Lately, I’ve been debating with myself (and my family) about whether or not to wear a mantilla at Mass. Part of me wants to veil and the other part of me is too chicken and self-conscious. The style of my parish church is very modern and minimalist and doesn’t lend itself to inspiring any woman to cover her head.
“Why do you want to wear a mantilla?” My older daughter asked me this question yesterday when I brought the subject up again.
Why indeed. I’ve read this blog, Will You Mantilla With Me?. It makes a strong case for covering up, reasons which I like: reverence, respect, humility, purity, solemnity, imitation of Mary. A reminder that I am participating in something much bigger than myself. An external representation of my belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. (And maybe I want a reason to wear a lovely piece of lace).
So why am I still hesitating? Pride and fear. I’m worried about what other parishioners will think. My inner teenager is causing me angst over this. Really, I need to get over myself and just do it.
My beloved thinks it’s a great idea. My kids say that if I want to do it, I should. #5’s response when I said I would feel self-conscious was, “Who cares. Wear one if you want. No one’s gonna call you out on it.” How’d you get so wise, #5?
I should ask Wise Friend what he thinks, although I’m pretty sure I know what he’d say. After all, he’s always wearing his cassock.
A few years ago, my mother gave me her beautiful black lace mantilla. At the time, it held no significance for me other than it belonged to my mom. It was a beautiful piece of rectangular lace. I’ve been looking for it over the last couple of weeks but I can’t find it. Even St. Anthony hasn’t been able to help. Maybe it’s providential that a seamstress friend who wears a mantilla at Mass has offered to make one for me.
The most important reason for wearing a mantilla is to humble myself before the Blessed Sacrament so I should just get over my self-consciousness and fear of others’ opinions and focus on what’s important – the solemnity of Holy Mass. What better way is there to profess, like John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease” than by covering my head in humility before God.
Here are some questions I hope you can answer: Do you wear a mantilla? Did you feel self-conscious at first? What would you say to someone like me who’s hesitating? How do you keep it from slipping off?
Related post: To Wear or Not to Wear: Mantillas and Church Veils
Do you wear it like this young woman does?