Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chapel Veils: Ask Mom for Help

The following is a comment made by good friend of this blog, Elizabeth, on my “Happy Mother’s Day” post. I thought it was worth sharing more widely, as a post of its own.

I wanted to share a "mother moment" I had this morning, I truly believe, with our Blessed Mother. 

Before I entered the church at the nearby Novus Ordo parish, I came up with a compromise of sorts with my self-consciousness when wearing a veil at a NO church. All winter, I simply wore a hat at Mass. Now that it's not hat weather… uh oh.  

So I put the veil over my head and tied it back under my hair, like a bandana. Silly, eh? I figured that this would be a way to ease into wearing it, while at the same time not being quite so noticeable to others. I know… like everyone in the church is looking at me, right? :) And besides, who cares if everyone looks at you! Further silliness!

So I knelt in my spot in front of the gorgeous statue of Our Lady, right up front in the handicapped row, and asked her to please help me to not be concerned about the looks I may get from others, or what other people may or may not think about it (including the army of VII priests there). I asked Her to please help me to don my veil at every Mass – just like I used to when I was able to attend the Traditional Mass, where every woman wears one. Please, please, please. Then I said a Hail Mary and the St. Michael prayer to settle myself in for the Mass, and sat back in the pew.

There was a tap on my shoulder.

I turned around to face a rather handsome, serious-faced man who leaned forward to whisper to me, "I haven't seen a woman wearing a veil in church in decades. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful it is to see you wearing a veil. Thank you for that."

I kid you not: that's what he said. And no one can tell me that that wasn't an answer to my heartfelt prayer! It brought a tear to my eyes, and I thanked Our Lady.

Awesome moment.


  1. So lovely!

    I once had a woman in her 80s come up to me with tears in her eyes and compliment my veil and say she missed those days and she didn't understand how we lost it all and became so protestant...

  2. Hard to understand ...the NEW Catholic Church with all its "modern" ways : it is very sad to me , never gave it much thought until 2009 and my re-version back FULLY to the Holy Catholic Church ...it was gradual thing but my eyes are wide open NOW!
    This story of the chapel veil from our dear friend is beautiful and encouraging to me personally! Thanks so much Elizabeth and Dr. Jay!
    How it is we have LOST so much and we have become so protestant ...and yet people (for the most part) just seem to go along with the flow .
    I wonder sometimes how our sweet JESUS feels about the "modern" church and people's dress attire ....about the liturigal abuses that occur daily on our altars ...how JESUS has in some places been put over to the side ...or even in a closet ....sad! How did all this happen ????
    But for me , I PRAY AND LOVE!
    I call on the intercession of St. Joseph , Patron of the Universal Church and of course Our Lady .
    We need to pray for Our Holy Catholic Church : the enemy wants to destroy her but it will never be, we have the promise of Our Redeemer : AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HER.
    let us rejoice that we are Catholic and part of the True Church of Jesus Christ and His Apostles ! Thanks be to God!

  3. I am in exactly the same position as Elizabeth. I have always worn a veil and now I am stuck in NO parish. What to do. I have worn a scarf and I just got two hats. But it is the veil I would prefer as it is a way to be hidden. Trouble is, you can't be hidden while everyone is staring at you . So this is a story I needed to hear. Kathy

  4. Kathy - I've found that, over the years I have sort of forgotten that I am wearing the veil at Mass, so I don't notice whether people are looking at me or not - for the most part, anyway. When I go to a new parish and no one has a veil, I feel a little self-conscious, but I would feel naked without it, and that would be even worse!

    1. Jay, same here, I feel naked without my veil (in fact, started to veil all the time since Lent).
      My story differs in that my girls and I started veiling at the NO Mass. My first experience, I waited for a special day-chose Christmas Mass, and wore a beautiful gold shawl-type scarf (lace but not flowers). A gentleman came to me after Mass and commented how beautiful I looked with the veil and how he appreciated it. A second came later saying similar. We were one of a very few veiling, (maybe 1-3 others veiled, sometimes none). Over the course of about a year, several others began veiling also; the same at daily Mass. Several even asked me after Mass why I veilied.
      Funny thing was, I was able to focus better on the Mass because I didn't want to look up and see any looks directed at me.
      Now we're at a fabulous TLM parish, ah no longer one of a few.
      The seed had been planted, and watered when a priest during a talk said the section about veiling in the Bible by St Paul was outdated...(hmmm how can this be?:)

  5. That's a nice story, but we should also be prepared for times when it's not that easy. At the wake on Sunday, I told a woman whom I knew growing up, "Your mother was the last woman in the parish still wearing a veil to Church."

    She answered, "And I was probably the second-last one. But one day I went to morning Mass and then went to school accidentally leaving my veil still on. I was mocked mercilessly by the other girls in the class, and after that I never wore it again. I was a coward, I know, but I just didn't have the guts to stand up to that kind of humiliation."

    I found her story very moving, and it tells you how difficult it is for women especially to swim against the tide of public opinion.
    -John Galvin

  6. You're right, John; it's not easy to buck the tide. But that's why those who can gather up the courage to do it might inspire others to do the same. That said, I've been wearing a veil for years in the two parishes closes to me, and I've yet to see another woman take up the cross, so to speak.


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