Recently, Jen’s post Notes from beneath the veil : Conversion Diary has been getting some attention from a few blogs I follow, including Fr. Z in his post A woman’s report on wearing a veil in church for the first time. Jen’s post, which I read the day it was posted, and Fr. Z’s has caused me to reflect this morning on my own veiling journey.
I still remember the first young woman I met who veiled. I was headed into my junior year of high school and was a Young Apostle as a part of the Steubenville Youth Conferences. She would pause in the entryway of the church to place her simple white veil on, then proceed with reverence into the Church. This simple gesture peeked my interest, but I soon thought nothing more of it after we went our separate ways at the end of the week.
Then I arrived at a wonderful Catholic college, where I’ve met charismatics, traditionalists, and Eastern rite Catholics as well. So, naturally, this means there are some young women veiling for adoration and Mass. It continued to attract me–why I wasn’t really sure, but it did.
As I began to read about it some on blogs, including how it is no longer in Canon Law, but it is still allowed (and even encouraged), the references to early Church Fathers and other great saints, and also to 1 Corinthians pulled me towards it more. After leaving the postulancy of a religious community nearly eight months ago, I began to ponder it yet again. When I returned to school last fall, I decided to try to wear something on my head–basically, begin transitioning. I began with a headband/headcovering that I had purchased from Garlands of Grace a couple years before. It was simple, plain, and went with a majority of my outfits. Other alternatives included a hat or a scarf pulled up over my head. The days when I would leave my apartment without one of these options for mass or adoration, I would find myself missing it–desiring to make that simple act of pulling on my scarf, acknowledging that the building I was entering was not simply another building on campus, but the House of God. I found it as a way, especially during the week when I would go straight from church to class, to “dress up” a little for Jesus.
As Christmas approached, I wanted to get a nicer veil or headcovering for the wonderful season, and after. I began looking again over at Garlands of Grace, having been pleased with their service and beautiful pieces before. I discovered from their facebook page, thanks to comments and posts from them in the past and one kind person who posted more recently, that these daughters of God who make the beautiful, feminine and modern pieces were protestants (which in all honesty I had suspected), and did not consider Catholics to be Christians. While I understand their concern for my soul, I was no longer comfortable buying from a company that did not see me as a sister in Christ, but as one who was far from the Lord and in need of prayers (although I’m always in need of prayers… but not ones to leave my Catholic faith). So I began looking on etsy for a new alternative. I found the same site that Jen over at Conversion Diary bought hers from – Liturgical Time.
When I received my vanilla bean eternity veil (single loop), I loved it. I wished I had ordered the white one though. When I wrote my review on the site, the owner contacted me and offered to trade the white for the vanilla bean. The customer service at Liturgical Time is wonderful, and the work beautiful. The veil allows me to slip it on as a scarf before leaving for church. When I arrive, I simply pull it up over my head. Initial worries as I made this switch from scarves and hats to a lacy, feminine veil, included many of the same concerns Jen had. Won’t I just attract more attention? How will I respond when people ask me about it?
I’ve had a total of four comments and discussions about my veiling. My mom was the first, with whom I was able to have a good discussion about why I had decided to wear a veil, and this took place over Christmas break, right around the time when I was switching from the scarf and hat to the veil I bought myself. Another was one of my best friends who was visiting me here on campus recently–she simply asked when I had started. Two other young women here on campus have made comments, complimenting this scarf/veil, but beyond these four women, nothing has been said to me, and I’m fine with that. My fears of people reacting against, or even just a lot of questions why I was suddenly veiling, were unfounded. I would even say thoughts planted by the enemy in my mind, discouraging me from taking this step.
When I get distracted in mass and prayer (and let’s be honest, I’m human, and I get just as distracted as the dog in Up), and I catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of the white veil, I remember why I wear it–really why I do anything–for the glorification of God. I quickly realize then how distracted I am and begin to focus again on the words of the priest in mass, on the Sacred Scriptures, on Christ.