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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

Latin Mass/ Wearing veils

I have noticed more and more females of all ages wearing veils.  Please explain the importance and reason of this.

           The recent increase of women and girls wearing veils (or dignified hats, for that matter) may be attributed to several factors.  One may be simply the presence of more Latin Masses being offered in churches across the country (not only here at St. Ben’s) – as many who are drawn to the Latin Mass have retained this practice. In addition, some may feel called to do it out of piety. Traditionally, girls were taught to cover their heads with veils, following the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:4-16, and especially verse 5 that speaks of women praying with heads veiled (as opposed to heads that are shaved).

It is said that even in ancient times, such veiling of heads was a sign of virginity (which is why religious women, that is, sisters or nuns, have frequently worn veils as part of their dressing throughout Church history).  Likewise, for a woman or girl to veil her head is an act of modesty and humility, as a woman’s hair is part of her beauty and to cover such is to increase her modesty.

Finally, consider too this element of truth:  that in the Church’s worship that which is sacred and holy is often veiled.  Note here how at many Masses 

we utilize a chalice veil before the Liturgy of the Eucharist; and how the ciborium (pronounced “sib-OR-e-um”) taken from the tabernacle that contains the Eucharist has a veil.  Likewise, in many places, it remains customary to veil the tabernacle (I’d like to do the same here, but all in due time…).

          What is important to note is that whether one wears or does not wear a veil, such should not be a source of judgment.  Those who wear the veil hopefully do so with awareness of its interior meaning and without casting judgment on those who do not.  Likewise, those who do not have a disposition to wear a veil should not be made to feel that they must wear one.  Rather, each and all (men too) ought to approach dressing for Mass in a prayerful attitude of humility, seeking to present themselves to Jesus in the most fitting manner – mindful of God’s holiness and our call to worship him rightly.

 About how old was Jesus when he was baptized?

 Traditionally, it is said that Jesus was around age 30 when he was baptized by John at the Jordan River – as it is commonly accepted that it was for about 3 years of time that he was active in his public life, preaching the gospel, healing many, and gathering his first disciples, and that he was 33 years old at the time of his death and resurrection.

 Why doesn’t St. Benedict’s have more Latin Masses on weekdays?

Presently, we offer one weekday Latin Mass each week, on Wednesday mornings.  Acknowledging that this Mass is consistently attended by 20-30 people, it is reasonable to consider the possibility of adding more days.  However, it is my hope that many more in the parish will “come and see” on Wednesday mornings, and especially on Sundays at 12:00pm prior to making that decision.  In addition, such a decision should be something that people who attend Masses on the other weekdays would be invited to consider first before I would move in this direction – especially given the unique way of our parish daily Masses in that there many people attend daily Mass when they can and not necessarily every day of the week (unlike many other parishes where there is a main or core group of people who attend weekday Mass almost every day, with few exceptions).



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