Brothers and sisters,
The tradition of covering (or “veiling” being the official term) the statues in the Church during Holy Week and Lent is very special to me, however I very-much understand that many people are unfamiliar and even taken aback by the idea. Here are some of the reasons for veiling the sacred images (crucifixes and statues) in the Church at the end of Lent and into Holy Week:
- FOCUS: in many Churches, the statues, art, and crucifixes are both plentiful and beautiful; they assist people in a sense of reverence and prayer before, during, and after Mass – in addition to other times when we are at the Church. During Holy Week, the Church insists that we have a heightened sense of focus on the Word of God at Mass.
- ANTICIPATION: it’s human nature to want to solve a mystery; even though we’ve already seen the statues and crucifix that are now veiled, we want to lift and remove the veil just to see what it is hiding. In this practical way, the Church helps us long for Easter all the more when the veil will be lifted and the stone will be rolled away.
- NOT FOREVER: the veil itself is not going to remain placed on the images perpetually – it is very temporary. Our life on Earth, also temporary, is a veiled shadow of life in Heaven; that is the life for-which we hope.
From Palm / Passion Sunday through Good Friday we will have the sacred images veiled.