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A Call to Veil: The Mysterious Unfolds

When I look online for information about veiling at Mass (or anywhere in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament), it makes me sad to see that this is such a controversial topic. To me, veiling is a beautiful devotion, like the Rosary, that has the potential to edify the entire Body of Christ by drawing attention to both the sacredness of women and the magnificence of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

My journey to wearing a veil began as I read a discussion thread about this very topic among several good friends of mine. For months, I had been attending daily Mass and was finding myself quickly falling head over heels in love the same Eucharistic Lord I had nonchalantly received hundreds of times since my First Holy Communion in 1995.

When my friend Elaine mentioned why she veiled, she noted that the Church is rich in symbolism. She said, “The Church veils holy things—the tabernacle is veiled, behind the veil is the Body of Christ, and I am a vessel of life. A living tabernacle.”

This veiling of sacred things speaks to a kind of hiddenness that doesn’t seek to conceal in the negative sense, but rather draw us into the depths of mystery, allowing for the mysterious to unfold. In the Old Testament, Moses veiled his face. The Holy of Holies was veiled. Brides are often veiled before the “veil is lifted.” Even Jesus, the infinite God whose glory is revealed in heaven, is “veiled” before us by the accidents of bread and wine. As a wonderful priest puts it, “Like the effect of the virtue of modesty, by the very fact that something is hidden, it is allowed to become that which it is: mysterious and beautiful.”

Elaine also mentioned that veiling represents the desire to humble oneself before God: “When a man walks into church he removes his hat as an act of humility. Men show their bald spots and all of that in this act. When a woman covers her hair, her glory, she is similarly humbling herself before God.”

My heart heard that. I was absolutely in love and in awe with the magnificent reality of the Eucharist and Christ’s perfect act of self-giving—He, the God of the universe, wanted to be in such intimate union with me, yes, ME! that He wanted to physically enter into the very depths of my being and consume me with His love! And I just wanted to be His.

I admit, I also wanted to really feel like the precious child of God I’d been told so many times I was. Up until recently, I had never really believed it. I understood that God loves us…“us in general,” but not necessarily me in particular. After all, I had heard so many times from my loved ones how I had failed to be what they wanted me to be (most notoriously, thin and perfectly in control of my emotions), that I figured I was nothing special. I was nothing for someone else to die for, let alone God himself. So as I discovered the intimacy of the love of God, I longed to feel just how precious I was in His eyes, in spite of my sins and imperfections.

The first time I wore my veil before the Lord, I recalled Elaine’s words. “I am a living tabernacle.” In my heart, my longing to be His, wholly and completely, felt like fire. It reminded me of the fire I could see emanating from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I was that precious child of God, and I just wanted to be His.

Now, before I enter the sacred space that houses the Blessed Sacrament, I pause. I remind myself that the mystery I am about to enter in the Mass transcends time. I carefully slip my veil on over my head, ready to enter that sacred space and longing ever so intensely to allow Christ to marry me in the Eucharist. I am His bride.

* * *

If you are thinking about beginning this beautiful devotion, remember that it is God before whom you wish to humble yourself. Like a religious habit, your veil is a public proclamation of your desire to submit to the will of God for your life and to answer the universal call to holiness and continual conversion. Your veil is also a sign of the great dignity that is due 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! Above all, wear your veil for the greater glory of God.

Lily is a full-time, homeschooling mother of three (soon to be 4, in February 2012) with a special love for veiling in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Looking to promote a deeper reverence to the Blessed Sacrament, Lily founded Veils by Lily in August 2010 and now spends most of her spare time filling orders and returning inquiries about veiling. She blogs occasionally at The Catholic Wife.

  • jan - I would love to wear a veil. I hope to try it one day.

    JanDecember 15, 2011 – 9:26 amReplyCancel

  • Gina - Found this through Veils by Lily. Absolutely LOVED this post. Sounds like your story is very similar to mine.

    Many blessings to you. May you continuously feel the Love of Christ burn within you. 🙂December 15, 2011 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

  • Megan - I plan on beginning to wear my veil when I am confirmed at Easter Vigil. 🙂December 15, 2011 – 11:02 amReplyCancel

  • Karyn - I started veiling a few months ago but I can’t say I feel any different. Maybe because my headcovering isn’t one of those lacy veils but is almost like the scarves a peasant woman would wear from back in the day (I couldn’t figure out how to keep the scarves on when dealing with little ones). And it became more of a distraction than anything. Anyway, I don’t feel any different but I continue to veil because it is the Church’s teaching – and She has guided me right in so many other ways, I’ll just continue to be obedient even if I don’t quite get it. But I will carry your ideas into Mass on Sunday and will hopefully feel more inspired.December 15, 2011 – 7:20 pmReplyCancel

  • MaryKathleen - I have Lily’s veils & carry one in my purse. I never enter adoration without it & have been for sometime now wanting to wear it into mass & haven’t. One fear is to stand out, but this is a beautiful testament & shows me differently.December 15, 2011 – 8:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - I love veiling and have done so ever since I became a Catholic 4 years ago. I don’t feel good at Mass or at the Blessed Sacrament unless I have my veil or shawl.December 15, 2011 – 9:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Lily - Karyn, I think it’s important to point out that, while no longer mandatory, the primary purpose of veiling should not be to feel a certain way, but to give glory to God. Our veils do so by pointing to the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and by seeking to restore to our culture the idea that our femininity is sacred. Feelings, on the other hand, come and go, and we may even feel tempted to *stop* veiling because we are afraid of standing out or of what others will think of us! But bringing it always back to God and to the sincere desire to please God above all else despite our imperfections and our tendency to sin, even if we don’t quite get it, like you said, is truly the way to go!December 15, 2011 – 9:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - I would not worry about standing out. I used to think about that and would tell my husband (RIP) that I didn’t want to have people think I was trying to act religous by wearing a veil when others didn’t. He told me “don’t worry about others, just do what God is telling you to do!”. I have always followed that rule and actually get a lot of nice comments on the beautiful veils that I wear. WE HAVE to do what GOD tells us and now worry about looking different!December 15, 2011 – 9:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Martina - I love Lily’s point about making the decision to veil {or not to veil} based on emotions. The flip side of it could easily be that people who *don’t* veil “feel” like those who do are somehow holier than thou or some other derogatory thought or comment.

    I really think emphasizing the point of veiling appropriately on our relationship and desire to grow how God wants us to is *so* key.

    The Faith isn’t rooted in emotions, so it makes perfect sense that we should not view the decision to or not to veil as one centered on emotions because, as Lily pointed out, they are fleeting. 🙂December 15, 2011 – 9:47 pmReplyCancel

  • ~Kathy~ - I have been praying about veiling, and am continuing to do so. I am really feeling led to start veiling again. My almost 16yo daughter has also expressed a desire to veil. If my prayers lead me where I think they will, my daughter and I will be veiling starting Ash Wednesday. I think Lent would be a wonderful time to start veiling. My husband is completely supportive of it, and even said pretty much the same as Elizabeth’s husband did. That gives me so much encouragement.December 16, 2011 – 1:29 amReplyCancel

  • Karyn - I’ve always read that veiling is mandatory. That people mistakenly thought Vatican II lifted the obligation but that it is actually still in place.

    I wasn’t saying that I veil because in order to feel a certain way. I was just saying that whenever a read an article from a “pro-veiler”, they inevitably mention how peaceful or respectful or whatever they feel. I was just saying that I don’t particularly feel any different, but I veil anyway because it’s what the Church teaches.December 16, 2011 – 7:20 amReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - Kathy….I will be praying for you and others to embrace the act of veiling. Let us all pray for each other and be a support for each other in this. I know that when I see another woman at Mass who is veiling it always makes me feel good and I instantly have a bond with her. Let us pray for other women to have their hearts and eyes opened to the blessing of veiling.December 16, 2011 – 9:29 amReplyCancel

  • Lily - Karyn, I just thought I would mention it since I often talk with other women about this and how we “feel” is usually brought up. I mentioned it myself, and I didn’t want it to come across like we should be after a feeling. I do find that wearing my veil helps me lift my heart to God much better, though, which is great!

    Vatican II never did away with veiling, but the Code of Canon Law did leave it out in 1983. Up until then, it was still Canon Law. Cardinal Burke wrote a private letter to someone who asked him about this and his reply seemed to affirm the idea that it is no longer mandatory but is usually expected when attending Mass in the Extraordinary Form. This is also what I’ve always heard from priests, canon lawyers, and Catholic apologists. And in a way, I’m glad it’s not mandatory, because I’ve spoken to many women who remember having to do it when they were younger without understanding why. Obedience is a virtue, for sure, but when we do things from the heart, out of love for God, it’s even better. 🙂December 16, 2011 – 10:32 amReplyCancel

  • Manda - Does anyone here veil at the Novus Ordo mass? Or do you all attend the Latin rite mass?December 18, 2011 – 8:39 amReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - I veil at both masses and at Adoration but if for some reason I forget my veil I don’t have a fit (although I do tend to feel rather naked!). It was hard at first as sometimes I am the only one with a veil and that will not take the host in my own hands but you get used to being different after awhile. Isn’t it sad the the NORMAL is now Different????December 18, 2011 – 5:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Lily - Manda, I attend the Novus Ordo most of the time, and most of the time I’m the only one. There are a few other ladies in the parish who do veil as well, but I haven’t seen them around lately!December 18, 2011 – 8:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Amy - Great post, Lily! Thanks for sharing and thanks to all of you ladies who posted. I don’t wear a veil, but have always thought it was a beautiful and lovely thing to do. I wasn’t sure why some women did veil, so I really appreciated you sharing how God has moved in your life! Thank you for responding to His call in such a humble way! You inspire me!December 19, 2011 – 10:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - This is a beautiful post, Lily, very thoughtful and edifying. To any woman considering headcovering for Mass, Adoration or other devotional activities (private or corporate), don’t worry about what others may or may not think regarding your choice to veil if you are convinced and convicted in your conscience to enter into this beautiful practice. Yes, it can be incredibly difficult, especially for those who are lone coverers in their congregation, but the gift to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is profound. We’re not moving backwards or dragging the church into the past, we’re moving forwards, eagerly straining toward our Redeemer. I have been covering since 7 April 2001. This practice has followed me from Seventh Day Adventism, through Evangelical Anglicanism and finally into Marounite Catholic Christianity (I was confirmed into the Church on 8 October). Has it been easy? No. has it been humbling? Yes. Along this journey, I have been sworn at, shouted at and have even had folk attempt to tear it from my head all within the worship assembly! (fellow ‘sisters’ in Christ can express some of the most toxic venom and heartbreaking hostility toward one lone woman striving to follow our Lord and Saviour with all her heart, mind and strength)… needless to say, I have been deeply encouraged by coming into a parish where a good quarter to one third of women of all ages cover, whether for Sunday or weekday services, and where a live and let live atmosphere exists between coverers and non coverers – no hostility or bitterness (which seems predominately the domain of Western Rite Boomers, war babies and builders) . If you are the first to don it, you may well be silently encouraging one or more who have wrestled with it for months, even years, but have been petrified of being the first.

    May all who read and comment here be richly and wonderfully blessed,

    Sarah,
    Australia.December 22, 2011 – 1:33 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Liturgical Time - There seems to be a quiet, gradual, but powerful resurgence of veiling in the presence of our Lord, especially among the younger women. Praise be! Let us rise up and call Him Lord of Lords, Mighty God!December 22, 2011 – 3:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I have been veiling just this last year but have wanted to for some time. I always liked seeing the few women that veiled and wanted to know more about it, I heard many things about how “unnecessary, out of date, ect.” it is, but I pressed on. I am so glad I kept searching and finally mustered the courage to veil. I do struggle with keeping it on as my little one likes to grab it, but I love it. It reminds me that my desire is to submit to the Lord as our Blessed Mother did and we never see her without a veil do we?
    My only question is about veiling OUTSIDE of mass and adoration. The scripture says to cover our head during prayer and we pray constantly throughout the day. Should the veil be worn at all times? Just a question I’ve been curious about.December 22, 2011 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - The question of covering re I Cor 11 3-16 and by extention, 1 Thes 5: 17 (Pray without ceasing – alluding to our constant mindfulness of Christ that infuses everything we think, say and do) is a very valid point and natural outcropping that develops after one has been covering principally for Church. There are growing numbers of women outside traditional Plain communities who are covering outside of Church-related worship/bible study/prayer – some for private equivalents in their own homes, some also when out in public. I cover 85% of the time with kerchiefs or wide headbands worn with my bun covered. there are many providers of Christian headcoverings designed for daily wear (for those with long or shorter hair) and practical use that withstand housework, the outdoors, or are beautiful enough yet descrete enough to be worn by those in high powered jobs or jobs in which the public is dealt with day to day, that can be toned in with corporate wardrobe etc. Lilies is excellent for churchwear; with permission from the people at ‘Catholic Sisters’ I am happy to provide information on Christian retailers who sell beautiful every-day coverings with whom I have dealt satisfactorily over the years; same goes for modest dress (though remember this latter category is almost infinate in its variety).

    Additionally, the notion of plainness is making inroads into the wider Christian and Catholic community with Anglican, non denominational, and Catholic ladies (and gentlemen) finding themselves convinced and convicted to follow this path; though it is not, of course, the only way. there are also several on-line forums for Christian coverers of all denominations; I am a member of a very good one of these that is safe, sane and moderated to prevent disputes or the types of ugly Catholic persecution that can crop up on some of the more millitant protestant fora out there on line. When around family who just don’t get it, I scale it right back to the buncover. While some cover at night, I don’t, giving my hair time to breathe and rest.

    There are screads of resources out there re more frequent covering and how to do it practically, especially with babes and toddlers (a kapp may be in order here)

    May you be richly and wonderfully blessed,

    Sarah,
    Australia.December 22, 2011 – 6:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Erin - I have been veiling for a few months. It was an act of obedience to my husband. We have been attending TLM on Sundays but NO during the week. Since veiling, I veil at every mass. At first I really, really wrestled with my pride during mass, only thinking of myself. But trying to just love God. It is still difficult, but I’m getting better. We have a few women at daily mass that veil. I found 2 beautiful croceted ones online that I really like and stay put even with my little one at mass.December 22, 2011 – 6:31 pmReplyCancel

  • My Heart Exults - I had a desire to veil for a while, and when I went on a pilgrimage to Israel, I veiled while at all Masses and at the holy sites. When I returned home, I didn’t veil, but missed it a lot. When the youth were preparing to go to Madrid for WYD, I spoke to the girls about veiling and wearing skirts. To my surprise, they were all for it, and they wanted to do it right away! Not only that, their mothers wanted to veil too! It has been about a year now that a handful of us veil at Mass and we all LOVE it. Talking about it to others was the best thing I could have done…not only for myself, but for the other young woman of our parish.December 22, 2011 – 8:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - I think I will make a bumper sticker that says “I VEIL THEREFORE I PRAY”….we need to make more people aware of veiling! Or should that read “I pray & Adore – Therefore I veil”?December 22, 2011 – 9:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Danielle - Elizabeth, I will buy your bumper sticker 😉 It sounds good the first way but really should probably read, “I pray therefore I veil!” Maybe even include 1 Cor 11:5 Then again would this be a witness or would it be drawing undue attention and seem prideful? I’m not judging, I’m asking.December 23, 2011 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Jeffrey - ‘The covering of the head with a veil symbolizes the reality of woman sheltered in the side of her Source and becoming one with Him. She becomes covered and hidden in her Divine Spouse.’

    St. John Chrysostom (saintsworks.net)

    🙂December 23, 2011 – 5:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Warynick - WOW!!! I like that Jeffrey! Thanks for pointing out that quote!December 23, 2011 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Susan - I am so happy to find this site. I too have heard the call to veil. Not long before the beginning of lent this year, I knew God was leading me to veil. I am the only one at my church that veils, and I do feel closer to God. I have four daughters and I want to be a good example of modesty for them in a world that does not . Continue to do the work you are doing because you inspire others.March 6, 2012 – 10:02 amReplyCancel

  • Ann Fowler - I am newly received and confirmed, I have started to veil for Mass and whenever I go into the house of God. I agree with the comments on here about it drawing attention to Jesus Christ and not to oneself.
    I have had derogatory comments passed but I will not let that deter meMay 1, 2012 – 8:46 amReplyCancel

  • Anna - For the past year and a half or so I’ve felt the call to veil at Mass and daily too. I’m so terrified of people’s reactions though! I’m choir director at my Catholic college and our community is very liberal, so I can’t really be anonymous about it. I’ve started with just wide headbands and gradually have moved to scarves tied like a headband. I’m not consistent though… I let my pride/anxiety get in the way… It’s comforting to know others have struggled with answering the call though.July 28, 2012 – 6:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Anna…..I know how you feel. I sang in a small choir at Mass back in CA (I am now in TN) and as a new Catholic felt very led to veil but didn’t want people to think I was trying to be Holier than Thou……my husband (R.I.P.) said to me that I need to do what GOD is telling me to do and not worry about what people think. I am glad I followed his advice because there were other women who wanted to veil but felt embarrased and when they saw me do it they started as well. We should ALWAYS do what GOD wants and not worry about the rest!July 28, 2012 – 10:39 pmReplyCancel

  • vivian - We are going to be handing our 30 veils at a woman’s retreat. Our retreat ends with mass and want to invite those that feel comfortable to veil with us. I’m trying to find a beautiful saying to invite them. Any ideas?September 19, 2012 – 7:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Beckie - I’m a recent convert of 2 years and veiling is one of the many traditions that attracted me to Catholisism. First, for me, it’s an act of being hunbled before Christ…a non-deserving person given the grace to stand before and with Him. Second, the intimacy given when wearing my veil draws me into to my private sactuary with just me and God.October 15, 2012 – 8:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Daughter of God - The movie ‘For Greater Glory’ had the most beautiful veils!!! I wish that Spanish mantillas were not so hard to find & not as expensive.November 9, 2012 – 3:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Protestant - After reading 1Corinthians 11, I started looking for a veil. I just received mine from Lily, it’s beautiful! I’m wearing it around the house to get use to it and will speak to my Pastor to let her know of this scripture I have found and wonder why it’s not being done. I would be the only one in my Church with a veil and as others have said, I just don’t want to stick out. Yet, I feel God saying, “If you can’t obey me with your family Church how are you going to stand before strangers and proclaim my Glory”

    So, I take it as a test of my obedience to His Word. It will be a couple Sunday’s from now that I wear it to service, but I have to step out in Faith and just do it. It says in 1cor11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have POWER on her head because of the angels. I have read other commentaries on veiling and it seems as if they are saying just that about the POWER it give us in Prayer. And the Angels notice our obedience and Rejoice.November 10, 2012 – 3:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Anne - I am going to a Latin Mass and it is “required” to veil. Until now, I just did it because it was required. Just now reading your blog made me understand. I had grown up with a preVatican II mother who always veiled. I had thought it was for the women to cover her “crowning glory”, her hair, but it sounded odd because the veils were bigger and brighter than hair could every be. I thought it is not a way to be more humble, it is a way to show off your BEAUTIFUL head scarf.

    Today reading your blog saying that I “am a vessel of life. A living tabernacle” says a lot. I had never truly thought of myself that way. It was hard for me to have children. Our first was born with thanks to infertility treatments. Our second came 12 years later, in my mid40s, as a true blessing from God.

    I am a vessel of life and I am dedicated to raising my boys as good Catholic young men.December 14, 2012 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn Carty - I am a convert and have only attended Mass in English. I heard on Ewtn that in America we took assumption of unveiling in front of the sacrement. I veil anytime during mass, and because of 1 corrinthians coming at me “out of the blue” during multi denominational prayer groups we attend, and try to cover my head with either headband or scarf when out without my husband.January 7, 2013 – 6:14 amReplyCancel

  • Natalie - Hello everyone here,

    my name ist Natalie, I’m 37 years old and mother of two adorable children, aged 8 and 3. I live in Germany.

    I have been veiling for several months now, but not as regularly as I would like to because it still hasn’t become a habit to me. But I’m struggling to improve. I try to cover my hair any time I’m adorating the Blessed Sacrament, to pay tribute to the true presence of my God and Saviour.

    I would be really happy to keep in contact with women who also think that veiling is essential.

    Besides, if I make mistakes, feel free to correct me 🙂 Normally I’m able to speak and write quite fluent English but I must say I have not enough language training, so I forget…

    Never mind. Anyway, I’m so happy to have found this page 🙂

    Greetings to all my Catholic sistas!!

    NatalieMarch 27, 2013 – 5:47 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle - 3 years ago I came back to the church (So glad to be HOME!!) and in Sept 2012, felt called to start veiling. Currently I am the only person at the Mass I attend, in my extremely small parish that veils however I’ve started noticing a lot more hats on women! There is also a family with 9 children and the mother has decided she will start veiling soon and 5 of her daughters have shown interest. I do sometimes hear little “comments” and I have noticed that some women treat me differently then they did before. It DOES bother me but not as much as it would bother me to not veil when I’ve been called to do so. I am 35 and I’ve noticed that the majority of the people that “seem to have a problem with it” are women between 50-60. I have also realized that a lot of these women are pro- choice and into so called “women’s rights” (ummm what?!? you mean let me not love that I’m a women and try to be like a man?! some rights). I’ve decided I don’t understand them and they don’t understand me and I’ll just pray that they understand God.March 31, 2013 – 5:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Katie Titus - This was truly a beautiful post. I am a senior in highschool and have recently felt called to veil. For me, the desire came from a greater respect and love for the Blessed Sacrament. If our Lord Jesus is truly present, how can we come before Him without showing any real sign of humility and respect? I agree though, we definitely and more importantly need to make sure our heart is veiled. I ordered a veil, but it hasn’t come yet. I have been wearing hats or scarves to Mass waiting for it to arrive. I also thought this may be a good way to slowly warm up my family and parish to the idea of head covering.:) No one in my parish does, and my mom supports me in it, but doesn’t feel called to veil herself. It is so nice to hear from other women on the topic.April 25, 2013 – 2:00 pmReplyCancel

  • antone - Recently I have been given my greatgrandmother’s veil I felt so blessed that it has been given to me. so I decided to wear black for advent.. nd her’s for the month of Mary. I felt sad for a moment when grown adults were laughing at me. Until an elderly woman complimented me.. and made me feel stronger and proud to keep the tradition going. Just sad that here aren’t many stores and variety to choose from.
    hopefully i can pass it on to my daugther 🙂May 28, 2013 – 8:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Janet Thomas - I veil for the very simple reason that I am going before the almighty God and as I walk before Him in the desire to “be perfect as my Father in Heaven is perfect,” I know that my human will is present and I am in the battle of bringing it to stillness. I veil my human will that Christ Jesus sees the Immaculate Mother veiled before Him and draws me into His most Sacred heart to continue the work of His purification in my soul. God desires all in the one and maybe all will soon desire God in the simplicity of His heart through the Immaculate Heart of our Mother who provides all grace and remained veiled as true Mother, true grace that we all become love. If it begins one by one, let us not worry about what others think but be concerned about placing our hearts in the Sacred Heart of Jesus for we are at Holy Mother Church for God alone.June 28, 2013 – 6:07 amReplyCancel

  • Lorena Torres - Hello Sisters in Christ! I am 28 years old with two beautiful children! I began veiling a year ago after one of my late night bible readings where I came accross
    1 Corinthians 11:6…… 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. …..
    this just grabbed me and from that moment on I didn’t think twice about it. It is sad, however, how some people especially women, can turn to us and say that this beautiful holy act of veiling is a setback for womens rights and a submissive act in itself. If serving my Lord is to be submissive then so be it, for I am here because of him and will strive every day of my life for his will to be carried out. God bless all you Sisters in Christ! I pray that this act and message touches the hearts of more women in today’s world.August 1, 2013 – 9:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Tami Brett - For me, it all began with my daughter Bailey’s First Holy Communion. My husband ordered a very elegant traditional white veil for her, she was very excited to wear it, but couldn’t understand why she should wear it for her First Holy Communion and not every time she received Jesus. She said, “But Mom, every time I receive Jesus is special!” She asked if she could continue to wear her veil and I said the very nonsupportive, “Okay, but no one else will be wearing one.” I’m embarrassed to admit that was my response, but it was. Bailey continued to wear her veil for a few months without fail, and then one Sunday, she didn’t wear it. I asked her where her veil was, she said, “Oh I decided not to wear it, you don’t wear one.” Extreme sadness and shame washed over me. I was not supporting her, I was not sharing in her enthusiasm, not because I disagreed with veiling, but because I was concerned about what others might thing or say. Then came the nudge from the Holy Spirit, my husband had ordered some books through a Catholic publisher and as a thank you they had offered us a free booklet. I can’t remember what the options were, but one of them jumped off the page, “The Chapel Veil”. I sent for the free booklet and found the symbolism beautiful. I’m a bit of a logical person and I like to know why before I do something. This booklet gave me those answers and I decided I also wanted to begin veiling at Mass. Talk about a humbling moment! It was extremely difficult, I didn’t want to draw attention, but my desire to veil before my God was stronger than my pride. Well veiling turned out to be a slippery slope, because soon after, I found myself longing for a more reverent liturgy. Then I came across an article that said the preferred way to receive the sacred Host was while kneeling and on the tongue. That the US Council of Catholic Bishops actually has to file for two separate “exemptions” to allow us in the U.S. to receive standing and in the hand. Pope Benedict XVI even went so far as to tell priests that anyone wishing to receive kneeling and on the tongue should not be discouraged from doing so. Boy did this new information eat at me. I am receiving God! Who am I to not kneel? I know what a sinner I am! I know how grateful and undeserving I am to receive our Lord? I was a lost sheep, clueless in fact, full of pride and so sure I knew it all, and He didn’t leave me there…. but called me to His church! Somehow he broke through all of that and in His mercy showed me truth. Through His grace I answered the call and now I have the immeasurable privilege of receiving Him! I had to kneel, I had to receive Him on my tongue, lest any particle be lost and fall to the floor from my unworthy hands. So now I’m veiling and kneeling and receiving on the tongue, surely now I would be satisfied. I was for a while….then I discovered the Latin Mass! My oldest daughter and I had been studying Latin and I knew that it was customary to veil at a Latin Mass, I also knew that everyone received kneeling and on the tongue, I thought let’s give it a try. I had gone before, but felt completely lost! This time I did my homework and ordered a Latin-English Mass booklet online. I was so excited when I received it. I was stunned and speechless when I read it! The prayers…..WOW!!! Beautiful!!! It was everything I would want said on my behalf before God, it pointed to the sacrifice in a way that was incomparable to any liturgy I had ever experienced. I have found that I need a reverent liturgy, in my own human weakness, I am distracted at Mass, I forget, while trying to juggle children, exactly what it is I’m receiving. I need the external signs (the veil, the kneeling posture, the liturgical reverence, the choir out of sight and in the loft) to keep me focused. I adore all the elements of the Tridentine Mass, I urge anyone who might also be yearning for a deeper experience to give the Tridentine Mass a try, but be warned…you might just love it!September 16, 2013 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I am 17 years old and recently I have had the calling to veil. I have spoken to one of my friends about it and she has seemed less than enthusiastic for me. However, I know what The Lord is calling me to do and her comments will not change that for me. Thank you to you all for your amazing stories, for they have made my desire to veil even greater.January 5, 2014 – 11:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Sydney - I’m only 14,but I am trying to strengthen my relationship with our Lord. I think (THINK!) I will start veiling this Lent. No one veils in our church, and I’m worried it would draw unnecessary attention to me. I feel a call to veil though… This topic came up with the priest and my Sunday School class. I plan on talking with my mother tomorrow, after church. The people here have really inspired me, and I intend to wear a Lily Starter Veil as my first veil.March 1, 2014 – 10:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Martina Kreitzer - That’s great! You couldn’t have made a better choice with one of Lily’s veils. Try hard not to focus on others’ opinion of you and just focus on doing it to glorify God and all will go well. 🙂March 1, 2014 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Natalie Hanke - @Tami:

    I’m so grateful for the wonderful and touching testimony you have given.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

    @Sydney an Elizabeth:

    It is great and encouraging to learn that even very young women, like you both, start to rediscover the meaning of the veil. Don’t care about what others might think of it, just follow the divine call you feel in your heart. You couldn’t do better.March 5, 2014 – 6:17 amReplyCancel

  • Barbara - What a beautiful article you have written! I am commenting so you will know that your words continue to reverberate though the throngs of Catholic women looking for reverent expression of their love for God and the Holy Catholic Church.

    Utmost respect for these brave women willing to face the congregation as the only veiled participant in the Mass. The irony! Those who embrace women’s lib have become, themselves, the oppressors of women, with their sneers and jeers at a the veiled woman and their belief that equal means the same, and “the same” means “like a man”!

    One of the many beauty’s of our Church are the distinct roles given to man and to woman. The true liberators of both man and woman are Mary and Jesus. One only has to look at the image of Mary crushing the head of the serpent with her bare foot while gazing serenely from beneath her veil to know how powerful women are! And man can draw on every example of Jesus as to how to be all that he can be! Now that is true liberation!

    Our veiling is a quiet, humble, powerful weapon against Satan, the attacks and disrespect received by some women from members of their congregation and women-at-large prove that.

    So dear, strong-in-faith women, I beg you to never falter in showing your love and respect for and your faith and commitment to the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Mother, the Angels, this sacred Catholic Church, your husbands and fathers and the standard God has given women. We are women, the veil is womanhood exemplified, it is amoungst other things humble, beautiful, quiet strength and a true outward expression of our devotion to God.August 18, 2014 – 9:00 amReplyCancel

  • teresa - I believe that all those “called” to veil are the daughters of Mary.August 19, 2014 – 10:27 pmReplyCancel

  • 7 Quick Takes — Christmastide and a New Year [vol.13] | Ora et Labora et Maternitas - […] One of the gifts I made for the girls was their very own chapel veils.  I won a veil in a giveaway a few weeks ago, and ever since I received it, the girls have been clamoring for one of their own.  Since the one I won is purple (great for Advent!) and I needed a black one for Ordinary Time anyway, I decided to make them their own veils when I sat down to make my black one.  They turned out sooo cute!  Why do I veil?  I will address that in a future post, because there’s a lot I want to say about it and it’s a very recent decision that was 17 years in the making, but for now, you can start by reading this and this. […]January 4, 2015 – 2:22 pmReplyCancel

  • 7 Quick Takes — Christmastide and a New Year [vol.13] | Ora et Labora et Maternitas - […]  Why do I veil?  I will address that in a future post, because there’s a lot I want to say about it and it’s a very recent decision that was 17 years in the making, but for now, you can start by reading this and this. […]June 22, 2015 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Amy - Thank you, continuing to pray and discern about this next step. It wouldn’t be so difficult at TLM, but takes a little more courage to veil at a NO mass. Yet it is our same Lord, deserving of the same honor and respect.August 23, 2015 – 9:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Highlight Wednesdays: Catholic Sistas | Head and Heart - […] A Call to Veil: The Mysterious Unfolds […]October 7, 2015 – 12:05 pmReplyCancel

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