News items added on Saturday, April 09, 2011

Passiontide: veiling of the statues

By ancient custom, the crucifixes and statues in the Church are veiled during Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent.

As with many of our ancient liturgical customs, this has various meanings. Before his Passion, Jesus hid himself and no longer went openly among the Jews. At his passion, the divinity of Jesus was hidden by his humiliation and sufferings for our sake. The statues of Our Lady and the saints are covered because it is not fitting for the servants to be honoured when their Master is hidden.

The veiling of the statues gives a striking austerity to the Church, reminding us of the solemn and mournful time of the suffering and death of the Lord as we approach the liturgical celebration of his Passion.

We adore Thee, O Christ and we praise Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.