Women need to embrace the empowering veil again

Young woman wears a mantilla at Mass (CNS)

Now that spring is gracing us with warm air and days lit up with sunshine, it’s time to shed the heavy layers of thick winter clothes. While we are making big wardrobe changes anyway, I’d like to make a case to my fellow women for making a sartorial change at Mass: a head-covering, whether it be a springtime hat, a mantilla or a head-scarf. 

For my own part, I wear a hat constantly in winter, at Mass and at home because I suffer from the cold. It’s a lovely change to be able to put my woollen caps in moth balls, and drape my head in a lace mantilla that does a better job of covering my hair that falls down my back. Surprisingly, it is very relaxing to wear a mantilla. You forget that nagging question of ‘how does my hair look?’  A mantilla can be especially soothing on a bad hair day, that day when you have tried to tame thick, tangled hair, but despite your best efforts, you look like a 1980s pop star who has a bad perm. A hair-covering allows a woman a respite from thinking about failed efforts at grooming, and concentrates the mind on Holy Mass, giving Our Lord the benefit of our full attention. 

When a woman covers her hair, she is obscuring her crowning glory, and when a whole congregation of women do so they are voluntarily covering their beauty so that we are better placed to adore the glory of Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.

It is a crying shame that since Vatican II, generations of women have fallen prey to the foul whisperings of feminists who argue that women who wear mantillas are making themselves inferior and are acting like door-mats. Ahem- the hair-coverings that are veils honour the woman’s sacred significance as the one who bears children. All things sacred are veiled. 

The drive against wearing hair-coverings is in line with feminist thought which relegates a woman’s unique place as a mother to being second-best. A veil that highlights a woman’s revered role as a life-giver must be banished according to modern feminist philosophy because it does not fit into the agenda that dishonestly reduces the act of bearing a baby as merely ‘a choice’.  Therefore, I hold that Catholic women who wear the veil are playing their part in promoting a pro-life culture. 

It really is time that women re-embraced the wearing of the veil, with the knowledge that it does not weaken us, rather it empowers by denoting our hallowed status as life-givers.