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tradition, the sacred has always been veiled. The Holy of Holies of
the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Temple was veiled because it was so
sacred that it was not permitted to be seen by the average person.
Even priests were only allowed very limited access behind the veil. In
the Traditional Latin Mass the tabernacle, ciborium, and chalice, among
other sacred objects are veiled. Many parishes still hold to the
tradition of veiling statues and crucifixes during Holy Week.
recent times, women were veiled as well. Consecrated women who hold to
traditional habits, still follow the call to veil themselves. But why?
first have to look to the Blessed Mother. Have you ever seen her
without a veil? In all of the apparitions that have been authenticated
and confirmed, Mary has always appeared in a fashion that was familar to
the people who saw her, but she has always had a veil no matter how she
appeared to be dressed. The veil represents many things. First, it
represents the place of Mary in submission to God. She is the "handmaid
of the Lord," not the slave, but the handmaid, she has relinquished her
whole self to service and thus is revered for her submission. Second,
it represents modesty, a covering to shield that which is precious from
the world. In her modesty, Mary honors God, her Creator, Savior, and
Spouse. She sets herself apart from the world. Lastly, the veil
represents the sacredness of her being. Mary was the first tabernacle,
she held the living God within her and lent her flesh to His unborn
body. Mary is sacred and blessed because of her role in salvation
history and her purity throughout her life.
tradition of the Church, women have always been veiled as a sign of
reverence. They were also veiled because they were revered. Their
precious gift of being life bearers made them sacred, just as Mary is
sacred. It is true that it has always been a symbol of submission and
modesty, but not in a negative connotation as the modern world views
these traits. Modesty and submission are virtues practiced even by
Christ. He washed the feet of the disciples, submitted to the Father's
Will and gave up His human life in a horrendous death. He did not walk
around expected to be waited upon and receive special treatment because
of who He is. Jesus was subservient to the Father and modest in all His
Earthly dealings, even staying silent when falsely accused. Everyone
is called to submission and modesty but women are called to a special
modesty and submission because of our sacred role in the creation of
life. By veiling, we are saying that we are special, not worth less,
but worth MORE!
I began veiling at Church about 5 years
ago, however, I was curious about veiling from the time I was a child
and called to veil for many years before I was willing to offer up my
pride and take up the devotion myself. It is an outward sign of a
continued inward struggle to veil my life in God's honor, to veil my
heart in service to Christ, veil my words in praise of God, veil my
actions in glory to the Father on High. I am not there, I am not a
saint, however, I am trying. My veil reminds me of the love that God
holds for me, my promise to follow him and my vow to my husband in our
sacramental marriage. It keeps me focused on the LORD even when there
are so many distractions, including my children, and grounds me in my
tiny corner of the universe as I live my heartbeat of a life.
of our heads at Mass is not the only veiling we are called to take up.
As I said above, consecrated women are traditionally (and I am always
so happy to see a nun in full habit) veiled. Their hair completely
covered, their body in modest clothes, an outward sign of an inward and
Heavenward vow. But, we all should be veiled in modesty in our dress,
action, speach, and entertainment. We should all be veiled in humility,
service, self-giving, and love. There are many veils that can cover
our hearts and souls if we are open to letting them. None of them are
automatic, they all take work and decisiveness and prayer to pursue, but
all are great blessings in the end.
If you are curious
about veiling, or have a testimony about it to share, please leave a
comment. If you have always wondered where women get the veils or what
the difference in color is, here is some additional information.
Traditionally unmarried women wore white veils , while married or widowed women wore black
ones. However in recent years, as the veil has returned as a private
devotion, these rules have been changed. Women you feel the call to
veil are permitted to wear whatever color they choose. Veils range from
the elaborate to the simple and inexpensive. There are also many colors available now, and many women wear veils to coordinate with their outfits or liturgical colors. I personally wear a brown veil because I wanted a color that did not stand out as much--I am not veiling to be seen--and I just haven't wanted black.
If you do not feel called to veil, remember the veiling of our hearts
and lives if everyone's call, thus the first half of my blog's name. In
future posts, I will explore veiling more as well and begin discussions
of vocations and show you ways to teach both to your children. Thank
you for coming by, please leave a comment or questions. God bless!
Here are some additional articles about veiling that explain the practice and theology behind it.