I have been covering my head in the presence of our Lord for two and half years and it has brought me nothing but grace and blessings! At first, I was afraid to put the chapel veil on. I was afraid that I would attract undo attention to myself. I was afraid people would think I was “Holier than thou.” I was afraid that the priest would tell me to take it off. I was afraid that my family would scoff. I was Afraid.
But the beautiful tradition attracted me and the more I read, the more reasons I found to veil. It came to a point where the only reason I wasn’t veiling was fear. So, I got my grandmother’s old chapel veil (somehow I inherited it when she died. I am sure she was praying for me) out of my dresser drawer and took it to Mass one Sunday.
I remember putting it on my head the first time. Oh, How painful that was! How uncomfortable I felt. But I also found great peace in this action so I kept doing it. Sunday after Sunday my chapel veil came with me. And something began to happen. I began to rest in my husband’s headship. Yes! Through this outward sign of submission- I began to rest in my husband’s leadership.
And as I surrendered myself to my husband’s leadership, my husband became a stronger leader! In little ways that at first I didn’t notice, in fact, I was annoyed by some of the changes. For instance, My husband and I have several little ones and making it to Mass on time is a
scrimmage challenge. My husband said one Sunday on our way to church, “We need to get to Mass before the Procession.” I groaned and complained, “But! that means more time with our children squirming in the pews!” he responded firmly, calmly, “No, to arrive after the procession is disrespectful. You wouldn’t arrive at court late. We should be there before the Procession.” Of course, he was right but what kept me from arguing further wasn’t the fact that he was correct, it was my little veil tucked in my purse. I remembered what it symbolized, my submission to my husband’s authority and here it was right in front of me, “We need to arrive before the Procession.” I kept quiet and the next Sunday I tried a bit harder to get the children ready for church on time. My husband appreciated my efforts he thanked me and we had more time for prayer together as a family. I do not think I would have done this prior to veiling – the outward sign is what helped me.
When I enter the Church and put on my veil, my mind turns to my Lord and with this turning of mind, I have grown in my reverence for the Eucharist. I have grown in modesty as well, I am much more mindful of what I wear to Church. My children love my chapel veil too. They see my mind turn to prayer as I enter in the Lord’s house and quietly veil. They see that the Lord’s house is different from other places and they see the reverence it is due through one simple symbol, my veil.
Every Sunday now, I veil and rest in my husband’s headship. I love it. He loves it. When I began veiling, I didn’t think it would change my spiritual life but it has. I didn’t think it would strengthen my marriage but it has. I didn’t think it would teach my children reverence, but it has. I didn’t think grace would come, but, oh, what grace! It was a little gift to my Lord, my loaves and fishes and oh, how he multiplies our loaves and fishes! We need outward signs of inward grace. We need symbols to help us understand realities that are difficult to grasp. Let us embrace those simple signs. If you are thinking of veiling- let go of your fears. Take the leap of faith, veil.