Marymyway

Headcoverings, Veils, Modest Wear And More

 

An Embrace of FemininityWomen  following Mary's example, to walk her path, to live her way.

Not my way, but Mary-my way.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

                                                         

                                                                                                    

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His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2 3-7

May Mary, the mother of Jesus, be an example to us all as the ultimate feminine role model who was full of grace and answered her call with her "Fiat"and replacing Eve as the new mother of femininity. Let us, as christian women, embrace our God-given gift of womanhood and answer our call to love, nurture, teach and serve God, our families and communities.

 

Why Cover Your Head?

 

 

Overview:

For the Glory of God and His creation do women veil.  Veiling by a woman is an outward sign that embraces the beauty of God’s role for women and the natural order. God made women beautiful, the hair was considered a woman’s crowning glory.  (“Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channel”, Song of Songs 7:6.)  Veiling during prayer is a sign of our humility and modesty, our submissiveness to God (remember the fall of Adam and Eve was the opposite) as He is so much greater than us.  This outward physical sign of our ‘yes’ to our Godly authority should match our internal ‘yes’, giving our will, our spirit, over to God.

 

 

 

   

 

 

Internal submission:

The veil has to be on one’s heart, an internal covering so to speak, before one is physically placed over the head. The veil should be worn as a symbol of love for our beloved Lord, a love freely given as a privilege, not simply as a blind tradition, or for some as a rule to follow.  One must desire to submit to the will of God and have complete trust that He will in turn draw us to constant conversion of our heart and holiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biblical foundation for veiling:

St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:4-5: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, disgraceth his head.  But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraceth her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved”.  St. Paul is referring to times of public prayer. 

 

When should one veil:

St. Paul explains that women should veil when in public prayer in Corinthians.  Jesus tells us “that we ought always to pray, and not faint’ (Luke 18:1).  When bringing these two statements together, it reads to pray and cover always.  Many times women don’t have time to sit and pray without some distraction or work to be done.  So in offering one’s entire day, works, joys, and sufferings, to God as a form of prayer, the veil worn throughout the day shows our submissiveness to God.  It also acts as a physical reminder to ourself and others that we are offering our duties to God.

 

Because of the Angels:

St. Paul also says “Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels” (1 Cor 11:10).  Prior to this he says: “The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.  For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.”

When the Mass is being celebrated (or any time in the presence of the Lord – Mass, Adoration, or Benediction -, the angels assemble with the faithful, adoring our Lord. They honor God’s law out of love and obedience and are offended when they see pride and disobedience, they are witnesses of honest modesty or immodesty of women, of their obedience or disobedience. After all, those two same sins were the very cause of the war in heaven and caused one third of the angels to fall.   A woman should cover her glory so that our Triune God can receive all the Glory.

Angels give constant and complete adoration to God, as stated throughout the bible (“And all the angels … fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God” Revelation 7:11).  In Revelation 4:8 “And the four living creatures had each of them six wings; and round about and within they are full of eyes.   And they rested not day and night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty’”.  In Isaiah 6:2, the angels covered their faces in the presence of God: “Upon it stood the seraphims: the one had six wings, and the other had six wings: with two they covered his face”. 


Is the practice outdated?

Are St Paul’s words outdated or relative to a specific location?  Near the end of his letter he says this:  “let him know the things that I write to you, that they are the commandments of the Lord”.  This is an Apostolic command revealed by St. Paul.  Should we consider St. Paul’s words outdated, how can we truly follow any of God’s inspired words?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Imitation of our Holy Mother:

We also know the amazing story told of the Good News that Jesus Christ was born to Mary. Praise God! Mary was the true living tabernacle of God, the new Holy of Holies of the new covenant. She was pure and without stain just as the Tabernacle of the Old Covenant was. God fashioned her with the same care and detail he did when instructed his first Temple. Only she was not an object but a living flesh that he prepared for himself in Joseph’s and her own ancestral lineage and in her unique and humble heart.

We first saw humility by this “woman” the “handmaid”, when she responded with docility at the Annunciation when told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear the Divine Son, the Son of God, Jesus. It was the Will of God, another request to woman and required her consent, her “Yes”.  Her “Fiat” was necessary for the redemption of the world (Luke 1:38).  Her “Yes” conquered Eve’s “No” to God’s will and plan to save us all. Again, we see her humility in a motherly, gentle tug at the wedding of Cana.  Jesus refers to her as “Woman” (John 2:3-7) which is the same address and translation that was given to Eve when she was created. The title was unique only to those two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sign of a Woman’s Love:

Veiling by women is a very intimate act and is done in humility and modesty as a physical sign of the way a woman feels in her soul; this feeling is then in turn coupled with the outward sign and physical actions. It is a sign to God that we understand, love and embrace our role as a woman. Contrary to what some radical feminists think, is not because women are subject to some kind of ruling husband as a superiority that expects this of us; but  instead of that misconception, we offer obedience lovingly and freely to our role as we serve him, and God’s plan in creation and for the Mystical Body of Christ.  It is a badge of honor.

 

 

 

At Cana, Mary responded in humility and didn’t tell the servants that Jesus was about to perform a miracle, nor order them herself. Instead she told them simply to do as He says, His Will, not hers.

Christ and His Church

In Genesis, first man was made and woman was created from man as a “helpmate”, from his side. Much later Christ was born and created His Church by his blood shed; his blood was shed from his side during his agony and crucifixion.  It is a beautiful parallel between Adam and Christ, and woman and the Church.

Christ said the relationship of a man and woman, is like the relationship of Christ as the bridegroom and His church as His bride. Man is to be the head of the family as Christ is the Head of his church.  Man leads and is responsible for his family, just as Christ does and is for his bride. Woman serves her husband not out of obligation, but out of desire and love for him, just as the Church should be obedient to Jesus, not out of obligation, but out of love.

Man is in turn born of a woman (Jesus born to Mary).  The Church bears new souls and desires to usher them in to their eternal reward. Just as woman cooperates with God in the creation of life, unique only to her as she is touched by the hand of God as a soul is knitted in her womb. For a moment, she is a Tabernacle at that instant and blessed in a special way to be a mother to all children of God. Even if she does not physically hold a child in her womb, all women are fashioned to be adoptive or spiritual mothers.

In addition, at the Passover, God instructed the faithful to mark their door posts as a sign so the Angel might pass them. Veiling by women is also a sign, an action, that God asks of his adopted daughters. A sign that we are obedient to our role in creation and as  his church.

 

 

 

Did the Church change It’s stand on veiling?

         Veiling was a custom of women that dates back long before the birth of Christ. The veil used to be associated with modesty in many customs. Church Councils dictated that women should veil during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then in the mid-20th century feminism crept in and led to the discarding of the veil by women. There was a misrepresentation during the Vatican II council that women should no long veil; however, women were already removing their coverings because of the feminist influences. This misrepresentation (the media printed that women no longer had to veil; however veiling was not discussed at Vatican II) led to the immediate removal of veils for most women still wearing them.

 

 

 

  

 

         The 1983 Code of Canon Law, in which veiling was no longer mentioned, abrogated the older Code which required women to veil. Therefore, it was assumed that women should no longer veil. The justification was that veiling should not be mandated, but that women can voluntarily make the decision to veil on their own. Unfortunately, in this movement, the explanation behind veiling was never given, and women removed the veil without knowing why veiling was important in the first place.

 

The feminist movement actually played a major role in women removing their veils for good.  Women were told the veil was a suppression by the male race.  The media influenced not only women, but the priesthood as well.  Many priests no longer understand the necessity for women’s veiling and are unaware of the discussions on the topic throughout by the early church fathers.  

Women lost the understanding of the beauty of the biblical tradition and the privilege of obeying God's law as taught by St. Paul. Let us teach the new generations the intimate expression of the acceptance of our profound role in God's creation and plan.

 

Conclusion:

          What was a tradition for well over 2000 years is making a comeback, led by the Holy Spirit.  Veiling, or covering one’s head, is done in today’s time for the Greater Glory of God, in submission to Christ.  What originated as tradition, then was written into law, is now placed in the hands of women themselves.  Veiling during Mass removes the attention from oneself and places it where it belongs – on Christ. Veiling outside of public worship (where St. Paul demanded the veiling of women) is done as a woman’s entire day can be offered up in prayer, it is done as a sign of submission, and it is done to hide the beauty from others so as not to be alluring and a cause of sin. 

          St. Paul demanded that women veil when in public prayer but elsewhere says to pray always.   However, or best example comes from the mother of Christ, Mary.  Mary veiled.  Mary was submissive.  Mary was most humble.  The few words recorded in Sacred Scripture by Mary show her amazing way and give women the best example to follow:  ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word’ and ‘Do whatever He tells you’.


 

How veiling affects me - It’s not just an outward sign:

Veiling cannot be truly understood until one does so for a while.  Time and again women who have been veiling explain it to be more than just wearing a covering on the head, but a sense from the Holy Spirit.  In addition, it seems to draw the focus to Christ rather than to what others are thinking (instead of feeling like a distraction to oneself or to others).  Instead of attracting attention, it actually removes attention from oneself so that it may be placed where it belongs – on the Holy Sacrifice that is the Mass.  Many who veil describe the initial veiling as a result of a tug by the Holy Spirit, not necessarily a desire by the individual, but a tug that then leads the woman to seek more information from other women. 

In addition, when praying without a covering leaves some with a sense of nakedness, as if something is missing.

Please see ‘Personal Testimonies’ or ‘About Us’ for individual statements.