29 July 2011

Important Headcovering News from Rome

With all of the recent confusion over the immemorial custom of women covering their heads at Mass, and whether there has been any change to its obligatory nature, Holy Mother Church once again steps in to provide guidance for her children.

In his ongoing pastoral care, and as part of his program for liturgical restoration, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has today announced that indeed the obligation for women to cover their heads at Mass continues to be in full force and effect.  Yet, because the Holy Father believes in organic development in the liturgy, he has changed the nature of the type of headcovering to be used.

Instead of the venerable mantilla, the Holy Father has mandated that women must wear a snood at Mass.  Link here.

What is a snood?  It's easier to show than describe.  Here is photo of one:

And don't think that the snood is just some novelty.  No sir!  It has been around for centuries, as this nifty painting will attest:

Even in the tumultuous 1940s, women wore these practical, yet oh-so-stylish lids while manning the Papal factories.  Here is a photo of some ladies putting the finishing touches on a sedia gestatoria:

The trend towards snoods is affecting other sectors of modern life, and even other religious and cultural movements.  For example, the Rasta-snood:

Even the "womenpriest" movement is getting into the act. This promotional photo (of paid models, not the galpriests themselves--or did I even need to point that out?) shows their new priest-chic line:

In retrospect, this may explain why Cardinal Burke assured his recent correspondent that a veil was no longer expected.  The great Cardinal was almost certainly in the know, but didn't dare reveal the glorious destiny that was to confront the snood.

However, not everyone can wear them.  Sorry, Your Holiness, but you will have to remove that when you enter St. Peter's:


Ted said...

this is not funny. veiling is not something to joke around about. i find this characteristically out of line for you to pun / exploit liturgical customs for the finacial profit of this so called "snood" company. I am disgraced and embarrassed at what i just read.

Anonymous said...

"Now, women's snoods are commonly worn by married Orthodox Jewish women, according to the religious custom of hair covering; see shpitzel. Since these snoods are designed to cover the hair more than hold it, they are often lined to prevent them from being see-through. Contemporary hair snoods for Jewish women come in a wide range of colors and designs."

Wikipedia about "snoods".

thetimman said...

Thanks, Ted.

Anonymous said...

different from the papal head- coverings which reflect the timeless taste of the Church these pieces are extremely ugly and low class. - Don't beat your wife when she doesn't want to wear them.

Delena said...


Anonymous said...

Inappropriate mocking of sincere piety at the least, scandalously misleading deception and mockery of Holy Church at the worst. Shame on you.

dulac90 said...

I think this is great. Surely the snood is equally valid as the lace mantilla. Perhaps its relevance to contemporary society makes it even preferable. Of course there will always be those who have a nostalgia for the past.

LOL said...

April fools' in July. I love it.

They always fall for it!

It must be the heat.

The Riopel Family said...

Delana~ I saw some in KC and wondered if they were yours. They were pretty and classy. (i think the women were Jewish)
I have been wearing doo-rags? a lot lately so that I don't have to wear a mantilla to daily mass. I thought about getting a snood from you :)
And Timman, even though this was a joke, you were trying to help a friend get out her VERY good idea. That is sweet.

doughboy said...

how come the link doesn't work?

Anonymous said...

A little too much chartreuse, Tim ol' boy?

Capris said...

Hey, I was going to say that about Orthodox Jewish women!
It's the group I associate snoods with. Honestly, as far as head coverings go, when I think hijab I think Muslim, snoods remind me of Orthodox Jewish women, and mantillas for Catholics.
Is a hijab appropriate for church then?

StGuyFawkes said...

Who can say that Traditionalist Catholics cannot accept "organic" change.

Snoods rule for all those modest ladies who worry about looking just too good in a mantilla.

In fact I'd like to see the snood worn at the OF and the Mantilla at the EF.

Nonetheless, we do have to find a better word for the "Snood." It sounds too much like an evil character in Harry Potter. In fact I think "Snood" is "Snape's" little brother.

Delena said...

From what I understand, the mantilla was worn primarily by the women in Spain. Eastern Catholics wore a lot of shawls. Some women wore hats. Some wore chapel caps. And yes--even some wore snoods.

I think it's a misunderstanding out there that the ONLY proper headcovering for Catholic women is the mantilla.

Sure, the mantilla is very elegant and pretty, but it's not the only acceptable headcovering for Mass.

We have women in hats at our church, a few in snoods (it's catching on--watch!), a few in chapel caps, a lot in mantillas, and some who don't wear anything at all.

Melissa--thank you for the kind words. It was nice to read something so kind!

Rae said...

So now we not only have the warring camps of "covered" and "uncovered" women, but also "mantillas v. snoods"...? I think that we ladies should just select a headcovering and return to our prayers.

Anonymous said...

The snoods are ugly. sorry. won't catch me wearing one of those things. and is it just me, or does the holy father look a bit sinister here?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I think it makes one look like a wash woman.

Sassy Boo Boo said...

Snoods look a lot more casual than mantillas to me.

Is a baseball cap okay to wear, too? It's more casual than the usual kentucky derby hat I wear to church...

RandomCatholic said...

Ted is absolutely right. Veiling is not something to joke around about. I, too, am disgraced and embarrassed at what i just read. Why, what would happen if people took this seriously and starting wearing snoods to Mass, or even out of the house to do errands? This makes me want to throw up, or even come to your house and smack you. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion hasn't helped us conjure up those stolen plans. The head covering is probably the most important thing on earth next to the Eucharist, and I for one think you should be flagellated for this impious column. Ted, where do you live? Want to go out for a drink to talk about how the Church is going to collapse if we don't get these women covered (properly, of course)?

Anonymous said...

Disgusting as usual. Next I expect to be told to wear hose, only those with lines up the back! I am always soooo sorry when I visit this site.

Anne said...

I really did not find this funny, and yes it upset me. It is not good to joke about things like that. I will pray for you.

StGuyFawkes said...

Everyone should stop taking themselves so seriously. The only criticism of this thread which I can admire is Rae's who said, " I think that we ladies should just select a headcovering and return to our prayers."

It's a woman's choice to decide how to show reverence for the Eucharist and reverence for her femininity in a way that respects tradition.

Here's some memory and tradition.
When I was an altar boy at the Extraordinary Form in 1962 I remember that ladies wore white chapel veils, mantillas, or kleenex in a pinch. BUt what they mostly wore were HATS -- big beautiful hats.

I think the value of what Tim has done with this thread is to show the (dare I say) "diversity" of approach a Catholic culture allows.

I miss the veils, I miss the mantillas, I even miss the kleenex and the bobby pin. But to tell you the truth I really miss the HATS. Women don't wear them any more except on Easter or at the Kentucky Derby. Hats used to be Catholic. Let's get back the hats.

St. Guy

StGuyFawkes said...

I liked what Delena said about hats. Delena, where do you go to Mass?

St. Guy

just wondering said...

I think the Holy Father is looking at the devil in that picture thinking, "I'm gonna kick your hoosier butt." Maybe.

Delena said...


We attend Mass at Old St. Patrick Oratory.

My husband is a big fan of hats and thinks they should make a comeback.

He can rock a fedora like no other.

Anonymous said...

Dear Timman,

I am not feeling the love from some of your 7 readers. Where has our sense of humor gone? Your post made me smile as it was obvious that it was meant to add a bit of Timman humor to our lives. A chartreuse moment in time.

Anon 12:27, I hope that one day you meet the Timman so you can see that your comments are not accurate. You would be happily surprised.

Delena, St. Louis has a few of their own that can rock a fedora--a new club in the works?

St. Guy, happy memories of Mass, my Dad, a tissue and a bobby pin.

Anonymous said...

Hoo Boy!
We're on that slippery slope now!


..then 'snoods'...

slip-slidin' straight towards those burqaas!

a small aside: Whut's the big deal?

Aren't 'snoods' worn by postulant nuns? I seem to remember Julie Andrews twirling around an alpine meadow, singing 'The Hills are Alive', her 'snood' flying jauntily behind her in the breeze

But then, Maria DID drop out in order to marry the good Captain von Trapp.

Maybe you ladies should stick to the mantilla.


Ted said...

RandomCatholic - it may take more than one beer for us to fully discuss the problems the church is facing due to it's left leaning leadership in the United States. As for the snoods, they're frumpy, and do not belong in church. I'd rather see a woman sans covering than with one of those things. Let's give our Lord the respect he deserves and leave the frump at home.

Delena said...


RandomCatholic said...

Ted - you said it, brother. Frumpeddy dump dump, frumpetty dump dump, look at Frumpy go. We might need another beer to discuss the use of "it's" though, which has met a sad demise in the USA as of late. Probably related to the inaction of bishops somewhere, possibly also due to a lack of appropriate headcoverings at Mass. Regardless, I'm starting to give in to the snood...help me out.

burlapman said...

First it was mantillas, now it's snoods and then there was the gal who didn't want women to wear pants to Church. What's next burkhas?

thetimman said...

Dear Readers,

I am sorry if I offended anyone with a post that was solely intended as a friendly jest about a head covering with a funny name. I do not, as a philosophical matter, favor snoods over mantillas, or vice versa. I prefer the style of mantillas, for what that is worth. But, to each her own.

The post was the work of a moment and reflected about that much thought. Initially, I did not understand how the post could possibly offend, and I was a bit nonplussed at the reaction. I am so in favor of headcoverings, as I thought that everyone who reads would know, that the humorous intent couldn't be missed. But after reflection I understand that it was possible to take it the wrong way. I apologize.

Rest assured I make zero dollars from this blog; if anything, it probably costs me fairly significantly in lost business. I don't charge any money for the ads on the side bar-- they are simply the avocations of three friends who are good Catholics and who asked for the space. I am glad to help them get exposure to four more people than they might otherwise have gotten.

"Running a blog" is sometimes not as true a perspective as is "a blog running you". I appreciate the forum and the audience that allows much (I pray) good and helpful material, conversation, Catholic news and opinion, and interesting items to be disseminated. This past month there were at least two important stories posted that had an immediate and positive effect. The downside is that you almost have to come up with "new" stuff every day so that when you have something really good there is an audience who checks in to read it.

So, I will get back to it, and hope that those readers who are dissatisfied will remember in their charity that we are all just trying to get to heaven. God bless you.

Ted said...

Perhaps this should have been comment #2 in the combox? Nevertheless, it is an apology I know I welcomed. It was most definitely needed. The idea of the snood is offensive and cannot hold a candle to the beauty of the mantilla. I want to thank the women out there who wear the mantilla even while assisting at an OF Mass. It is an amazing statement and a wonderful sign of love and respect for His sacrifice.

Now... maybe I will be able to sleep comfortably again.

Ted said...

If I could steal a few lines from The Don, I would say, "I am really honored to play such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of this issue. Today I'm very proud of myself, because I've accomplished something that no one else has been able to accomplish."

I kid.

RandomCatholic said...

You should be ashamed of yourself, thinking that you could post something humorous on your own blog, especially about something as deeply important as how a woman who is already covering her head is doing it wrong. Your apology is most welcome, sir, though I must say it will probably be a while before I can bring myself to respect you again. SHAME ON YOU.

Anonymous said...

re: 'Ted', 'RandomCatholic', 'Anons 7-29-2011-15:59 & 18:48

I LOVE this blogsite!


Anonymous said...

A priest I know said this weekend: "Why are some Catholics far more concerned about the clothes they wear than the spirituality and faith within?"

I'd much rather read postings from people about their personal relationship with our heavenly Father, and how that is changing and at times challenging their lives.

Jesus was horrified in his day with people who acted like they were pious but weren't, and went far out of his way to praise those who lived their faith without external signs.

Hmmm ... maybe the next posting will be about where lipstick should be applied!

Anonymous said...

re: Anon 04 August,2011 09:01

touche' !

...the post

...not the lipstick


Anonymous said...

Surprised no one has said this, but the last picture looks like Jim Carrey in his movie: "The Grinch That Stole Christmas."

[No harm intended - it just totally reminds me of the movie!]

Anonymous said...

Wow! I thought this was funny. I don't care for the snoods, frankly. They do look "washer-woman-like." I don't wear a headcovering. I tried, but the youngest as a baby kept removing it. I'd probably get dirty looks too at our parish. On other fashion matters, I can't imagine not wearing hose in a business suit or dress--beyond lightweight summer cotton casual dresses.

One commenter complained about criticism of improper dress and asserted that what goes on internally is more important. Sure, one can dress properly and have external piety and not be truly pious in the interior. I don't know how the indecently dressed person, however, can be terribly pious when (s)he doesn't care to dress decently for Mass. Is is really so hard to cover one's body appropriately (with seasonal considerations)? And not dress as if one is at a nightclub, the beach, or the gym? I wager that dress pants, skirts, simple blouses, shirts, etc., are less expensive than the A&F or Hollister t shirts and brand name jeans or shorts often seen at masses.

In any case, lighten up!

StGuyFawkes said...


Amen to everything you said. Especially the part about telling everyone to "lighten up."

Now, am I the only one to think this thread should end?

Let me see if I can end it on a positive note.

Last week my 12 year old daughter visited St. Francis De Sales for the first time. We assisted at the High Mass. I explained to my daughter that she would see many women wearing head veils and if there was a little shop maybe I would buy her one. Her first comment was one of anxiety. She said, "But will it match what I'm wearing?" I said, "It'll be white it will match anything."

Today in the car she said to me for no reason, "Can we go to that church again for Mass?" I said, "Sure but let's go to the low Mass, it's shorter." She said "No, I want to go to the High Mass." THen she added, "And I want a head veil."

My take is that there is something very feminine about this veil thing. Little girls often really like it. Getting girls to wear them for the right reasons may take catechesis but getting girls to wear them may not be all that hard.

Not wearing them is fine too.

St. Guy

Ted said...

StGuyFawkes - How dare you say that not wearing them is fine too. That is an insult. What is wrong with this crowd?

RandomCatholic said...

Ted - perhaps what these impious women who won't cover their heads need is a nudge, something that really shows them what they're missing. I think if you were to wear a mantilla, it would drive the point home like nothing else. How could they refuse at that point? And think of the glory you'd be giving to God, bringing the lost sheep home and purging our Masses of bare hair. I'll buy you dinner if you do it, your choice of venue.

thetimman said...

Congrats, Random Catholic, you have the honor of posting the last comment on this thread.

God bless us, every one!