Before we get down to this rather touchy subject, I just want to let you know that both the Catholic Home Executive Planner (on Etsy and on Amazon) and the half-size Simply Catholic Planner (on Etsy and soon to be available on Amazon). Thought I would let you know since so many of you like to grab these early as an easy Christmas present for your Catholic family and friends. I love when you order early too!- makes Advent easier for me!
Now onto this thing called “veiling”…
When I started blogging, I had no intention of touching “veiling” with a ten foot pole. I’m the type to intentionally avoid conflict and debating this hot-button issue rips into every single woman’s heart felt devotion to her Lord and in the process can create very unwelcome conflict between sisters in Christ. No thanks.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stereotypes that prevail (no pun intended) on both sides of the debate.
Veilers are rigid, old fashioned, scrupulous, and just plain weird.
If you don’t veil, you are more afraid of the world than of the Lord, un-orthodox, and irreverant.
All of it.
At the end of the day, it is a decision that we are not able to make for anyone but ourselves.
To veil or not to veil has been a decision I’ve wrestled with from time to time (I’m sure many of you other sincere women of faith have as well). Desiree puts so much more eloquently why I always come back to deciding not to veil, at least for now. Her unique perspective as a former veiling Protestant makes her post a must read! After reading her post, I finally have guts to post on a topic that’s been on my heart for some time (thanks, Desiree!).
The real truth of the matter is, we are ALL called to show reverence and respect to the Eucharist. Veiling is merely one way to show devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, but there are a host of ways to let our lives be a witness to the Real Presence.
I do not veil.
There. I said it. I give you permission to call me a heretical, new-age Catholic and stop reading right now. You will be missed, friend.
Despite that, I feel immensely blessed as a convert to stand in the presence of my Lord and Savior and I try my very best to be reverent and devoted to this special gift. I am not saying I will never veil. I am merely saying the Lord has not called me to this devotion at the present time. I know better than to move ahead of the Lord and I also know better than to hold back when He asks something of me. When and if the Lord calls me to veiling, I will gladly do so.
In the mean time, how can I point others to Christ really and truly present in the Sacred Host without a veil?
10 Ways to Show Devotion to the Eucharist
1.Attend daily Mass when you can
I live in tiny town and am a parishioner of “Tiny Parish.” We have daily Mass at our church once every other week (if we are lucky), so when I say get to daily Mass, I mean make every effort to be present if it is available to you. I often feel guilty that I can’t attend daily Mass more regularly, but I must be faithful to the little God has asked of me.
When the children are less than thrilled about attending Mass, I often tell them that if Jesus were coming to our town today, we would do whatever we could to be with Him. Mass is the perfect sacrifice of Calvary. Jesus comes to be with us there. He really meets us on the altar, so, yes, we will go to meet Him there.
On days that you can’t be at Mass, assist from home by praying and reading your way through the Mass and then making a spiritual communion.
(If you find yourself dragging your feet on the way to Mass, pick up this super fast read. I promise you that it will inspire you to RUN to the next available Mass!)
2.Dress up for Mass
When I was a little girl we had our “Church Clothes.” Now that I’m grown up, married, and have a family of my own, we still have “Church Clothes.” Sundays are set apart for Mass and we should set ourselves apart as well. Holy fashion can be a very personal choice, so I will not attempt to condone or condemn certain clothing choices here.
My church clothing consists of dresses, skirts (knee length minimum) and shirts that cover my shoulders. (You can see some of my Sunday clothes here.) My boys wear khakis, polos, button downs, and dress shoes. Lilla wears dresses and skirts. (I would note that these types of clothes can be had for very little at summer garage sales!)
I am a more laid back about daily mass attire, but I still make an effort to wear “nicer” clothes than if I were simply bumming around the house. A few years ago, I insisted on wearing skirts to daily Mass as well, but I no longer hold fast to that rule.
3.Watch the Chitter-Chatter
This is a tricky one. Our tiny church’s only gathering space is the basement where people go for donuts following Mass. Unless you go to the basement for social hour, you will not have much of a chance to converse with your fellow brothers and sisters after Mass. So, Husband and I do talk to others in the sanctuary within the presence of the Tabernacle. However, we can still do so with reverence by speaking in hushed tones and with holy conversation (which should really prevail at all times!). (P.S. This is a work in progress for me!)
This was a new concept for me as I entered the Catholic faith from my Protestant background. I came from a church where fellowship was just as important as the actual church service. There was never a lull in conversation in the church’s sanctuary.
I remember vividly talking to my confirmation sponsor near the Tabernacle right after I’d entered the Catholic faith. With great discretion and gentleness, she put her finger to her lips and gently guided me by the arm to a place away from the chapel to continue our conversation. It had never occurred to me to show Jesus respect in this way, but her tender-hearted guidance was such a witness!
4.Genuflect slowly and with great reverence to the Tabernacle whenever you enter a Catholic Church
Don’t leave people wondering whether you are scratching an itch or genuflecting as you enter the pew, but don’t be a pharisee and put on a show! Think of Our Blessed Lord and Savior there in the Tabernacle and greet and adore Him slowly, devoutly, and with great reverence.
5.Devoutly prepare to receive the Lord
What do you do to prepare yourself for Mass? Could you fast longer than the prescribed hour? Wake up earlier to read scripture and pray before attending Mass? Go to confession more regularly? Do an examen of conscience to prepare your soul?
Or, do you rush out the door and holler at the kids to hurry up? Do you think about what will be for supper throughout the homily? (Not that I know from experience…nope…not me..okay…maybe…)
Distraction is a normal part of the human existence, but how can we cultivate our hearts, souls, minds, and homes to receive Our Lord more worthily?
6.Show some sign of reverence before receiving
This is another personal choice. Again, whatever you do, don’t be a pharisee and do something just for the sake of show. Ask Our Lord what He wants of you. At the very least, you should bow your head before receiving.
7.Receive in the mouth
Yep, another very personal choice when it comes to showing reverence to the Eucharist. I am not here to debate with you whether this in the only way to receive, but merely offer it as a way to show devotion if you are not already receiving in this way. Besides the spiritual reasons, I find this method much easier as I approach the altar with my hands full of little ones.
8.Teach your children how to behave in the Presence of Our Lord
Nothing makes me scratch my head more than women who veil yet allow their children to run amok during Mass. Requiring special behavior in church is just one more way we can point our children to God. I don’t mind children who babble and sing their way through Mass, but we must be prevent them from becoming too much of a distraction to others. I say “too much” because it is inevitable that when children are present in Mass, they will be somewhat of a distraction.
I am the first to recognize that children are not automatons, but I am a firm believer that we modern parents err too much on the side of leniency when it comes to the behavior of our children.
But I’ve already said a lot on that topic:
9.Say “hello” to Jesus when you pass Him
My children love to say “Hello, Jesus!” every time we walk or drive by a Catholic Church. Such an easy thing that provides a profound witness to our children.
10.Attend Adoration when you can
This is another “when you can” devotional practice- not “if” but “when.” I come away from conference talks so discouraged when the speaker adamantly states we must have a regular Holy Hour in order to grow in holiness. Blanket statements like these on devotion do not take into account the varying circumstances of God’s people.
Adoration is available in our church every few years! A weekly Holy Hour would be a dream come true, but it is not feasible for this season. However, now that my youngest is two years old, I’ve been making Adoration more of a priority by driving to the nearest 24 hour Adoration chapel (a 30 minute drive) every few Saturdays. This was not possible when I had nursing children, but now that God has changed our season of life, I’ve tried to step up my devotional practices. Husband also rises early a couple times a month to attend Adoration before work (it is still out of his way, but at least in the same town where he works).
So how do you show devotion to the Eucharist?
(Please keep comments kind and respectful or they will be deleted!)