My Dear Reader,
During my trip last year to Italy and the tours we took at the Vatican, I had an awakening.
I had gone back and forth between wearing a veil and not wearing a veil when I was younger. I often stopped wearing when I felt that uncomfortable by being the only one in a congregation that was wearing one. Peer pressure put me at odds with something I wanted to be doing. I am blessed now to know I don’t need to be worried about what others think of me while I’m in church.
There are a lot of reasons why women veil inside the Catholic Church. Some quote scripture and say that they veil based on scripture, others say it comforts them and reminds them of the way the congregation once respected God’s house pre-Vatican II, and others that it is a sign of respect and humility.
I fall into that last category.
We know that Jesus resides in our churches. The red glow of the candle lit near the tabernacle reminds us so. In the consecrated host, He is physically present in every church most days during the year except for the time between the Maundy Thursday and the Easter Vigil on Saturday when the consecrated host is removed from the tabernacle to symbolize for Catholics the time between Jesus’ death and His resurrection.
Now, the moment of awakening…we took a tour under the basilica and came up to the inside of the basilica at St. Peter’s feet. After seeing what I had seen underneath and knowing what I now knew about the Vatican and the faith that built this amazing city, I knew I wanted to humble myself before my God and my Savior. Not so others could see me and think me pious. Not so Father would think of me as devout. Not to “prove” anything to anyone.
In this act of covering my head, I honor my God. He created me. He loves me. He sent His only Son to die for my sins so I can be with Him in eternity.
How can you know this and not want to cover your head before your Savior’s physical presence inside the church?
It is interesting to me that in Italy, especially in Rome but also elsewhere, there are signs in the churches and baskets of cotton scarves. They ask women to cover their shoulders when entering, as a sign of respect for the holiness of the place they are entering.
I contend that when we humble ourselves before God, when we show that we understand that Jesus physically lives in our churches through the Eucharist and in the consecrated host that stays within the tabernacle behind the altar, that we are transformed and are better disposed to hear the voice of God in our lives and to remember the amazing sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
Covering your head can take many forms. I have recently ordered veils from Liturgical Time on Etsy because I think the Infinity-style of the veil will make it easier for me to wear as a scarf before I place over my head as I step into church. I usually wear scarves or hats although I keep a small black triangle veil in my car in case I decide to stop at church or I forget to wear a scarf. Overtime, I’ve found that infinity scarves or long rectangular scarves work best for me versus other types of scarves but I really think it is a personal choice. Many ladies at our church wear white or black veils, some with adornments, others plain. The style isn’t as important as making that initial decision to cover your head.
You may be asking yourself, why are you sharing this? No one cares. Or even, why is she preaching at me about veils, scarves and hats? It’s not her concern.
That may be so, but again, my readers, I write as I am inspired to do so. I believe that I am called to share this information about my own journey. It may not change anyone’s life but perhaps it will inspire you to remember that you are in the presence of the physical body of Jesus Christ when you walk into church.
As always, you are in my prayers.
Yours in Christ’s Love,