happy reformation day?
st therese

chapel veils

VeilAfter quite a lot of thought, I recently decided to begin wearing a veil to Mass. For me, veiling is about three things: reverence, submission, and femininity.

Reverence. Wearing a chapel veil is a testimony of our reverence for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Nowhere else in the world is as sacred as a Catholic Church where Jesus is always present in the Tabernacle. The incredible honor of being in His presence deserves something out of the ordinary. I don’t wear a veil anywhere else; the veil is reserved for being in Jesus’s presence. The veil proclaims this place is sacred.

Submission. A bride wears a veil as she walks toward her bridegroom to whom she is giving her whole self. When a woman wears a chapel veil, she is testifying that she has given herself wholly to Jesus. One of the ways that absolute giving of herself to Jesus is expressed is in total submission to the teachings of the Church. Wearing a veil is an expression of total commitment to Jesus and His Church. Our time before the Lord in the Eucharist is like a bride before her groom. Wearing a veil in Mass says, “I give my whole self to You and I submit to all your teachings.”

Femininity. Veils are usually made of lace and are very feminine. When I wear a veil, I’m embracing my dignity as a woman and I’m expressing praise to God for my womanhood. Why praise God for womanhood? Because womanhood allows us to carry life within us. What an awesome gift.

Our world is so incredibly upside down with respect to all these things. By worldly standards, nothing is sacred and deserving of reverence. Submission is a distasteful word that is equated with subjugation. Femininity has been replaced with equality or sexiness, whichever is most beneficial in the moment, and the ability to carry and produce life is denigrated, as evidenced in contraception and abortion. When I wear a veil in Jesus’s presence, I am countering the values of the world.

The Catholic Church used to be set apart by its reverence. I’m not sure we still carry that distinction. Women who choose to veil, I think, remind us of the reverence that our Lord’s Real Presence in the Eucharist deserves. It’s a testimony to others that we truly believe He is really present in the Eucharist.

After I began veiling, I learned something that reinforced my decision. In 1968, the NOW (National Organization for Women), encouraged Catholic women to send their veils to the NOW national office to be burned. If an organization that promotes killing babies in their mothers’ wombs hates the chapel veil that much, that should give us pause. And for me, it does just that.


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