We veiled the crosses at Our Redeemer yesterday for the start of Passiontide. Below is the little blurb I put in the bulletin. I constructed it from a few different places. Thank you to Pastor Petersen and Deacon Gaba. Did your parish veil its crosses? Do you have photos? I’d love to see them.
Passiontide and the Veiling of the crosses The Church prepares for Easter in four distinct phases: Pre-Lent (Quinquagesima, Septuagesima, and Sexagesima), Lent (Invocabit through Laetare), Passiontide (Judica and Palmarum), and Holy Week. The 3rd phase begins today, March 21. We will drop the Gloria Patris from all services and veil all the crucifixes and crosses in the Church.
The veiling of the crucifixes is a symbol of mourning. It is not meant to spare us from looking at the cross so much as it is to draw our attention to the cross and also to remind us of what happened on the cross: Jesus died. The Church mourns this death even as she knows it is the source of her life. The Church would not have the crucifix become an invisible part of the architecture. Significantly the Gospel on Judica Sunday, which begins the Passion season, tells us that Christ seeks not His own glory. He walks to the cross knowing that in honoring His Father, He is glorified, and thereby gives eternal life to all who are faithful to His Word, the Word of the Cross. And after He speaks His Word to those who cannot see Him for what and who He is, we are told that He hid Himself, and went out of the temple. So the veiling, which begins on this day, fits most significantly with this Gospel, for the image of Christ is hid from our outward view, and He is seemingly taken out of His temple, as it were.
The removal of the Gloria Patri is similar. The idea is to remove for a short time to draw attention to it and keep it from becoming commonplace and unnoticed.