Frequently Asked Questions

The Real Presence - It's why we veil

About Veiling


About Veils by Lily and Ordering


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Why do Catholic women wear chapel veils at Mass?

The veil is meant to be an external sign of a woman's interior desire to humble herself before God, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. As women, we are symbols of the Church - the Bride of Christ - and "the veil is meant to be a visible reminder of the perfect submission of the Church to the loving rule of Christ."

For 2000 years, Catholic women have worn some kind of head covering in Church. Though the particular reasons for doing so have varied (for example, modesty in the time of St. Paul), this practice has always focused on the transcendence of the place - the church, the very dwelling of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Having been given this magnificent Gift by Jesus himself, every Catholic church holds something not found anywhere else: the true, living presence of our Bridegroom, hidden under the appearance of bread and wine.

"The veil is a visual sermon, ... a public proclamation before the Lord that He IS the Lord and that we love Him and that we are ready to obey him. It's a totally counter-cultural statement proclaiming obedience in the midst of a culture that is totally permeated with this attitude of 'I will not serve.'"

The veil is a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself... both human life and the supernatural life of God. This is an important message the world needs to hear, now more than ever!

Read more about the Theological Significance of the Veil. Also, this little booklet offers a beautiful, more in-depth explanation.

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Why don't men wear veils? 

St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:7 "A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man." 

In Ephesians 5:25, St. Paul says "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church" and this, taken in conjunction with 1 Corinthians 11:7 (and the rest of the passage), reveals beautiful nuptial imagery: man is to Christ as woman is to the Church. Since the Church is the "bride" of Christ, it makes sense that the bride should cover her head "as a sign of authority" (1 Cor 11:10) and submission to the bridegroom - Christ, whom men represent. The Church submits to Christ, not the other way around. And the nature of this submission is one of love - who wouldn't submit to Him Who loves her unto death?  

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When should I wear my chapel veil?

Wear your veil anytime you are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, whether present inside a Catholic church for Mass or simply passing through momentarily.

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Do I have to wear a lace mantilla? What about hats and other types of head coverings?

When we say "veil," we simply mean "covering" of any kind. Although many women choose lace mantillas because of their femininity, more important than the type of veil we use is the need for a proper interior disposition.  Similar to a religious habit, your veil is a public proclamation of your desire to submit to the will of God for your life, and of your commitment to answering the universal call to holiness and continual conversion. It isn't a sign that we have achieved a certain level of holiness, but rather a sign of our desire to grow ever closer to the One who made us. His love alone gives us dignity and makes us worthy. Keep these things in mind when you wear a veil in the presence God.

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Shouldn't I avoid drawing attention to myself at Mass?

We should never seek to become the object of others' attention, especially at Mass. However, as explained in the sermon on the Theological Significance of the Veil, our veils are meant to be a visual statement, "a public proclamation before the Lord that He IS the Lord and that we love Him and that we are ready to obey him."

In considering this question, the key point we should ask ourselves is, what is my motivation? Am I seeking other people's attention or am I wanting to love and honor my Lord? Do I wish to draw attention to myself or to the reality of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?

If you think about it, nuns in habits do stand out in the midst of a world that has renounced God. Indeed, we are all called to be the light of the world - witnesses to Christ's love, which is real and alive in the world.

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I'm a bit worried about what other people might think if I wear a veil. What do you suggest?

It is natural to be concerned about what other people think. Sure, some may think the veil is an outdated practice with no meaning in today's culture while others may judge us as trying to be holier-than-thou. Love, however, seeks to ornament Love with beauty and to worship in humility. An act of devotion like veiling does both, while drawing to the fore our love of God above all else.

If you are still worried about what people will think, remember that people are always making judgments, including ourselves! It's how we are wired, a consequence of original sin. Whether it's about what shoes we're wearing, how we look when we walk, whether we genuflect before entering our pew, whether we stay after Mass to make our thanksgiving when everyone else is chatting and leaving... Any action could be done with a pure intention or with a not-so-pure one, but people can't see our hearts - only God can. Do we volunteer at the food pantry because we really care about people? Or because we want to be recognized? Or because we don't have anything better to do? Regardless what the action is, what matters is that we do it for the right reason, that we do it for love. The same applies to veiling. If we do it out of love for God, what people think shouldn't matter.

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Did the Church do away with veils after Vatican II?

An article in The Atlanta Journal of June 21, 1969, titled “Women Required to Cover Head, Vatican Insists,” stated: “A Vatican official says there has been no change, as reported, in the Roman Catholic rule that women cover their head in church. The Rev. Annibale Bugnini, secretary of the New Congregation for Divine Worship, said the reports stemmed from a misunderstanding of a statement he made at a news conference in May. Bugnini stated: ‘The rule has not been changed. It is a matter of general discipline.’”

However, the 1983 Code of Canon Law, currently in force, does not contain a requirement that women cover their head in church. As Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Apostolic Signatura, stated in a private letter: "The wearing of a chapel veil for women is not required when women assist at the Holy Mass according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is, however, the expectation that women who assist at the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form cover their heads, as was the practice at the time that the 1962 Missale Romanum was in force. It is not, however, a sin to participate in the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form without a veil."

Just as the Church does not mandate that every person pray the Rosary, neither does she mandate that every woman wear a veil. This does not mean, however, that either is not a worthy devotion. On the contrary, these devotions are pleasing to God when done out of love for Him.

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I'm new to veiling. Is there a meaning behind veil colors? 

Traditionally, married women would wear black or darker colors and unmarried women, white or lighter colors. However, since chapel veils are just now coming back, there are really no hard and fast rules to follow. In some churches I've been to, some women wear veils to match their outfit, others wear colors they have simply decided they like, etc. In parishes where few women veil, it is common for women to want to wear something that blends in with their hair. Often, women will save the more special-looking veils for feasts of the church. A more recent trend some women are starting is that of matching their veils to liturgical colors.

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Does my hair have to be completely covered?

Because covering one's head is a purely symbolic gesture in today's culture, it is not necessary that all the hair be covered or concealed. Small veils like the Small Circle Mantillas, as well as sheer veils where the hair can be seen through the lace, are fine to wear.

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How will I keep my veil from slipping off my head?

If you're worried about your veil falling off, consider using a hair pin at the top of your head, carefully inserted through one of the holes in the lace. We also offer sewn-in clips and combs, which are the most secure way of ensuring your veil stays put, especially if you have small children with you at Mass. We can sew them on your veil for you for a small fee, or you may request a free one with your order, which you may sew on once you have received your veil.

The best mantillas to use without a comb are the Starter Veils, the Black Chantilly Lace Mantilla, any of the French Mantillas, and the Infinity Scarf Mantillas.

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At what age should my daughter start wearing a veil?

At whatever age you and she prefer. Some girls eagerly ask to wear a veil, while others don't and might choose to wear one after First Holy Communion. Some mothers veil their baby girls, while others encourage their older daughters to take the initiative if they have the desire to do so. No matter what you do, remember that Holy Mother Church gives us freedom in this matter, and it is not a sin to go without a veil. 

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Is it vanity to wear a beautiful lace mantilla?

The fact that a veil makes us look beautiful doesn't mean we are necessarily being vain.   In the same way that we would dress up to meet a king, we dress up to meet our God and King.

If you do find yourself focusing on the veil as a way of seeking the admiration of others, rectify your intention by an interior act such as, "Lord, I am wearing this for you alone, and I don't wish to care about what other people think." You might also consider wearing a veil that you don't feel strongly about, or saving a nicer veil for feasts and solemnities and a more plain one for normal or penitential days.

Read more: Vanity, Vanity... Does God Really Need to See a Veil to Recognize Piety?

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Should I wear a veil to someone else's wedding?

If the wedding is in a Catholic Church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle, then yes! That said, it may be best to avoid white so as not to match the bride. You might also want to steer away from black so as not to appear to be in mourning. Black & gold is a great, subtle combination for festive occasions. You can also match the color of your outfit; for example, you can pair a gray veil with a gray outfit, or a black & blue veil with a blue outfit. 

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Do you offer rush shipping?

Yes. If you are ordering only Ready to Ship veils, choose USPS Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail at checkout.

If you are ordering any Handmade to Order veils, select the "Rush" option in each product listing and choose USPS Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail at checkout.

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How soon can I expect my order?

If your order contains only Ready to Ship mantillas, it will normally leave our workshop within 3 business days. If it contains at least one Handmade to Order veil, it may take up to 5 weeks to leave our workshop.

If you need any Handmade to Order veils quickly, please select the "Rush" option in the product listing. This will allow us to bump up your order ahead of all others and have it finished in just a few days, usually within 10 days. Please contact us if you need your order for a special event. A rush fee is required for each veil you wish to have rushed.

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What shipping carrier do you use?

We use the U.S. Postal Service, which allows us to offer low, flat-rate shipping rates.

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Why does it take up to 5 weeks for Handmade to Order veils to leave your workshop?

Each Handmade to Order veil is meticulously made to ensure that you receive the most durable, highest-quality veil. We could cut corners, but we have chosen not to because we feel you deserve the best for what you pay for.

We strive for perfection knowing full well that we are not perfect. If there are any problems with your veil, please contact me as soon as possible so we can make it right.

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Do you make wedding veils?

Yes! We can use any of the laces and trims you see on this website to make a one-of-a-kind wedding veil for you. Please contact us for a quote. Be sure to let me know the approximate measurements you are looking for.

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Do you make all the veils yourself?

When we first started out, I did! I became very busy very quickly, though, so for the sake of my family, we rented an office that served as our workshop and hired a few ladies to help with sewing and shipping. While I design all of our handmade veils, I only actually make a few of them now. The rest are made by our seamstresses, Debbi, Teresa and Mary Grace, and several other great ladies, all of whom help support their families with their veil-making income. It took a while to find someone who could meet my quality expectations for the sewn-in combs, but Laurie came around and she took over that aspect.

We do import our authentic French mantillas and Spanish mantillas from Europe already made, and our Chinese Blossom Veils from China as an extra affordable option for those who need it.

NEW: Watch a behind-the-scenes video!

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How should I store my veil?

Keep your veil dust-free by storing it in a small plastic bag, or purchase our snag-free pull-string Satin Chapel Veil Carrying Bags. These are the updated version of the satin bags, which are now larger at 6" by 9" and feature reinforced seams for improved durability.

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How should I clean my veil?

All handmade veils (Lily's Signature Veils, Limited Edition Veils, and Soft Tulle Collection) may be hand-washed cold with mild soap and laid flat to dry. If stiffness is an issue after air-drying, wet the veil slightly and run it through your dryer's delicate cycle with a fabric softener sheet. Cool iron if needed.

All French mantillas and Spanish mantillas should be dry cleaned only.

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Do you sell wholesale to stores and parishes?

Yes! Please contact us to gain access to wholesale pricing on this website.

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