Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The ‘Chapel Veil’ Explained

February 23rd, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Chaldean Catholic Women Attend Sunday Mass

From the Catholic Knight, December 22, 2007

Unfortunately, something as simple as a chapel veil has become somewhat of a controversy in the modern Catholic Church. To be more accurate, it’s not so much a controversy in the “modern” Catholic Church as it is in the “western” Catholic Church, particularly in English-speaking nations. One would not find so much of a controversy if one were to visit a Catholic Church in the third world. There one would find the chapel veil used by many Catholic women almost universally. Eastern Orthodox women also veil in these regions. While here in the western industrialized world, eastern Orthodox women (along with eastern Catholic women in the Byzantine Rite) have kept the custom a bit more faithfully than western Catholic women in the general Roman Rite. Yes, veiling in some form was even common in most Protestant communities for many centuries prior to the 1960s. In some Protestant groups the custom evolved into large elaborate hats, which one can still see practiced in the Methodist Episcopal denomination. The custom is also still practiced in the form of lace mantillas and/or bonnets among the Amish, Mennonites, the Apostolic Christian Church, some Pentecostal groups, which includes the ‘Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith,’ and the stricter Dutch Reformed churches. Though most Protestant denominations have no official expectation that women veil, some individual ladies choose to practice the custom according to their understanding of 1st Corinthians 11.

The chapel veil was the custom of all Catholic churches (eastern and western), everywhere in the world (including English-speaking nations) for nearly 2,000 years. The custom only fell out of use among western Catholic women, particularly in English-speaking nations, in just the last 30-40 years. Why is that?

A movement was introduced to western culture at around the same time that explains a lot of it. The movement was called…

Read the whole article here.



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