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Catholic Dictionary




A temporary convering of the head and shoulders of the persons who are getting married. The bridal veil is the best known and dates from ancient times. In some countries it covers both the bride and groom as they proceed to their new home. Also, occasionally it was worn during the time of bethrothal. For centuries the custom prevailed of holding a veil over the married couple while they were solemnly blessed. Some rituals prescribe that the veil completely cover the bride and only the shoulders of the groom. Formerly the bridal veil could be flame-colored, yellow, or purple. Today it is usually white and long. (Etym. Latin velum, covering.)