Continuing with my blogs on the journey to the Latin Mass, I was texting with a friend last night and came to a conclusion. Veiling, is the gateway “drug” to the Latin Mass. I say this jokingly; however, it was certainly true for several of us who were in the same parish and were one of the few that started “veiling” around 2016.
By 2020, we were all at the Latin Mass. I took the longest to make the journey to TLM.
2016 was also the first planning year for the Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver. Our Inaugural conference was Lent 2017. It was beautiful. It was at our parish as well and there were quite a few women wearing a veil at the Mass.
I saw a friend wear a veil several times but not consistently at Sunday Mass and I began to pray about wearing a veil. I found the scripture for head coverings and did some research online about it. Then, for Christmas, my husband bought me two veils. An ivory one, and a blue one with black lace trim. It’s the one you see in the picture above (which is also in our old parish).
I didn’t immediately begin wearing the veils when my husband bought them. It took me a few weeks to finally gain the courage to wear it. I didn’t want to stand out or be gawked at, plus, I was afraid someone would ask me about why I was wearing a veil all of a sudden and I wasn’t confident I could defend my position.
However, one Sunday, I placed the veil on my head as I entered the church and never looked back. It was not awkward at all despite the fact that there were maybe one or two women wearing a veil at my parish at that time. I have always enjoyed tradition and learned that this was something my mother did as a child. It brought comfort knowing that it was something all women used to do, even if they felt it wasn’t a choice at the time.
If anyone asked, I began to defend my position simply by saying it’s a sign of humility, though I don’t remember anyone specifically asking. I believe I drafted that response so I would have something to say IF I was asked. As shared above, once I began wearing a veil, I never attended Mass without it on my head. The changes began almost immediately.
I was more focused, as I shared in my previous post. I felt more obedient to God and even though I sometimes felt children staring, mostly the little girls behind me who were curious, my heart swelled with love and not anxiety for standing out. I wanted more to see my example and cover their heads. It took time for other people to start but by the time I left the church (with the exception of COVID shutting everything down and no one attending), there were several more women veiling. Not much, but it was progress.
This is also one reason I took so long to leave our parish. We had been there for 15 years and loved it. We were heavily involved in it, our son attended school there, and it was truly our home but I wanted people to continue to see an example of reverence for the Lord. I knew women wanted to wear veils because at conferences, they would share they wanted to wear one but they were scared because so many women didn’t veil.
I was saddened to hear that peer pressure was literally stopping women from showing the due reverence to God. I offered for them to sit near me so they felt more comfortable. Occasionally, I would see someone near me with a veil on.
As the year progressed, I joined some online Facebook groups for women who wore veils. It was interesting to see how many women in the group were scared to wear their veil. Again, sadness over this fact overcame me. There was much encouragement in this particular group and more women became confident enough to do it.
Then the questions of “what do I wear when veiling” came up. Many women wanted to wear a veil but didn’t feel it was appropriate in jeans. I hadn’t really thought about that. I just wore my veil in whatever clothing I was wearing and I was NOT a dress/skirt wearer.
Within a year, I had a set of skirts for Mass. But something happened before that. Something huge! Something I was never taught and had rarely observed as a cradle Catholic.
I began kneeling to receive the Eucharist.
Soon after I began to kneel to receive my Lord and My God. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I began to do something even more shocking.
I received the Eucharist on my tongue.
Oh the shock!
Why on earth would I do that? What would possess me to receive Jesus directly on my tongue? Why would I kneel and receive?
What did the women in the Bible do when they saw Jesus? What did they do when they were in his presence? Especially the sinful women?
I think of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and the anointing of His feet with expensive oil. He didn’t lean back and lift his feet to her. She dropped to her knees in His Presence.
In fact, when anyone faces God in the Bible, they drop to their face, which would mean, they are on their knees. Why on earth have I been presenting myself to our Lord on my feet? It was easy to kneel to receive Christ. It was harder to open my mouth to receive but I did it. It was a natural progression.
It was banned in 2020.
In fact, young children at my parish school who kneeled and opened their mouth to receive Christ instead of in their unconsecrated hands, were refused Christ. At first, told to receive on their hands and then bypassed altogether. Sacrilege!!
How could merely putting on a veil lead me to worship God in the way He has said to be worshipped? I provided the biblical basis above. Head coverings are in the Bible and it’s very easy to see that anyone in God’s presence falls to their knees. Does He need to spell it out for you?
It took about three years for this transformation to occur and then, no longer accepted in my parish because of the reverence and worship God wanted, I moved to the Latin Mass. I was accepted there in the ways I was already worshipping and I am still on a learning curve, especially when it comes to marriage and obedience within my home. This is another blog altogether.
My call to you is to try it. Go to Mass for two months wearing a veil consistently, every Sunday without removing it. Then come back and share your experiences.
So I will end with what we published in our 3rd Annual Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver Program.
Thinking about veiling at Mass? You are not alone!
Women are rediscovering this beautiful and sacred practice. The veil is an external sign of humility before God who is present in the Blessed Sacrament. For over 2000 years, Catholic women have worn some form of head coving in the Church for many reasons but the practice has always focused on our submission to Christ and his holiness.
“The veil is a visual sermon…a public proclamation before the Lord that He is the Lord and that we love him and that we are ready to obey him. It’s a totally counter-cultural statement proclaiming obedience in the midst of a culture that is totally permeated with the attitude of ‘I will not serve.'”
The veil is a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself…both human life and the supernatural life of God. This is an important message the world needs to hear, now more than ever!
This is the way.