The Great Head-Covering Experiment

The Great Head-Covering Experiment September 14, 2009

After the huge amount of interest and commentary generated by my musings on wearing a head-covering to church, I thought I would give an update!

No, I did not look this pretty

So, yesterday, I went to mass and I DID obey the nagging, nudging urge I’ve had to cover my head.

But I did not use the black, veil-y scarf I’d been considering. Instead, heeding all the good advice so many had left here (or emailed), I chose a scarf that matched my blouse and wore it as a scarf, pausing before entering the sanctuary, to just raise the back of it over my head.

Suddenly, I was not a woman with a “traditionalist” veil whose action might be perceived by some as “holier than thou” or even as a silent rebuke to bare-headed women; I was just a lady who chose to loosely drape her scarf around her shoulders and over her head. It almost felt like a mere fashion statement – ala the beautiful lady in my original post.

My self-consciousness disappeared under that scarf, and I not only did not notice anyone giving me the hairy-eyeball about it, I didn’t even look to see reactions.

Covering my head subtly changed things for me. I was only aware of the scarf when I lowered my head to pray, or to read the missalette, but it was not a distracting awareness; instead, I simply felt like my vision and thus my attention was brought into more intense focus. More importantly, that sense of being nudged and nagged was silenced, replaced by something that was just very quiet and settled and peaceful.

I have covered my head at Adoration for a very long time, and at home, while at prayer. The scarf seems to be the answer for me. It is light and unobtrusive; although I am by nature a fidget, I did not find myself playing with the thing at all. Best of all, no one else seemed offended by my veiling. When I left the sanctuary, I simply slipped it from my head and it remained, still…just a pretty scarf.

I asked my husband if he minded being beside a veiled woman and he said, “well, it sort of makes you look short and middle aged. But since you are short and middle aged, I guess there is nothing to be done,” he teased.

“If it bothers you, though, I won’t wear it when I go to church with you,” I offered, because -after all- I did offer to share my life with him all those years ago.

“No, it doesn’t bother me, Babuska Lady,” he replied.

Well, if I look like a short and middle-aged Babuska Lady in my scarf, at least I can’t see myself. And anyway, all that matters is how God sees me, right? Hopefully that is always in a better light than I see myself. Or, at least, a perfect, just and loving light.

Meanwhile, I am curious to know if any of you ladies -having been vocal here or in emails- tried covering this week, and what your experiences were both with regards to others, and within yourselves? And lets have another poll or two:

Did you try covering this past Sunday?
Yes (if yes, do tell!)
No, but I am praying on it. free polls
Has your thinking on head-coverings changed?
Yes, I am LESS open to the idea
Yes, I am MORE open to the idea
No, I still think no one should wear them
No, I still think all women should wear them
No, I told you you would look dumb free polls

For the record, it is not my intention with these posts to try to persuade anyone to cover their heads. This is just a thing going on with me, and the only reason I’m asking others for their thoughts is because so very many women, either here or in emails, indicated that this issue has become meaningful for them, lately.

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