Why Are Bishop Schlert's Crosses Covered on His Altar?

In the Dioceses of the United States, the practice of covering crosses throughout the church from the fifth Sunday of Lent may be observed. Crosses remain covered until the end of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. Today, Sunday, March 29th, 2020 begins the Passiontide.

What is the significance of a veil?

We use veils to signal the special time that we are in. When we notice the cross covered, we immediately know that something is different. These last two weeks of Lent are meant to be a time of immediate preparation for the Sacred Triduum and these veils are a powerful reminder to be prepared.

Secondly, the Church uses veils to produce a heightened sense of anticipation for Easter Sunday. You don’t want them to be there because they are hiding the reminder of our salvation.

And there lies the main point: the veils are not meant to be there forever. The images need to be unveiled; it is unnatural for them to be covered.

The unveiling before the Easter Vigil is a great reminder of our own life on earth. During this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reminded in a real way that we live in a “veiled” world, an imperfect world filled with suffering and that Jesus is our hope and our true home is heaven. Let us pray that during these two weeks of Passiontide that we will be drawn even more deeper into the mystery of the Cross and for healing and peace to all those who are suffering.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!


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