Why do Women cover their head during Mass?
by Rita Davidson
I didn’t grow up wearing headcoverings during Mass. No, I grew up during the happy Mass, of laughing and shaking hands.
Years later as my faith grew, I discovered what I had lost, things started falling into place. One of those things that fell into place, was headcoverings. It didn’t literally fall onto my head. But the time came when I was told by a religious, that we should wear headcoverings. This was just about the time I was writing my book, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue”.
Putting on one of these mantillas, was a real act of courage for me. I mean what does it mean to put something over your head, that is such a distraction during Mass? Having to adjust it as it slides down your head, or constant adjusting it and messing up our hair, is not fun. We had moved to a more conservative parish and I knew I was going to have to start wearing one too.
All I could think was that if this was going to be possible for me, I was going to have to practice. I mean why not wear this at home during the rosary? At least there, I could get used to the feel of it and how many times I had to adjust it before wearing it in public. So that is what we did. During the rosary we all put on our mantillas and prayed.
I sensed a certain quietness when wearing it; A certain stepping back. I couldn’t quite figure it out. But I still didn’t really understand the practice, so didn’t really understand the heart of the matter.
After sometime, in researching my book, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue’ I came across some quotes that stirred up my interest in this.
St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11:5-7 Paul tells us, “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But, if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head.”
Now that was interesting! Here St. Paul is telling us that it is a shame for a woman not to have her head covered and she instead should be bald! Now I wasn’t about to go bald, so here was my first good reason from the bible.
Then I found another quote “Therefore ought the woman to have a power (veil) over her head, because of the (presence) of angels (at Holy Mass) 1Cor. 11:10.
Now this really hit me where it mattered. St. Paul is telling us that we, women are covering our head because of the angels at Holy Mass. Now my ‘heart’ was interested! The presence of Holy angels at every single Mass opened up my vision to see that there is so much more to Mass then we can see. To know our Guardian Angels are beside us at all times, is one thing, but to know that Angels surround the Altar at Mass because Our Lord is there come down from heaven for us! How beautiful a thought, and what more reason would we want to cover our heads since this is the same Mass since St. Paul’s time, the Church is always the same, so this requirement was from God and now I understood why my heart felt more quieted when I covered my head. It is a beautiful thing to be obedient to God’s commands.
Since the return of the traditional Mass, more and more we see women covering. But, there are arguments about weather this is still necessary since the new 1983 Code of Canon Law. Much confusion has been passed around, and argued about. I discuss this in detail in my book, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” which I highly recommend, but in general, the new Code of Canon law never removed this requirement from women. It was not changed, it was simply omitted, since only changes were listed!
So, rest assured your headcovering is the will of God and the will of the Church. Even if your up against much opposition, know that God is on your side. Pride rears it’s ugly head when submission is needed. Let us always pray for the humility to see the truth and to act upon it.
May God bless you as you seek His will in your life!
Do you wear a headcovering? Did you have questions about it? Share with me!
©Copyright 2013 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Quotes and ideas Adapted from “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” ©2003 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife and mother of seven children. Mark is her ever patient husband. She reverted back to the faith when her oldest was making her First Communion. By then, she had completed degrees in Hairdressing and Make up artistry. She went on to receive a degree in Natural Health and another degree in Art. At age 26, Rita suffered a minor stroke. With no lasting effects, this dramatically changed her outlook on life. In 1996, Rita began ‘Little Flowers Family Apostolates’ to reach out to other families with her new found faith, by creating unique Catholic books and resources.. In 1999, she wrote the bestselling, ‘Immodesty; Satan’s Virtue’. She was editor of ‘The Catholic Health Letter’ for 7 years. She has been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years, and has written for various magazines. She is honored that families have trusted her with their questions, needs and concerns over the years. She continues to write and reach out to Catholic families with her husband, Mark and their 4 boys through http://www.LittleFlowersFamilyPress.com