Wednesday, April 05, 2006

To Cover or Not to Cover.....That is the Question

Which has been plaguing me for some time. Actually - pretty close to two years. I began veiling for mass two years ago this coming Holy Week. Since then, I veil at every mass and every time I enter the Church. I also do not wear pants to mass - instead I wear dresses or long skirts.

For the past several months, I have been plagued with the desire to cover full time. Why cover? You ask? I'll get to that in a moment. This desire has been hampered by my own collateralization. Part of me wanted to veil and the other part said "Are you kidding?" So, I did what any good wife should do. I prayed about it, offered it up to God and my husband to decide.

Yes, that's right. I LEFT IT UP TO MY HUSBAND TO DECIDE. If you don't agree, pick up your Bible and go to Ephesians 5:22-24. "Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything." My husband and I actually wrote this into our marriage ceremony. We both believe that this is ESSENTIAL to a good marriage. Here is more scripture on the matter: Titus 2:3-5 "Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. " 1 Peter 3:1-6 "Likewise, you wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives' conduct when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior. Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God. For this is also how the holy women who hoped in God once used to adorn themselves and were subordinate to their husbands; thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him "lord." You are her children when you do what is good and fear no intimidation.1 Timothy 3:11Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in everything. 1 Timothy 2:9-15 "Similarly, (too,) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." Colossians 3:18 "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. " 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 " women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church. "1 Corinthians 7:4 " A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. "

Several months ago I began praying and I told God that I would leave it up to him to decide my fate. Last night, we got home and went upstairs to begin our Evening Prayers (Vespers). I asked him what he wanted from me as a wife. Now, if you know Joe, then you know I got an entire sermon when all I wanted was a sentence. Going around and around - we finally got down to what had been lying in his heart - but he had been too afraid to ask/tell.

The same scripture that had been in my heart had been in his. 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 "But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears his hair long it is a disgrace to him, whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because long hair has been given (her) for a covering? But if anyone is inclined to be argumentative, we do not have such a custom, nor do the churches of God."

Wow. Pretty powerful stuff. Joe and I sat down and he laid out how I should dress. Long skirts or dresses. I can have three pairs of pants which are to only be worn at home and only in front of family and very close friends. These can be used to work in the yard with - and the occasional trip to Lowe's. Skirts can not come above the knee while sitting. I have two outfits where exception has been made and these are to be worn only around family. My hair is to be worn up under a prayer covering of some type. We are deciding now what those will be. It was going to be only while I was out, but upon further reflection, it will be when I am at home as well. I may uncover at home, but to pray, I must cover again. For formal occasions or special occasions, he may ask that I wear my hair down and style it. I may wear sleeveless dresses only while in the presence of my husband and only ones that he has approved of. As for makeup - I am not to look like a "painted lady" and may use some to look "natural" and enhance certain features.

We went through my dresses last night and I have gotten rid of four or five as they did not meet his expectations. I have ordered a dozen snoods in different colors. I can't wait to get these. I began wearing a veil last night to bed. I wore a kerchief that I tied up. Today I am wearing a black snood that I sometimes have worn to mass. We decided that my Chapel Veils are not suitable to be worn everyday but I will continue to wear them at mass.

Here are some interesting websites to view more information on covering and the different types of covering available.


Expage - HeadcoveringThis site has lots of links to various covering webpages

Let Her be Veiled - An in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 A great book which has now been published on the web!

More will be published later but a Google search on Prayer Coverings, Christian Coverings, etc.. Will result in a wealth of knowledge.


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