beneath the Veil.

Let’s get the not-so-fun thing out of the way:

**Disclaimer: What I’m about to blog about is in no way, shape, or form official Catholic Church teaching, but rather a personal preference.**

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Similar to the veil I have now, but this one is a little longer and more intricate.

Similar to the veil I have now, but this one is a little longer and more intricate.

After praying about veils for what seemed like forever, about a month ago I decided to start wearing a veil when I’m at Mass (at least when I’m at a Roman Catholic Mass – other rites are a different story) and, typically, when I’m in the presence of the Lord, i.e. adoration chapel, an empty sanctuary, etc. The reasons for this decision were many, and my love of veiling has only deepened as I continue to wear it. When Jenna at Call Her Happy announced that she’d be hosting a veiling link-up, you know that I jumped all over that band-wagon (obviously). Therefore, this post will take part in two-parts:

Part One: Why I Chose To Veil in the First Place

Part Two: What I’ve Learned Since Veiling

Let’s get started, shall we?

Part One: Why I Chose To Veil in the First Place

Jewish Roots

I love tradition and I love learning about why we do things. When I read The Crucified Rabbi by Taylor Marshall I learned a whole lot about why bishops wear a zucchetto. What I learned is that they actually come from the Jewish practice of wearing a yarmulke (I know, I had no idea it was spelled that way either!). Yarmulkes were worn all the time (but especially in the Temple) as a physical reminder that we are always under God’s roof and that He is always Lord over us. Beautiful, no? The reason that bishops take their zucchettos off during the Eucharistic prayer is because they are acting in the person of Christ and therefore it wouldn’t make sense to wear a reminder of what they are already being.

Just Like Mary

Mary veiled, as did pretty much all Jewish women in her day, but the idea of doing anything like Mary (a.k.a. the only perfect woman ever) jumps at me. She is literally the perfect womanly role model, so why not take part in something that reminds me of and unites me to her?

Physical Reminder to Focus

Don’t we all get distracted at Mass? I know I do! Veiling forces me, in a way, to focus forward, on Mass, on the altar, and what is going on in front of me. No more looking around to see who just walked in late, whose cell phone just started singing “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, or whose kid is screaming in the back. No more. My focus is where it should be.

Part Two: What I’ve Learned Since Veiling

This could simply be summed up by saying: it is beautiful and it rocks, but I won’t just leave it there.

The Beauty God Created In Me

In ye olden days (a.k.a. when Jesus walked the earth) the beautiful things were veiled: the Holy of Holies, Mary, women in general, the fanciest rooms in a home were surrounded by veils. Is that to say that I think I’m the most beautiful thing in the world? No way, but veiling reminds me that God does see me as beautiful, even when I don’t. I think that reminder alone – His love for me and the beauty He sees in me – has been the most powerful thing I’ve been reminded of since I began veiling.

Less Distracted

I should also mention (in case you didn’t already know) that I work at my home parish. Because I grew up there, I know a fair number of parishioners and being on staff puts me in a different place as well. Wearing my veil at Mass helps remind me that I’m there for Mass and that when I’m in Mass, I’m in Mass for Him. I’m not working, I’m not recruiting volunteers or talking to small children or their parents, I’m in His house and that time is for Him, period, end of discussion.

Additionally, because the veil falls over my ears I am, in however small a way, forced to listen to Him and not all the chit-chat going on around me. Furthermore, I’m less worried about whatever crazy thing my hair is doing since it is covered by the veil. All the way around I’m less distracted.

Other Thoughts

None of this is to say that there haven’t been those snotty glares or people wondering what the heck I’m doing with this piece of lace over my head, because that has all happened. But for me all of that is far less than the beauty and deepening of my prayer life that comes when I don my veil. Plus, I’m always happy to talk to folks about it (after Mass of course) and explain it all – hello teaching moment! Also, some ladies have mentioned that veiling makes them seem less approachable. My thoughts? I’m not approachable during Mass because my focus is on Him, when Mass is over and I’m not in the sanctuary my veil comes off and I’m as approachable as ever! 🙂

What are your thoughts on veiling?

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