Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why I veil at Mass

Last fall, I joined a new parish, and for the first time as a Catholic, I saw women of all ages wearing veils at Mass. Not just old ladies, but young women, teenagers, and even little girls would wear veils when attending Mass. Before I found my new parish, I thought that old women wearing doilies on their heads was a quaint custom that they had done before Vatican II, that they just grew up doing before women were more fully appreciated. When I discovered young girls veiling, I decided to look into it, to see what it was all about. I could not have been more wrong. There are several reasons to veil in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (not just at Mass). The first reason I discovered, is that women are sacred, much more than men, and the Church has always veiled sacred things. For example, in the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was veiled, in our Church the tabernacle is often veiled, behind that veil, is the Body of Christ, which is veiled behind the accidents of bread and wine, and women are living tabernacles, because we have the ability to carry another life within us. When we are pregnant, the Hand of God is active within us, forming the child in the womb.

 Another reason, is that it is an act of humility. When you are in the presence of an earthly king, you do certain things to show that you recognize their power and authority. So, when we are in the presence of the King of Kings, we should do even more. For example, when men go into a church, they should take off their hats, revealing their balding heads, which is an act of humility. Likewise, a woman's hair is her glory, and should be covered, to show humility.

It also shows our longing to be the bride of Jesus when He enters into our bodies in the Eucharist.

Finally, it is a physical reminder of where we are, and Who we're with. I find it helps me to concentrate more fully on Jesus and the Mass when I veil.

I first started veiling just after this last Christmas. At first, I felt awkward and embarrased when I would go to daily Mass at other parishes, where I would be the only one veiling. I even went to one parish where people were staring, pointing, and whispering about it. Finally, I decided that God had called me to veil for a reason, and that was just between us. If people thought I was weird or crazy because I wanted to humble myself before God, then that was their problem. I still sometimes have twinges of awkardness now, when I go to Mass at different places, but mostly I'm fine with it. I like to think that when I veil at other places, it will remind others around me who may point or stare, that we are in the presence of God, and that maybe they should try to be more reverent too. Of course, I'm not saying that I'm perfect, or that I never get distracted at Mass. Even when I get to go to Mass without kids (very rarely), my ADD frequently gets the better of me, and I start looking around, or thinking of other things. But then, my veil catches my eye, or it starts to slip, or itch, and I remember to focus my body and soul back on God.

So, that's why I've started (and will forever more) veil in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Maybe you will think about it, pray about it, and start veiling too! Give it a try, I think you will soon see the beauty in it too. And, if you want a nice veil, I got my first one at http://veilsbylily.com/ (I think the average price on there was about $25 plus shipping). I really like mine, but I love the way the one I made for my mom came out. (See my first post, "Welcome!") Let me know if you want me to make one for you!

I also love how my veil now smells forever like incense! :-D

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