Why I Wear that Lacy Thing at Church - What Veiling Is and Isn't

Sunday, August 16, 2015

So last week's What I Wore Sunday post accidently included my little chapel cap in the picture. I meant to do some without it because the internets can be a scary place. With the likely chance you've never met a younger woman who chooses to wear a veil, or other covering, at mass, I figure I should maybe explain this a bit.

Reasons I Veil

1. It differentiates between the everyday and when I'm in a sacred place.

My everyday clothes are, most of the time, the type of things I would wear to mass.
I veil when in the presence of the Eucharist. So that means whenever I'm in a church something will be on my head. That changes the dress that I have worn/will wear the rest of the day while cooking, cleaning, and taking care of babies into something that also brings me into a place of reverence.

2. It forces me to pause and remember what I am doing here

I stop in the vestibule, or outside the church, and put my veil on. It's how I make sure I take a pause and remember what I am doing by walking into the church is different from rushing into a grocery store. I'm not here just to get what I need and leave as soon as possible. I'm here to worship and be present with my brothers and sisters.

3. I feel a calling to it

Veiling is something that I started as a Lenten practice because it was the most uncomfortable thing I could think of to do. I thought it would be a good growing experience for me. By the end of it I was uncomfortable if I didn't veil.

What Veiling Isn't

1. It's not about saying all women must veil or else

This is another of the many possible devotional practices that we have to choose from as Catholics. I like it, and find it helpful, but not everyone does. It's not bad if you don't veil, and it's not better if you do.

It does not bother me in the slightest that most other women at mass don't veil. I'm not out to convert them to it, but I'm happy to support someone who wants to try but might be a little insecure.

2. It's not about forcing more and more rules on women

To me, the free choice to veil is an important part of the practice. It is entirely possible to be reverent without a veil, just as it is to be reverent with it. It's all about your intention.

3. It's not about making a "holier than thou" statement

Whether or not there is a veil on your head does not change your prayer before God. I do not look down on women who don't veil, nor do I assume all women who do are super duper devout and perfect. Neither of those are realistic, or loving, assumptions.

4. It's not about showing off

If you are veiling just to be different, then you shouldn't be veiling. You need to do a little more prayer and discernment if that is your main purpose.

I really did write my college thesis on this topic, so if you are just dying to read a scholarly lit review on it, just shoot me an email! Feel free to send any other questions you have! I've probably heard it before, and really won't be offended by a question asked in sincerity. 

Now for another edition of What I Wore Sunday with Fine Linen and Purple!

Dress: JC Penny
Belt: Came with another dress
Shoes: Macy's
Earrings: from our wedding
Veil: heirloom from my Grandmother-In-Law

Hairclip: Lila Rose


  1. Wow. A college thesis! I'm curious and would love to read it. May I ask how many Pages? ;)
    For awhile I felt a calling to wear a veil... But then didn't do it because I felt like it will draw attention to myself. I'll be the only one in the parish wearing a veil (well except for the two older women that come to 8a Mass)

    Maybe I should pray about it again....

    Thanks for linking up!
    Your guest host~ Sarah

    1. The actual part with the scholarly background is actually quite short (only four pages) due to the practice being largely ignored in academia. I'll put it in drive and link it soon. The thesis itself gets a lot longer when all the pretty charts and data tables get factored in.

      I like giving it a trial period. Lent worked well for me, but you could make it whatever you want.

  2. Whoa, hold on--I WROTE MY COLLEGE THESIS ON VEILING, TOO!! Are we sisters separated at birth or something??? I'm shooting you an e-mail, 'cause I'd love to read yours! Also, this post is great. Very succinct and well-done, I love it!

    1. Whoa, awesome! I want to read yours too!

  3. I've been veiling for a year now for all of these reasons. I'm so glad I took the plunge! Now I'd feel naked without it.


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