Saturday, March 08, 2008

We Veil

Someone last year came into the Church after the images had been veiled and said, "Oh, it's the last bit oif Lent, I must start taking it seriously".
I am afraid I have the same reaction, it says we are on the last stretch, things are hotting up.

This year we decided it was a good excuse to begin hiding the very ugly legs of our altar by a frontal. It is the same fabric as the veiling, stretched over a frame with gold braid.

... Just noticed the crucifix behind the ambo needs to be done too!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Father, looks wonderful. Is the frontal there to stay (in the respective colours, of course)?

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

I always wonder why the Church seemed to abandon the season of Passiontide.

The custom of preparing for the Pasch for fifteen days goes back to Leviticus, I think.

I have seen churches, especially in Rome, where they veil the entire reredos, though I've never actually watched it being done.

I very much like your altar frontal.
It really helps to make the altar the centre of attention.

Perhaps the use of a frontal (in the correct liturgical colour, of course,) might continue in the Easter season and beyond .. ?

Anonymous said...

You've missed one, Father! Check out the pulpit!!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, I think so, if it can be done relatively cheaply.

You've just looked at the pictures and not read all the text.

Anonymous said...

Looks great. You have such a beautiful church there.


elena maria vidal said...

We veil the statues on our home altar every fifth Sunday of Lent. It enhances the tone of the season.

Anonymous said...

Dr Wright,

while I agree that sadly the emphasis on the Passion in the last two weeks has diminished, it is still not entirly gone. The German Bishops' Conference, e.g., has mandated that in Germany the custom of veiling Crosses and statues is to be continued. The Liturgy of the Hours gives the option of using the Passion hymns in the fifth week of Lent.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Thanks for this, Gregor.

I have been re-reading the history of Passiontide, and the venerable custom of veiling statues, etc.

Veiling, to me, is powerfully symbolic of the increased austerity of the Lenten season in its final two weeks.

It is a rubrical prescription of the 1962 Missale Romanum which, since "Summorum Pontificum" is on a par legally with the 1970 Missale Romanum.

Therefore, its Calendar and its prescriptions are also on a par.

At least, that is how I look at it.

Tomorrow being First Passion Sunday, it is good to see priests , like Fr. Ray, following the age old custom.

It is very good news to hear the German Bishops Conference is continuing, or reviving, the custom.

People nowadays might be interested to look again at what the liturgical scholar of yesteryear, Gueranger, has to say in his book "The Liturgical Year".

P.S. I thoroughly enjoy reading your contributions to NLM !

Physiocrat said...

Gosh, St Mary Magdalen's is starting to look like a proper Catholic church. Something to look forward to when I come back.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Wonderful carving. I like the angels supporting the pilasters and between the arches.

Father Mark said...

Options! Options! Dreadful things. And they have contributed to the deconstruction of the Roman Rite. When one reads that the crucifix and images "may" be veiled, the liturgical minimalist interprets that to mean that they are no longer veiled. When the magnificent Passiontide hymns at the Office are declared "optional" during the 5th week, they more or less disappear altogether. The nuns whom I serve as chaplain, for example, although their patronal mystery is the Cross, do not sing the Vexilla Regis during the 5th Week of Lent, because some nutjob convinced them that Passiontide has been abolished. Options are the thin end of the destructive wedge.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Well said, Father !

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