Monday, July 21, 2008

Veiling the Sacred

Jeff Culbreath has a beautiful post on the meaning and mystery behind the veiling of women at Mass. It is a practice deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition. Many people seem to have some scruple about veiling themselves when the other women in the church are bare-headed. To me, it is important to follow one's conscience, not what the people around one are doing or not doing. I do not judge the women who choose to go bare-headed and I hope they are not judging me, but if they are, that is their affair. As for imitating those around me, if I did that, I would not be living a Catholic life.

Ladies often say to me: "I wish I were brave enough to wear a mantilla." Dear Ladies, it requires courage to face death and to shed one's blood for the Gospel. It does not require courage to wear a piece of lace or a beret on one's head. For some, it may be a matter of overcoming human respect. If you are drawn to head coverings, then WEAR one and do not worry about what other people think. Share

5 comments:

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand has added that a woman's body is born with a natural veil, which is the hymen. The veil she wears at Mass is a material reflection of the reality that God really designed a woman's womb to be a holy place. (That is from her book The Privilege of Being a Woman.)

I should add that ever since I started veiling at Mass, I've also been dressing more modestly. I started by wearing skirts instead of jeans--a mere fashion consideration at first, since jeans don't really "go" with a veil. Then I noticed that lots of other things--styles that were modest enough but which I would wear to a party--just weren't right for Mass.

It all seems obvious to me now, but back then I guess I needed to be hit over the head. And I was, wasn't I? Hit over the head with a mantilla! =P

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you so much for citing Dr. von Hildebrand's book, Enbrethiliel. I have also heard her discuss the same topic quite beautifully on EWTN. And thank you for sharing your own experience, which is similar to mine as a young woman.

Coffee Catholic said...

"Dear Ladies, it requires courage to face death and to shed one's blood for the Gospel. It does not require courage to wear a piece of lace or a beret on one's head."

Exactly! How spoiled we Western Catholics have become if we think that wearing a mantilla to Mass is "being brave" for the Faith!!!

La gallina said...

Thank you for the post on veiling!! (My favorite topic.) Even though I don't have a beautiful, reverent Mass in my area, wearing the veil ALMOST makes my modern guitar & bongo Mass beautiful. I know everyone in my parish thinks me a bit odd, but I don't mind. I just wish they would ask WHY I wear the veil so I could tell them all about it!

Rachel Gray said...

Wow, I had exactly the same experience as enbrethiliel. Once I started veiling I started wearing skirts every day merely because a mantilla looks strange with pants! I also rid myself of a few shirts that couldn't keep my brown scapular hidden-- a plot by Our Lady to have me dressing modestly.

I was very self-conscious the first few times I wore a mantilla to an NO Mass, so much that I almost regretted having started. But now I'm so used to it I'd be self-conscious without one.