Radio Show

Why Do Some Women Wear Veils During Mass?


Two listeners named Donna and Pat ask Father Dave to explain chapel veils and how the use of them changed after Vatican II.

Father Dave explains, “[A chapel veil is] a woman’s head covering designed to be worn inside Church … it’s very similar to a bridal veil. They are mostly worn over the head, draping over your hair … I’m guessing that both Pat and Donna would have worn veils prior to Vatican II.”

“It’s covering your head when you’re in the presence of God to show humility.” Father Dave mentions to Christina that he has noticed a resurgence of chapel veils among young adults. “I have a lot of friends who wear veils at Mass,” Christina responds. “A lot of the people I notice wearing them will put it on right before or during the consecration. So, I think out of reverence for the Eucharist they will put it on at that particular time. It’s a nice gesture.”

Christina explains that wearing a veil during Mass used to be in the Code of Canon Law, but in the 1970s the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith stated that since veils were not a matter of faith it was no longer mandatory to wear one for Mass. Father Dave points out that wearing a veil now fits more into the realm of personal devotion and if someone feels called to wear one, then the Church encourages them to do so. (Original Air 1-10-19)

Photo Credit: Women wear veils during a private audience at the Vatican Feb. 9. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)