Saturday, 7 June 2008

If they can do it so can I ...

Thanks to Extreme Catholic for these pix. Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly are modelling the mantilla for us.

10 Good Reasons to convince myself to get a mantilla or Chapel Veil:

1. if I'm having a bad hair day ... no problem, no one will see it.
2. I can have a good cry if I feel like it.
3. the last time I wore one was at my First Holy Communion decades ago.
4. it must be like the equivalent of a monk's hood, it's protective, it will feel snug and safe.
5. I think if I am shielded by a veil, nothing can get in except for Him.
6. It's more respectful towards Him to be dressed modestly ~ even though the mantilla is eye-catching it's still a camouflage.
7. It's bridal~like, and royal/princess-like. If I'm meeting my King in intimate union I should dress appropriately. [NB Jackie O is wearing a white mantilla above ~ that used to be called the privilege du blanc, reserved only for queens, brides and girls taking First Holy Communion, but I think nowadays either black or white is acceptable.]
8. It's become tradition for women to wear a mantilla when being received in private audience with the Pope. Why would it be any different with Jesus?
9. It's uniquely Catholic.
10. It's uniquely feminine.


MaggieClitheroe said...

Well put!
Here's another reason to wear one, it can get you ...

early canonisation


Mrs Pea said...

I've worn a mantilla for over a year now. I never wear mine in a lovely drapey way though, as the baby will pull it off and I don't like to be fussing with it as I feel that draws attention and it should have the opposite affect - so I tie it on. But I felt so "right", as in so much doing what God wanted me to do, when I wore it that even though at times I feel a little awkward, I would never not wear it.

Lynne said...

"But I felt so "right", as in so much doing what God wanted me to do, when I wore it that even though at times I feel a little awkward, I would never not wear it."

Amen. (me too) I've attended the TLM for several months now but sometimes, due to scheduling issues, I attend a N.O. Mass...and I still wear a mantilla...

passatdoc said...

"Privilege du blanc" refers to the option of Catholic royalty and nobility to wear white rather than black WHEN MEETING THE POPE.

In the photos in your post, Mrs. Kennedy is simply wearing a white mantilla to complement her white dress for Easter Sunday 1963. That photo was taken outside JFK's family compound in Palm Beach, FL on Easter Sunday. The family had a private mass celebrated in their home, and the First Family went outside afterward to indulge the photographers. They were not photographed going to or returning from mass at a nearby parish church. Mrs. Kennedy, not being royalty or nobility, would have been required to wear black when meeting the Pope.

Grace Kelly, as a Catholic princess, did have the privilege du blanc option when meeting Pope Pius in the photo you supplied, but evidently she opted not to exercise the option. When non-Catholic monarchs have met with the Pope, they always wear black dress and mantilla: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Queen Silvia of Sweden. Queen Elizabeth had two meetings with Pope John Paul II. At the first meeting, in the 1980s, she wore a black long sleeved dress and long mantilla secured with combs. For the second meeting, she wore a black suit with black hat, with a tiny veil but no mantilla.

There were no "rules" about mantilla color in pre-Vatican II days. In fact, the head covering could also be a modest secular hat selected to complement one's outfit (remember, hats were big in the 1950s), or a scarf tied over one's head, as was often done in Latin countries.

Some women used the mantilla because of "the look" you described. For others, it was a matter of convenience because one could easily carry one in one's purse. For others, as hats began to go out of style, it was an easy way to fulfill the requirement that women's heads be covered. Other options included "chapel caps", basically a tiny piece of lace that covered the top of the head (looked like a lace doily) but did not hang down like a mantilla. And finally, in a pinch, some women used Kleenex secured with a bobby pin.

passatdoc said...

PS Here is a link to Mrs. Kennedy with Pope John XXIII. Since he died before JFK, this photo was taken when she was First Lady. She is wearing the usual black. A Catholic monarch (say the Queen of Belgium or Spain) may opt for white, but a politician or politician's wife would always use black.

(the link uses the word "widow" but her husband was still living when this photo was taken, since Pope John died before JFK died).

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Oh yes... we Traddies have a habit of placing a veil on what is considered sacred, like the Tabernacle or a Catholic lady wearing her mantilla.