vale » veil
Spotted in the wild:
- Last week, one of those hero-friends, World War II Marine air ace Joe Foss, departed this veil of tears to be with his Maker. (Oliver North, Military.com, Jan. 9, 2003)
- “In the same way we are given the Blessed Mother to guide us through this veil of tears,” he said. (Madison Catholic Herald, Oct. 9, 2003)
- So I have great pleasure in wishing Medicare happy 20th, and in confidently looking forward to the nearest thing to eternal life that is possible here in this veil of tears. (Department of Health and Ageing, Australia, Feb. 2, 2004)
- In 2002, as the ailing and aged former Senator from South Carolina Strom Thurmond was facing retirement, his 100th birthday and, in all likelihood his departure from this veil of tears, C. Trent Lott praised him at a celebration of his life. (Enter Stage Right, Nov. 8, 2004)
The expression “vale of tears” goes back to pious sentiments that consider life on earth to be a series of sorrows to be left behind when we go on to a better world in Heaven. It conjures up an image of a suffering traveler laboring through a valley (”vale” ) of troubles and sorrow. “Veil of tears” is poetic sounding, but it’s a mistake.