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From a reader:
Should everything remain veiled for the Feast of the Annunciation? Can we unveil Mary? Is it appropriate to have flowers on the altar?
Passiontide is a heavy liturgical time, especially in the older, traditional calendar, which must be our guide for these matters.
My consultation of Alcuin Reid’s reworking of Fortescue/O’Connell says (p. 318):
“Before the first Vespers of Passion Sunday all statues and images (including crucifixes) in the church which are the objects of veneration and not merely ornamental, are to be covered with a plain opaque violet veil. No figure or ornament is allowed on these veils. The images are not to be uncovered for any reason (except the crosses on Good Friday) tell the veils are removed at the Gloria in excelsis at the first Easter Mass. But the Stations of the Cross may remain uncovered.
I conclude… no unveiling of the statue of Mary and no flowers… well… flowers… sure… okay (it’s 1st Class).
Let Passiontide be Passiontide, even on such a beautiful Marian feast.