First mass with a headscarf

Damian knows how I feel.

As the title suggests, today I attended my first mass with my head covered. Perhaps some people will read this and weep because they think that covering your head in mass is a sign that a woman is oppressed. I would have been inclined to agree with them a few years ago, but, as with a lot of things in the past year, I have changed my opinion through watching, listening and reading. Ultimately, it was this article which changed my mind. I decided I did not want to wear a mantilla though, because I think that they are too pretty and they catch my eye, so they will probably catch the eye of other people too. I got a large black pashmina and went with that. I felt pretty nervous about doing it and felt that I look a total fool wearing it. However, in the end I told myself that nobody would be looking at me, so it didn’t matter how I looked, only that my head was covered.
I actually got lost on the way to mass today, as I was coming from a different direction, so I missed most of mass (I went there primarily for confession anyway, so it wasn’t a total disaster). I got there for the last 10 minutes though and that was quite enough for my first veiled outing! I felt sick, I was so nervous. To top it all off, I knew at least two people there and they have never seen me wear a veil of any sort in mass before. My biggest fear is that people will think I’m doing this because I want to be ‘holier than thou’. That could not be further from the truth. Today, I almost wanted to scream “Please don’t look at me!!”. I covered my face with my hands as I was kneeling and just tried to concentrate on why I was there and why I had made this decision, which seems so huge when you first take that step. Afterwards, I went into the sacristy to find a priest who could hear confession, and I felt a bit more comfortable kneeling there with the veil on.

Tomorrow I have to go to mass in the morning, and I know there will be a lot of people there. It may seem like I’m making a big fuss over nothing, but these are serious traditionalists and they know that I have not been covering my head until now. Maybe they won’t notice, but in my head, I will think that everyone is looking at me 😦 I think I just need to get over this first hurdle and then it will get better!

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10 thoughts on “First mass with a headscarf

  1. The obvious problem here is that you spent the whole time thinking about yourself. The Mass is not about you. It is a means of commemorating the sacrifice made by Christ on the Cross. In Catholic theology the Mass itself is a sacrifice. If covering your head makes you feel self conscious, don’t do it. People who feel self conscious, for example, singing hymns, should just mime instead as well. Remember the exhortation: ‘Lift up your hearts.’ Are you lifting yours up to the Lord?

    • I see your point, even if you are being a bit harsh, in my opinion. I am aware that the mass is not about me 😉 I think that I felt like this because it was the first time. Part of the reason that I’m doing it is to help me concentrate more on the mass itself, but this is the initial hurdle for me. I feel like this in most new situations…To be honest, this was the first 10 minutes that I had been wearing it, so I don’t think it’s an accurate reflection of what it will be like in the future. Also, what finally convinced is I saw that it was not a choice (that is what I read and was proven to me on the site that I linked). It’s not something that I can do if I feel comfortable or not. If this is what all women in mass should be doing, but are not, then if I know that it should be this way, I am obligated to comply.

      • Incorrect. A careful readin% of the passage indicates that St Paul believed that the hair was a sufficient covering of the woman’s head. Man, unlike %od, is fallible, and you shouldn’t think that just because something is traditional that it is correct. This goes for all peiople who think they ought to reject Vatican II out of hand.

      • Interesting. I have no idea who you are, but I have come to the conclusion that I would like to wear the veil, even if it is initially uncomfortable for me. FYI, I did state that this is not a blog where I wish to have debates…this is more for people that I know (and who like me…) to keep up with what I’m doing. You are welcome to keep commenting, but I just want to keep this one tiny area of my life debate-free. I hope you understand that I don’t want to shun you, but it’s a very casual arrangement here 🙂

  2. Oh, this is a really good and interesting article. I sometimes go to a TLM Mass in East London where people look at you if you Don’t wear a mantilla. Good for you. My old mum kept her mantilla in her handbag until the end of her days after they were, erm, ‘banned’ and it is something that a lot of women are taking up again. Including me.

  3. I fink General Pepper aint bein very nice to sister Rhos. Plus he is totally wrong.

    1 Corinthians 11.
    4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
    5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
    6. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

    Of course dem Vatican II types fink dey know better dan St Pual.

  4. Bruvver Eccles, you should be called bishupeccles not just bruvvereccles cos you sound like a good ‘un sticking up for little sis Rhos against the big bad bully. I think you also missed out the part where Saint Pal says that mantillas should be worn cos they looks very pretty.

  5. Come to the part of the world I lived for most part of my life.You will find a lot many women covering their head with a scarf during the mass

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