Monday, September 20, 2010

To Mantilla or Not to Mantilla...?

Please excuse the blurriness; my mother took the picture (April 2009) and she simply cannot take one in focus... which is why I love her. lol. This is the mantilla my father brought me from Mexico a week or two before his diagnosis. I've made a vow to not wear this specific one again until my wedding day so I can have a piece of my father with me on that special day. The mantillas I now wear to Mass are a bit smaller but I still love 'em. :D

I have a little dilemma. See, tomorrow my school will be having the Mass of the Holy Spirit (also known as the Red Mass). I've never been to one before but since it's still a Mass, I want to wear my mantilla. There is one little problem: I've already started rubbing people the wrong way with my 'traditional' ways. If I had a quarter for every time I got a dirty look, a cold shoulder (I've had classmates literally turn their backs to me as I was speaking to them), etc. I'd be a rich lady. lol. I also got some interesting looks when I went into the chapel to pray the Rosary last Thursday... but I don't care. As long as I'm good with God, that's all that matters. Anyway, right now I'm trying to decide whether or not to wear one. I will wear red, as per request, but I'm still undecided about the mantilla. On one hand, I would feel more at peace with myself because I LOVE wearing a chapel veil to Mass. Personally, I feel completely disrespectful if I'm not wearing one. On the other hand, I hate when attention's on me, and especially with it's negative attention (who doesn't), and the mantilla might do that. As far as I know, it's never been done before. I often joke that I'm already on the "hit list" for some people at school because of my conservativeness but I think there's quite a bit of truth behind the joke. I'm an easy target for those who don't understand our beautiful religion... or who choose to completely trash it because they don't agree with me. The stories I could tell...

Anyhoo, I have another 15 hours to decide (Mass starts before noon) so if y'all want to give your two cents, please do so. At the moment I'm leaning towards actually wearing it. Holly's already said that I should wear it and take a picture. What do y'all think?

I've got an early morning tomorrow despite both of my morning classes being cancelled. There no rest for the wicked (though I hope I'm not that bad; I'm trying to live a more saintly life). I hope y'all had a great start of week!

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!


Claire Christina said...

Emmy, I'd say to wear the mantilla, and perhaps (to avoid some of this awkward in the future) to develop a small hat collection. (People LOVE hats!) My experience with the veil has been that significantly more people simply appreciate its beauty than see it as a target fixed on my head.

Of course, the way I explain mine is very beauty-focused and non-confrontational, which helps (when they ask). But I've been shocked by people who've thought it just fantastic (including, most recently, a Cistercian monk who got a degree in liturgy in the 60s!).

You know you don't have to wear it, which is helpful. When I helped at the youth group of a highly social justice-oriented parish, I wore a black veil, not because it stood out any less, but because I /felt/ like I stood out less, and I knew that was what mattered.

I realize yours is not the same situation, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that people probably won't judge you nearly as much as you think they will (or even as much as you'll feel judged during Mass).

Well, there's my two cents (more like twenty cents!). It's a tough call either way, and I'll be praying for you. *hugs you!*

Milisande Awnia Grim said...

See That is My Dilenma Aswell. I LOVE wearing Mantilla To Church every Sunday, But i Dont in the English Masses and In the Divine Liturgy ( I sometimes attend weekly Liturgy with permission from the Bishop to The Ukranian Wright.) Because i dont like attracting attention. Because everyone at the mass should be there for God and God only.

I would pray about it :D


Delaney said...

My mom would absolutely love you, Emmy. We need to get together again so you and her can get to know each other. ;)

I would say wear your mantilla because you want to, and say a prayer that instead of gaining you negative attention, that it will somehow be a blessing to the people who see you wearing it. But Claire Christina has an excellent point about hats: hats are acceptable for women to wear to Mass to cover their heads. :)

Anonymous said...

I used to enjoy wearing my mantilla to every Mass. My parish is pretty traditional, so a handful of ladies wear them. But then I started wearing it to on-campus Masses, and I got weird looks. Suddenly, I became aware that people's eyes were burning holes in the lace.
My boyfriend at the time brought it up to me that some people actually felt like I was 'holier than thou' because I wore a mantilla and wasn't an old lady. We talked about it more, and I gave it some thought. Some of my thoughts were about when I lived with religious sisters who did or didn't wear veils, and their reasons for either. Finally, I decided that, while the mantilla had at first been very helpful for creating within my heart a silent reverence during Mass, it wasn't necessary for me to do so. Personally, I felt like I might be distracting people from the Holy Sacrifice or had even become an occasion of sin for them by giving them a reason to resent me (for apparently being 'holier than thou'). These possibilities were too much for me to bear. I decided that what matters MOST for everyone is your internal conversion during Mass. That's what Jesus wants. He said, "Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'" To me, that's what that means. And while I don't usually wear my mantilla anymore, if I know I'll be in parish/chapel environment where that kind of outward reverence is more typical, I'll wear my mantilla.

The Catholic Wife said...

I know this is several days too late, but I'm always leery about the "holier than thou" argument. If you're wearing the mantilla because of your commitment to your faith and to Christ who is truly present in the Eucharist reserved in every Catholic church, how is that different from nuns who clearly stand out by wearing not only a veil but a full habit as a witness to their vow?

God Fanboy said...

My response is late. But if i read this post on time i would have said to wear it. That veil is between God and yourself. Look at how many church goers dress in drab or scantily clad outfits. This veil represents your humility before God. Don't worry about what other people think, they aren't important. What is the most important in church is God.
Christ got strange looks when he preached. He was abused when carrying a cross and mocked. Still he pressed forward and kept going.


La gallina said...

So did you wear it or not?? I hope you did. The fear of being seen as "holier than thou" is keeping a lot of women from donning the veil that they long to wear. I think that even if people burn holes through your veil with their dirty looks, deep down they wish they could wear one too... I don't know how many women I've talked to who want to wear a veil, but they are too afraid of being seen as holier-than-thou.

BTW, if I were a college girl and saw you wearing a veil, I would want to wear one too. You make a great "poster child" for Catholic mantilla wearers of the world.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I'm late to this discussion, but of course wear it :D