In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you for your clarity with regard to liturgical issues.  I share these with my staff who are appreciative of learning new insights on the liturgy.  How should one respond to the issue of veiling by females who are participating in the liturgy as cantor, lector, altar server etc.?  Is it permissible and if so, how do we catechize the community to this pre-Vatican II practice?   I thank you for your wisdom…..


A: Thanks for your comments on my blog.

I like to presume the goodwill of people who come to church. So I presume that women wearing a veil do so out of a sense of reverence for the sacred space and humility in the presence of God.

There is no law requiring the veiling of women inside a Catholic church. There is a custom that men do not cover their heads in the same space.

Because the increase in women’s veils comes at a time when some people practice other preconciliar liturgical customs, the veil appears to support a notion that the mass presents an opportunity for adoration more than sacrifice and communion.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t read too much into it. It would be great to ask the individual liturgical ministers who wish to wear a veil in your community to share with you their thinking. That would give you a more reliable answer to the question and promote dialogue and faith-sharing.