August 30, 2015

Me? Wear A Chapel Veil?

A little over a year ago, I purchased my first mantilla, or chapel veil. No one would have guessed that I would do such a thing, including me. Before I reverted to the Catholic Church in 1997, I was what I call a rugged feminist, along the lines of "No one, especially a man, was going to tell me what to do, women should be allowed to be priests, and the likes." I would have never guessed that I would return to the Catholic Church, never mind start wearing a chapel veil later on.

Of course, there were several years between the two, but it was all good and all in God's timing. Today, I love my mantilla. Years ago when I first came back to the Catholic Church, I could never have imagined wearing one. Chapel veils were for those really "far out Traditionalists," of which I was not one.

Years later, I found myself attracted to mantillas worn by other girls and women attending the Latin Novus Ordo Mass and Divine Office I frequented. I paid attention to the yearning because it happened several times. Eventually, I took it as a calling from God and I decided I was going to purchase one. I foresaw it as an expression of humility before Jesus in the Tabernacle. I saw it as an expression of my femininity, something I rejected while I strayed from the Church. It was a deepening of my love for Christ and I was so ready for these things.

But what color? What shape? What vendor? Some women/girls wore black, some dark purple, a few white, some green. I asked around. What was the meaning of the different colors? The most concrete answer I got was that they used to mean something way back when, but now, they don't really have a meaning.

I wanted to get a white one. Despite the general consensus that colors have no meaning, I imagined that white would have one.  Purity, virginity. Since I had made an attempt at marriage earlier in my life (I have a Decree of Nullity), I wondered if white was appropriate for me, but I eventually found my way to the concept similar to that expressed here, "Renewed Purity for the Non-Virgin."

I decided it fit and I bought a white lace mantilla like the one in this picture.

Here are others.  It is a beautiful thing to develop femininity in young girls. I am not talking about being doormats. I am talking about developing true personal and Christian power from within. It is endearing and empowering at the same time.  

This is tan and black.                                               And white.....

    This is lilac.                                                 And blue....


Some women try to match the color of their chapel veils with the color associated with the current liturgical season.

A Biblical reference for the veil in general, is 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. I like to include all of it.  The excerpt from the NABRE is below... More about this in a future blog entry.

1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
2I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
3But 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. 4Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. 5But 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. 6For 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.
7A 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. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; 10for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head because of the angels. 11Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. 12For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.
13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, 15whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been give [her] for a covering? 16But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God.

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