The first time I attended a Latin Mass I had a moment of panic because I had no chapel veil! Don’t worry, as it turns out, it is not mandatory. You are more than welcome to attend without a veil or head covering.
However, many women are rediscovering this traditional and beautiful practice, even at the Ordinary Form Mass. It is a part of our beautiful Catholic heritage. For centuries Catholic women wore veils at Mass, until it fell out of fashion in the mid 20th century. Now it is making a comeback.
Why do we veil?
Wearing a head covering at Mass is a beautiful symbol of our submission towards God, as well as a sign of humility and modesty. Purposefully putting on a veil as you enter a church shows that something has changed: you are now in the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. We veil to show we respect that Presence, and that we are readying ourselves for worship. It helps us to enter into the right mindset for prayer and reverent worship. For many women, it helps them to stay focused during Mass and is a powerful reminder to centre their hearts on God.
Where can I get one?
I prefer to order my veils from Veils by Lily.
However, it can be pricey. Some women prefer to simply use scarves or hats as their head covering at Mass. That is perfectly ok! If you are really crafty, maybe you can try making your own.
As for colours, the trend in some places is for unmarried women to wear white, and married women to wear darker colours, but this is not a hard and fast rule. There are many colours available. As for age, many mothers wait for their little girls to ask to start wearing the veil before putting the veil on them.
And if you’d like, here is a lovely video about wearing the veil, from veilsbylily.com: