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Why Veil?

"Concealed by a veil, meaning revealed"

Veiling has its roots in sacred tradition. The following excerpts are taken from

"God reveals Himself to His people and directs them to approach and worship Him through various types of veils. Veiling covers over things that are holy, mysterious, or beyond ordinary human comprehension. Veiling has also been associated with protecting that which has a particular holy significance or dignity.


Under the Old Covenant, the presence of God was veiled in the Jewish tabernacle, which contained the Holy of Holies (Heb 9:3-7). God led the children of Israel under a veil through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21-22)... The angels in heaven veil themselves with their wings in awe of God’s divine presence (Isa 6:2).  

In the New Covenant, the Sacraments themselves as outward signs display through a veil the supernatural realities that take place. The Most Blessed Sacrament, Christ’s true Body and Blood, in Holy Communion is veiled under the appearance of bread and wine...  Pope Pius XII also explained, 'When, therefore, the Church bids us adore Christ hidden behind the eucharistic veils and pray to Him for spiritual and temporal favors, of which we ever stand in need, she manifests living faith in her divine Spouse who is present beneath these veils' 

On earth, Christ taught and operated under a veil being God in human flesh. St Paul stated in his letter to the Hebrews that we enter the Holy of Holies “through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Heb 10:20). The fathers of an early council describe, “The Lord of the universe veiled his measureless majesty and took on a servant’s form… His divinity was concealed by the veil of His flesh” (Calcedon, AD451). 

As the consecrated nun gives herself to Christ to be His bride and is veiled, so too a bride is veiled when she gives herself to her husband in the sacrament of holy matrimony. Her veil represents her holy purity and thereto hidden nature. A woman’s body in particular is designed to be a sacred temple, like a tabernacle, in which new life is conceived and brought into the world in cooperation with God, Who Himself creates and unites each soul, which He knits together and forms in the womb of every mother (Isa 49:5Jer 1:5). Just as we veil the life-giving tabernacle that contains the Bread of Life, likewise the life-giving woman bears and carries on the veiling tradition for the sake of her great dignity."

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

“The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and

the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3)

St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 exhorts the practice of women wearing a veil in church and in prayer, both as a visual sign of devotion to God's ultimate authority and woman’s submission to man within marriage. 

Our modern culture will object to this idea, seeing it as demeaning of women, but this is due to a misconstrued idea of what holy, God-ordained submission is. A priest once explained that such a submission is far from oppressive, but rather, exalts the dignity of women and their God-given roles. "These days, the idea of submission to the authority of her husband is frowned upon, to put it mildly. But it shouldn't be, once we realize that the bridal veil signifies the submission of this particular woman to the loving care of her husband. It signifies her trust, her confidence in his Christ-like leadership. It signifies that she has chosen to follow him as a loving partner and companion. It also signifies that he has been specifically consecrated to handle that sacred vessel - to safely touch that ark - and that's something mysterious and beautiful."

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, a traditional Catholic scholar, further explains the beautiful comparison to this relationship between man and woman as a reflection of the Holy Trinity, “That is, Christ stands to His Father as the husband stands to Christ, and the husband stands to Christ as the wife stands to her husband — in a sequence of descending authority. The Christian wife, in her relationship to her husband, is being compared to the Second Person of the Trinity in His relation to the Father. Hence, the ultimate meaning of a woman’s vocation as a wife and mother is to participate, imitate, and manifest the mystery of Christ’s mission: her self-giving is to mirror the self-giving of Christ.”

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