Veiling: A three month journey … so far


Today marks three months to the day that I began veiling at Mass. Before I “took the plunge” I had been thinking about it every now and then beginning sometime during Lent of this year. It was something that would pop up randomly in one of my feeds, and every time it came up, I was completely intrigued. But, being a naturally shy-not-flashy person, I was kinda nervous to start it. So, each time I heard about it, it promptly got pushed to the back of my mind.

There are several women who veil in my church, so it’s not something completely unusual. I did have to wait for my Mimi (my future sister-in-law) to go to church with us before I was comfortable enough to do it. She came with us on the first Sunday Jared was gone. And I think the only reason I veiled with her that day was because she had asked Katherine if she wanted to veil (of course she said “yes”) and I couldn’t let both the girls go veiled with me no wearing anything, especially when I kinda wanted to. You know, just to try it out. (For a picture of Katherine in her veil click on this post.)

My veil:

My veil is not a “real” altar veil. As in I didn’t buy it specifically from one of the many websites I’ve found selling altar veils. I actually bought it when I was in the Philippines in 2006. It’s really more of a lacy shawl than a veil. But… it works. I was a little nervous because it was black, and until the day I wore it as a veil, I’d only seen white ones. But walking to the church, I was told that black is traditionally worn by married women, once I heard that, I was fine. Even though I’m the only one I’ve ever seen wear a black veil. It’s my understanding now though that those traditions aren’t rigid as they once were.

my veil, {please politely ignore those sippy cups, I barely noticed them as they are a permanent fixture on my table}
my veil {please politely ignore those sippy cups, I barely noticed them as they are a permanent fixture on my table}

Why the veil:

I don’t have a good answer for this question. I’ll be honest. I didn’t look into why women veiled before I started. I have since, and most things I’ve read, I’ve been in complete agreement with.

When I first started, the only answer I had was:

To Honor and be Submissive to my husband {I am still working on the submissive thing…}

The first Mass I wore the veil to, it was basically the only thing I thought about. I felt everyone was looking at me – they probably were, and I still catch glances now, but it doesn’t make me squirm like it used to. I had a very wiggly 18-month old climbing all over me – let me tell you, it is definitely a challenge to keep that thing on with little grabby hands going for it constantly. In short, it was almost more of a distraction than a blessing.

The second Mass I veiled, it was a weekday, and I was by myself. I think it was the next Tuesday. It was completely different. There were no grabby hands and my hair was in a bun, which, surprise, was strong enough to keep the veil on without pins or combs, and it stayed – so that’s my go-to hair style for now. I still felt people’s eyes on me, but I didn’t care. The “moment” came during the consecration. I don’t know how, but it seemed that everything else ceased to exist. In that moment, it was me and Christ. It was me BEFORE Christ. I KNEW of my complete unworthiness to be in His presence, and the veil I was wearing was “covering me”.

I have not since then experienced that same intensity. I do feel the presence of that particular moment of the Eucharist on a much more superficial level, it’s still special and a blessing, but it was not like that time. I think that moment was what has kept me veiling. I’m a very visual person; when I veil, that visual reminder of being BEFORE God and completely IN His presence is very strong.

So, now “why do I veil”

Still, to honor and be submissive to my husband {Still working on it… remember the visual reminders? This is one of them; I remember when I veil that I AM being submissive and honoring my husband, even if we’ve had a rough week}

To enter more fully into worship of God {after the first few weeks, the veil was no longer a distraction, it was a way to shut out some of the external movement during the service – it’s hard to see out the sides of your eyes with a veil}

That’s about where I’m at right now. It’s an ongoing journey, one that I’m very excited to continue!

The inspiration for writing this post came from a link up over at Tiffany @ Life of  a Catholic Librarian, co-hosted by Cristina @ Filling My Prayer Closet and Emily @ Em’s Estuary

I’m adding my link over there. Be sure to go there and check it all out! There’s a FB page too! (P.S. there’s a few giveaways left as well!!)


11 thoughts on “Veiling: A three month journey … so far

  1. I wear a black one as well — for one reason, because it’s the traditional colour for married women, and for another, because I want it to be relatively unobtrusive (which is certainly is against dark hair!).

    1. That’s actually another reason I wear a black one, it “hides” in my hair (as I mentioned, I’m a shy, not-outgoing definitely not flashy person).
      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Ruth Anne

  2. Yes, black is the traditional color for married women – sort of like how professed nuns go from the white (novice) veil tot he black (professed) veil.

    I am not sure about the connotations relating to submission to ones husband regarding the veil. There is a lot of debate on that one, but I agree with the idea of entering more fully into worship with God. It is nice to sort of “veil” oneself off from everything that is happening around – it makes the experience more private, as others cannot really see the veiled persons face unless they are in front of them.

    God bless you in your journey!

    1. Such a coincidence that you mention “submission to ones husband” as a reason for veiling. In the last few days even, I’ve been feeling more and more that veiling is not so much about my husband at all some, yes, but not “the reason” to veil. Since starting to adjust my focus away from my husband and towards God, it’s become a much more special devotion.
      Maybe I should write an updated post.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.
      ~Ruth Anne

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