Most of the congregation are already seated or kneeling when I arrive in St Kevin’s. Cold and cavernous with a sumptuous Gothic exterior, I’m expecting a very traditional experience from one of the few Catholic churches in Ireland where mass is still said in Latin.
What strikes me immediately is that a large number of women are wearing veils, a practice my grandmother would have observed before Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) . A quick web search tells me the small lace veil is called a mantilla. Married women wear a black veil, while young or unmarried women wear a white one – historically the colour of virginity if we think back to a wedding dress.