On the first day that the Reverend Mr. Hooper dons on his crepe black veil, one which covered all of his facial features, causing tremendous unrest in his flock, the man still continued to carry out his usual duties as a pastor, and as a leader and comforter of the people. It is precisely the fact that the only thing that has changed is the addition of the veil what makes all seem all the more strange and enigmatic.
After the afternoon service, Mr. Hooper attends the funeral of a young girl.
The clergyman stepped into the room where the corpse was laid, and bent over the coffin, to take a last farewell of his deceased parishioner...the dead maiden might have seen his face.
After blessing the body of the young woman, Mr. Hooper approached the wedding of "the handsomest couple in Milford village", since he was invited by the awaiting couple. The Reverend drinks wine and wishes the best for the couple, and then leaves.
The third visit that the minister pays is to his plighted (soon-to-be) wife, Elizabeth, who directly wishes to know what possesses him to do this. After a passive argument, the minister merely confesses that his veil is a symbol; a message that he strongly wants to send out:
If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough,'' he merely replied; and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?
After this visit, Elizabeth and the minister end their relationship, and then the story goes on to narrate that time went by and nobody bothered taking off the veil, nor were they any longer as curious to know what laid underneath it. At the moment of his death, Minister Hooper still has his veil on and explains his rationale by basically telling that he can see the veil in his face and, as a result, the veil also covers the faces of others; we all hide under our deepest sins under specific masks.
for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!