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The return of women's veils at Mass sparks a debate
The mantilla seems to be making a comeback, but not all women are happy about it.
- Heidi Schlumpf
- October 2, 2012
Other websites supporting a return to head covering for women note that itâ€™s a privilege, not a sign of submission, since the only other â€ścoveredâ€ť things at Mass are clergy, the tabernacle and the chalice. Thatâ€™s a stretch. Most supporters cite 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, which says that â€śany woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head ... she should wear a veil.â€ť
Itâ€™s not surprising that traditional Catholics who prefer their nuns in habits and priests in cassocks would want to get in on the dress-up fun. And I understand the power of a nonverbal message sent through clothing. Itâ€™s why police officers wear uniforms, gang members wear colors and Packer fans wear cheeseheads.
But some of these enthusiastic would-be veil wearers donâ€™t seem to see the contradiction in â€śgetting up the courageâ€ť to wear a veil as an in-your-face expression of submission and humility. A few even noted how great a veil is for â€śblocking out distractionsâ€ť at Mass, as if fellow worshipers are an annoyance during private me-and-God time.
A little history (beyond the romanticized â€śit was better thenâ€ť type) might be in order. Veils and other head coverings, for both women and men, have had various meanings throughout history, and it is true that style of dress sometimes signified marital status, purity and virginity, or deference before a deity. While men sometimes have covered their heads for prayer (think Jewish yarmulkes), the cultural requirement for women to cover their heads has often extended not just to prayer and worship but to include any time she was in public (think Muslim hijabs).
Full Story:Â Head covering is thinly veiled patriarchy
Source: National Catholic Reporter