2nd Thursday of Lent- Return of the Latin Mass & Chapel Veil?

Chapel Veil

There’s a saying “What comes around, goes around” and this seems to be very true with respect to the liturgy of the Catholic Church. During the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (more commonly known as Vatican II) lasting from October 1962 to November 1965, the Catholic Church under went some changes: celebrating the Mass in the common vernacular of the area (English, Spanish, German, etc) rather than Latin and increased participation by the lay in the liturgy being two of the most memorable. However, there seems to be a push toward the old tradition by a surprising group… us Generation Xers.

For those of us who grew up in or converted to (in my case) to post-Vatican II Catholicism, there is a certain mystery ascribed to the Tridentine (Latin) Mass as most of us have never been to one. If you have been to a Latin Mass, please feel free to comment on your impressions of the Rite. I, for one, am excited for the resurgence of the Latin Mass. I converted to Catholicism in college and the one thing that really drew me in, besides the real Presence, is the tradition and history of the Mass. There is something reverent in knowing that the symbols, the sights, the smells at the Mass are all ones that have been used since the time of Christ. With the return of the Latin Mass could also come the return of the Chapel Veil!

Most little girls envision wearing a veil on their wedding day and that’s all but how awesome would it be to be able to wear a veil, as the Bride of Christ (remembering that the Church is the Bride of Christ,) every time Mass is celebrated? Veiling can be seen as a controversial issue as it may call to mind the submission of women, but I’d like to argue the contrary. When something is seen veiled, it is viewed as being sacred, something special, out of the ordinary. After all, in the Jewish temples, the most sacred spot- the Holy of Holies- was veiled as well. The Holy of Holies was so special and sacred that the Jewish High Priest could only enter once a year, on Yom Kippur.

Consider this from Fisheaters.com

“Note what Paul says, “But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” We don’t veil ourselves because of some “primordial” sense of feminine shame; we are covering our glory so that He may be glorified instead. We cover ourselves because we are holy — and because feminine beauty is incredibly powerful. If you don’t believe me, consider how the image of “woman” is used to sell everything from shampoo to used cars. We women need to understand the power of the feminine and act accordingly by following the rules of modest attire, including the use of the veil.”

If the idea of covering your head seems intimidating to you, there are other options available other than the chapel veil: Scarves, Berets and… the Church Hat.

Church Hat

Growing up in a Black Baptist Church, my memories of Sunday Services are filled with images of women in their Church Hats. I thought they were just being fashion forward, but didn’t know that they were honoring the Most High! From Gospel Connoisseur:

“Don’t wear a hat wider than your shoulders. Don’t wear a hat that is darker than your shoes. If your hat has feathers, make sure they are never bent or broken. Sequins don’t look good in the daytime. Easter hats should be white, cream or pastel — even if it’s still cold outside. For a look that is both elaborate and demure, try a chapel veil.”

Remember what I posted about getting out of your comfort zone? Here’s another chance! And for a rockin’ Chapel Veil, check this out! (Pssst… it’s a St. Louis based company as well!)

Pax Christi!


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Filed under history, Lent, tradition

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