Veiling in Church


For modern Catholics, one of the cultural artifacts that stand out is that ladies wear veils in a Catholic Church.

Here's what I found in radio replies: 1053: Why must women have their heads covered when in a Catholic Church?

That women should cover their heads when in Church is a Christian custom based upon the words of St. Paul in 1 Cor. XI., 6. There he definitely gives the instruction that Christian women must cover their heads during divine worship. He gives two reasons for his decree, one theological, the other moral. The theological reason is as follows: Every being's true glory and honor is to keep the place assigned to him or her by God. Now God Himself differentiated between the sexes, and that difference should be manifested during our public religious acknowledgment of Him. Man was created first, and woman dependently upon man. The covering of a woman's head was to be a sign of this dependence. Both men and women are created, of course, for God; and their souls are equally precious to Him. But secondarily, women were created as the helpmates of men, so that secondarily women were created for men, rather than men for women. The moral reason given by St. Paul deals with Christian modesty. Loose women of ill repute went to their temples without any head covering, not veiling their beauty, but bent on a vain display of their attractions. St. Paul would have none of this in a Christian Church. "Therefore, ought the woman to have a power (i.e., a veil) over her head," he writes, "because of the angels." 1 Cor. XI., 10. He mentions these pure spirits to bring home the fact that spiritual considerations alone should prevail in our worship of God, and not sensual vanity. A woman's hair is the object of her vanity and earthly glory—and she knows it. Let her at least veil it in Church, giving her attention to higher things, and allowing others to do so also. Thus you have the legislation of St. Paul, and the reasons for it.

Mary's Secretary also has a nice article on this topic: To Veil of Not to Veil



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