modified habits should retain a simple veil. They decided to leave the decision whether or not to veil up to the individual sister. Some older sisters wore the traditional habit; others the modified one with a simple veil; others decided not to veil. The school principal, Sister Madeleine Marie, a true saint, cautioned the families, students, and fellow faculty against judging any sister’s prayerfulness or fidelity to Christ by whether or not she wore the traditional habit or a veil. She was extremely prudent, wise, and kind, and I often thought that our mother Mary would be just like Sister – she was a model of excellence and expected us always to do our best work for the Lord and His people. It would be great if we could focus on the Lord and refrain from judging one another harshly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *