Why do many women wear veils in the Traditional Latin Mass?
Veils (also known as "mantillas") are an important part of our Catholic heritage. They have been worn in Christian worship since the time of St. Paul (see 1 Cor 11:1-17) and women were permitted not to wear the veil only as recent as 1983. There are many practical and theological reasons for women to continue to wear veils. First, the veil is a reminder to all who wear it and see it that they are entering into the presence of Christ. By wearing unusual clothing, women have are reminded that they are stepping out of the ordinary mode of life and entering into sacred time. Second, it is a sign of submission to Christ's authority and being placed under His protection. Third, it is an expression of the distinction between man and woman who each have distinct clothing which expresses their different roles in relation to one another. Fourth, it is an expression of modesty and chastity which everyone should practice. By covering their glory, women express they are for God's glory. Fifth, some women wear the veil in imitation of the Blessed Mother who is hardly ever portrayed without her veil. (The only exception I can remember is the Immaculate Conception in which she is not wearing her day clothing.) This is a symbol of her humility, submissiveness and obedience to Christ. Lastly, it can be a pragmatic tool to hide one's hair on a "bad hair day." Women may wear the veil for any of these reasons.