February 3, 2011


I recently had a lovely conversation with a friend of mine about wearing a veil during prayer in the Presence of God. Yes, the girls and I wear a veil to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and when we pop in to make a visit with Our Lord, generally when we put ourselves in His Presence. My experience of a veil is a somewhat new one (about 10 years) because as a Vatican II baby I did not grow up ever seeing a veil. In college I saw a few girls wearing veils and so I tried one out but it had a very opposite effect on my vain little being at the time and I had no understanding of it. After our priest was murdered for the Faith in 1998 and we chose to drive quite a distance to Mass to attend the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass), there of course nearly everyone wore a veil. I spent the first couple (?) years unveiled but my conscience bothered me however, I'm not one to do something just because everyone else is doin' it. So one day out of the blue I decided to take it into confession and left it to the Holy Spirit to guide the priest in his words of wisdom by the Grace of God. That day I was told that yes, I should wear a veil. I accepted that without question. I have read a little on wearing the veil but it never was a "hot topic" for me because the fact that St. Paul says in the Bible women should veil was satisfactory enough for me to accept it without much question. However it does come up.

You are a spectacle no matter how discreetly behaved your family is when you have 10 children. You just don't "sneak in" anywhere. But put 1/2 the family in veils where no one else is wearing them makes a few heads turn. After 8 or so years of wearing a veil where it was the norm, we simply no longer thought about our veils. It's simply what we did. But our circumstances changed and we found ourselves blessed with a lovely group of priests who were bringing the TLM back into our diocese, and for all intents and purposes nearly right out our back door. Not long after that we joined a local Catholic homeschooling group and our group was centered around the priests who would teach spanish or give spiritual talks (the topics change year by year) to the children. On these days we would attend the NOM (Novus Order Mass.... English Mass). You know, it is easy to do something when everyone else is doing it, it is rather awkward and interesting to do this when no one else is. But I simply couldn't be one person one place and another person another place so we showed up in our veils. I never did learn if there was any talk about this. I only know that a number of people wear them now, that there were women who were drawn by their own hearts to wear a veil but had little to no support in this and even, perhaps, opposition to it.

Anyway, you can read a lovely article about the veil at Modesty Veils. I know there are many others but this one is simple to read and I knew where to find it. Here is the final synopsis from their article but it really is a worthy read.
In summary, the reasons that St. Paul advises women to cover their head in the church are:
Our Lord commanded it
It is a visible sign of an invisible order established by God
The Angels at Mass are offended if women don't use it
It is a ceremonial vestment
It is our heritage
Christian women around the world have other reasons to wear a hat, mantilla, rebozo, gele, scarf, shawl or veil. Some wear it out of respect to God; others to obey the Pope's request, or to continue family traditions. But the most important reason of all is because Our Lord said: "if you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for Him and the promised wedding (Apoc. 22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother, Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled. To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Heb. 13:8).


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I converted straight into a FSSP parish, so I began wearing veils right away (although it was certainly excruciatingly hard for my vain self at first). Then I moved to GA to a FSSP parish, so no problem there. It wasn't until we moved to Charlotte that I regularly attended a N.O. parish that I had to face the awkwardness, so I am grateful I had several years of veil-wearing under my belt (on top of my head!) by then. I rarely feel the discomfort now, except just the other day I attended a prayer service for lost babies hosted by a Catholic ministry at a Catholic chapel with the Real Presence there. So, of course, I wore my veil. But nobody else where was Catholic, so I was truly all alone among people who wouldn't even have a clue why I was wearing that THING. Maybe they thought I was a grieving mother. Anyway, that was uncomfortable for me, although I wish it had not been.

  2. How interesting that you posted this today, Julie. After moving, I went to daily Mass and wanted to wear a veil ALL the time... not just at our FSSP parish. But I was nervous about doing it, especially when everyone I saw was NOT. I KNOW deep down that I should, but I wanted a bit more info to convict me of why... and you happened to provide that reminder. Deo Gratias!