Prairie View

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Veiling Innovations

Below is my first ever effort at writing an ironic essay. We have just covered it in composition class and I decided to see if I could do it. We had a merry time in class today laughing at everybody's efforts. Some of the students did really well. I hope to share their paragraphs some time--and the mangled metaphors--Oh My! "A good time was had by all."

“I think the ones who wear black veilings are the people who’ve been excommunicated for being immoral.” This was the conclusion of an outsider struggling to understand the increasingly varied customs of Amish Mennonites who practice the I Cor. 11 ordinance of wearing the head covering or veiling. Traditionally, Mennonite women have worn white veilings that covered most of their hair, but in a praiseworthy departure from tradition, more and more people understand that any type of cloth fragment appended to the hair suffices perfectly as a veiling.

The hanging-on-by-the-fingernails veiling is a truly stellar innovation. In this version, stiff, unyielding fabric is pinched and pressed till it is perfectly tailored to fit a normally shaped head. Though it boasts the cleverest of designs, it can’t reach the crown of the wearer’s head. Apparently exhausted with the effort, it lies back to gather strength, tipping at such an angle that it draws in air at the top. Laws of artistic design further favor the hanging-on-by-the- fingernails model. As in architecture, sculpture, or painting, scanty connection between the major elements of the design inspires awe at the skill of the artist.

The clinging-pancake veiling style is another admirable development. In this model, apparently a passerby has lobbed a pancake-shaped piece of fabric at someone who obviously was so unsuspecting that she turned her back to the perpetrator of the pancake attack. The flying pancake found just enough horizontal surface at the back of the head to stick momentarily. Before it could fall off, someone pinned it to the hair of the victim, and, from that time forward, it served as an outstanding devotional covering.

The third novel veiling is the bikini model. This version is black or white, and can be any size, up to the size of a fig leaf. It must be decorative, either in the fabric itself, or the binding around the edges. If decorative binding is unavailable, an added ruffle is a necessity. With these accoutrements in place, no onlooker will ever mistake it for anything but a heartfelt effort to respond in obedience to the teachings of I Cor. 11. The bikini version has not yet been widely adopted among Amish Mennonites, but a close examination of its merits will almost certainly inspire change.

Recent advances in designs for veilings increasingly reveal Amish Mennonites to be ever-faithful in making relevant applications of the teachings in I Corinthians 11. No matter what people may have believed and practiced in the past, the up-to-date models in common use of late are commendable models we would all do well to embrace. The sooner the better.


  • It seems to me (and the occupants of the house that I live in) that you have succeeded. For behold, if it is necessary to stop in the middle of the reading for the express purpose of keeping your gut from shaking too violently, than you have succeeded. Do it again!!!!!

    By Anonymous thesinger, at 10/18/2007  

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