Here I am modeling one of my favorite Christmas gifts of 2013 (given to me by my very favorite person--who also happens to be my beloved husband, the excellent father of my five sons, and my happy partner in the grandest of all adventures, grandparenthood).
Isn't this the most beautiful lace mantilla ever? I absolutely love it (and will be sure to wear it during Lent, when it will again be liturgically apropos). Here's a side view, showing the wonderfully intricate details of the Spanish lace.
Veils by Lily website, and several colors I preferred. Then I left it up to him to pick out a style and color, so that it wouldn't be the usual "Hey, look what you got me!" routine. I wanted him to be the one to make the final choice. (This one is called "Spanish Floral," Item #LE16, and it comes in black, black and silver metallic, black and gray, white, off-white, gray, navy, and wine purple.)
We veil as a sign of humility before God, and we do it anytime we find ourselves inside a Catholic church, where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle.
If you are thinking about beginning this beautiful devotion, remember that it is God before whom you wish to humble yourself. Like a religious habit, your veil is a public proclamation of your desire to submit to the will of God for your life, and of your commitment to answering the universal call to holiness and continual conversion. Your veil is also a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself... both human life and the supernatural life of God. This is an important message the world needs to hear, now more than ever!
I have gotten so used to wearing a veil now. When I'm in my own parish, I am pretty much unaware of having that triangle of lace on my head. I am one of only a small handful of women who cover their heads during Mass, but I know everyone is used to seeing me this way--and although it was difficult to start the practice, I am completely comfortable when on my home turf. Sometimes when I'm away from home, however, veiling becomes an opportunity for me to practice humility and mortification. For instance, about a year ago, when my husband and I were out at Notre Dame for a football weekend (and a visit with our youngest son, who is a student there), we ran into his old junior high girlfriend at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, right after Mass ended. We were still in the church, visiting the room off the altar area that houses a large collection of saints' relics, so I was not able to remove my veil. We had not seen this still-lovely former flame for about 40 years; she had gone to grade school with my husband but her family had moved away after our freshman year in high school--and not long after that school year ended, my husband and I had started dating. All I could think when I saw her after all those years (shame on me!) was "Why couldn't we have run into her outside of the church, so I could look like a normal person?" When I admitted my weak and prideful thoughts to my husband, he assured me that he was proud of me for having that veil on. He loves to see me in a veil (and therefore, he thoroughly enjoyed picking out a new one for me as a gift).
I obviously married the right man. And I think this Christmas, he chose the right veil for me. I can hardly wait to have the opportunity to wear it.
Coincidentally, the dress I'm going to wear for my #4 son's wedding in February is dark purple, and I think this veil would look lovely with it...
No, I don't believe I'll do that. I think at a wedding, the only woman wearing a beautiful lace veil should be the bride. I'll probably end up wearing the same vintage black felt hat with a gross grain ribbon bow that I've worn to the weddings of sons #1 and #3.
I'll just go ahead and save this beauty for Lent!
Now head on over to FLAP for more fashion fun--in purple and other colors, too.