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Monday, April 7, 2014

On the Mantilla

The mantilla speaks a silent language.  It says very clearly, "Here is a Catholic lady".

Reverence, modesty, femininity, elegance, tradition, Christian pride and humility are all expressed in the simple act of wearing a mantilla at Mass.

External things define the soul.  Clothing, manner and speech are so important to teach that Faith is not an abstract feeling.  Indeed, all external acts of principle are very beautiful...  But there is something surreal about a woman wearing a mantilla.
Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
with Pope John XXIII.  Vatican City, June 18, 1959.
(Grace Kelly had the distinct aura of a 'Catholic Lady'
which can be seen in this picture.)

She kneels there in an ancient Church with the distilled light coming through the stained glass window and the ambiance of ancient chant only equaled by the bittersweet fragrance of incense...  What could be more exquisite- more right and proper-  than such a scene?

Men traditionally uncover their heads in a Church or on a sacred occasion showing their submission to God as the ultimate "head" and bowing down before Him.  Women veil themselves to hide their beauty and likewise show their submission to God as the One who should ultimately be adored.  These customs are so rich and important and beautiful.

Furthermore, a mantilla mimics the covering of a Chalice containing the Precious Bread of Life and shows how a woman also is made to be a reverent vessel of life.  It speaks strongly of tradition and regard for Catholic custom.  Most of all it gives a woman the honor of imitating the virtue of Our Lady.

So why is the mantilla going out of fashion?

It is, at least in my Church, and I find this very disturbing.  (I know at other Churches veiling went out of fashion long ago!)  There are forces that attempt to destroy Christian civilization and hate beautiful customs.  Women are tempted to give up such appropriate and influential practices.  And women are giving them up!

What better way to combat this than by wearing a mantilla?  Do you?  And if so, why?

5 comments:

  1. Interesting! My experience is that almost no one veils for Mass, but that it is starting to be more common here and there, especially where the extraordinary form is celebrated. As we don't go to an EF parish right now, I don't wear a mantilla.
    Do you go to a parish where many women veil?

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    Replies
    1. I go to a Latin Mass in Pittsburgh where about half of the women wear veils (less and less unfortunately) and I go to another parish across from our house where nobody does.

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  2. I wore a mantilla when I was a child, up until my teens (I am 38) but stopped because it 'wasn't done'. How self-conscious we are at that age!

    As I grow older, my faith is ever more precious and I now wear a simple cloche to Mass. I shall wait and see about the mantilla. If I find one; I shall take it as a motherly reminder from Our Ldy. :)

    I love this blog; thank you so much for speaking to my heart in this endeavour.

    Jenny, Co. Laois, Ireland

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  3. Mantillas are very pretty but I think sometimes a woman doesn't want to stand out that much. Fortunately, there are lots of pretty hats out there which would fulfil the same function in a less obvious way, whether straw hats for the summer or berets in the winter. They can be used to accent an outfit and give it a lift.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mantillas are very pretty but I think sometimes a woman doesn't want to stand out that much. Fortunately, there are lots of pretty hats out there which would fulfil the same function in a less obvious way, whether straw hats for the summer or berets in the winter. They can be used to accent an outfit and give it a lift.

    ReplyDelete

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