I started to wear a veil, or mantilla, to Mass this summer. Several months before making the decision to wear a veil, I went back and forth with myself. Full disclosure: I never wore a veil to church as a child and I didn’t even wear one when I got married. There is also not one person in my church that wears a veil. My mother never wore a veil, I don’t recall my grandmother wearing a veil when she was alive and I certainly did not see anyone wearing a veil in any movies.
However, for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I started to feel like something wasn’t right with my head. I would pull my hair back and if I didn’t have a hair tie I would pull it together and put it in my jacket, sweater or shirt. While fully dressed and wearing a jacket almost up until mid-Spring— it gets COLD in a church filled with marble— I felt exposed.
Not exposed in the sense of being underdressed, but that I was missing an important piece of something.
This feeling was interesting and I couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. Looking back, it was almost as if the Holy Spirit was calling me to wear a veil.
I just didn’t allow myself to hear it clearly enough.
I went on to attend Mass each week and each time I stepped foot in the church, I felt the same exposed feeling. This went on for a few more months until I saw an article on Facebook regarding women wearing veils to Church, despite the fact that after Vatican II, the Church no longer requires women to wear veils during Mass.
Now I wish that I could say that after reading the article I decided right then and there to begin wearing a veil, I will not lie to you; I was stubborn and went on for a few more weeks with the internal battle between should I wear a veil or should I not.
Thankfully, our God is patient and loving despite my stubbornness and the exposed feeling did not pass, as I expected and almost hoped it would. I continued to include the request that God would help me decided what I should do.
Like the ‘wicked’ Pharisees (Matthew 12:39), I also asked God for a sign to really help me decide whether or not I should wear a veil. In bringing up the topic to my mother, she told me that she had my grandmother’s veil and that I could have it if I would like it.
As you can recall, my beloved grandmother passed away 10 years ago and while I, again, do not remember her wearing a veil, at least when I was with her, the thought of sharing in something so sacred and using a veil that was on her beautiful head, was more than enough of a sign for me.
Why the Hesitation in Wearing a Veil?
1.I am painfully shy and do not like to stand out.
2.I didn’t want to seem like I was “holier than thou.”
3.I didn’t want to take away from the Mass or cause people to look at me instead of Him.
4.With my toddler-beast, I mean my sweet and precious son, I didn’t think the veil would stay on.
5.I didn’t realize how sacred and special it was to veil myself in the presence of the living God.
Why Did I Decide to Wear a Veil?
One Corinthians 11:6 in the bible explains why God asks women to cover their heads during worship.
Veils by Lily writes that “The veil is also 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.” (veilsbylily.com)
For me, number five from the list above answers why I decided to: I finally realize how sacred and special it was to veil myself in the presence of the living God.
When I wear a veil in Church, I am humbling myself before God. When I enter His Church, I am in the actual presence of Jesus Christ through the Blessed Sacrament.
I need not travel to Jerusalem or Nazareth or Bethlehem or Galilee to feel His presence.
All that I need to do to actually be in His presence is to go to any Roman Catholic Church.
Jesus Christ is there, He is with us each time we go to Church and receive the Blessed Sacrament.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
Wearing a Veil for the First Time.
Now I wish I could say that I wasn’t nervous wearing the veil for the first time. I read some advice online that some wore their veils first at adoration or while praying the Rosary instead of wearing it to Mass for the first time. I decided to go with the “rip the band-aid off” approach and instead wore it to Church one Sunday. I was nervous walking into the Church—palms sweating, heart pounding, knees shaking kind of nervous. I hoped to myself that I sprayed enough hairspray for the veil to stay on and walked through the open doors.
But when I stood in front and bowed before the altar, I felt complete. Since then, I have never felt exposed. Instead I feel happy in that I am showing Him that I am His. I wear a veil because I love Jesus Christ and am devoted entirely to Him.
Should You Wear a Veil?
The decision for a woman to wear a veil during Mass or any instance in which the Blessed Sacrament is present needs to be that woman’s decision.
Just like praying the Holy Rosary, wearing a veil is a sign of devotion and love for God. Sometimes, God tells us to do things and at first thought they are not magnificent in appearance.
However, it is when we say Yes that we can realize just how magnificent God’s requests are.
Do you wear a veil or would you like to start wearing a veil? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!