From a reader…
Is there any authoritative rubric for the Extraordinary Form that requires statues and crosses be veiled in Church, or is it simply customary?
Our Extraordinary Form community is domiciled in a location that does not currently veil, and doesn’t seem inclined to do so.
In the traditional form of the Roman Rite there is a custom of covering statues, images, etc. of the Lord and saints (except for Stations of the Cross) from after Nones (of after Mass but before 1st Vespers) of 1st Passion Sunday onward. This custom continues in the Novus Ordo as well from the 5th Sunday of Lent:
In 1988 the Congregation for Divine Worship in Paschale Solemnitatis 57 said: “It is fitting that any crosses in the church be covered with a red or purple veil, unless they have already been veiled on the Saturday before the fifth Sunday of Lent.”
On traditional 1st Passion Sunday the Gospel is from John 8, when the Lord disputes with the Jews and they try to stone him. The Gospel says: “They therefore took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple.”
The custom continues in the Novus Ordo. But it is more than a custom in the Usus Antiquior. It is necessary.
The 1962 Missale Romanum has a rubric which prescribes the veiling of images. If memory serves, the instruction is also in the rubrics for the Breviarium Romanum and the Caerimoniale Episcoporum.
Here’s a shot of the page in the 1962 Missale Romanum (with my circling):
“Once Mass [of Saturday after the 4th Sunday of Lent] is finished, Crosses and images throughout the church are covered; which remain covered, Crosses indeed up to the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday, but images until the Gloria is intoned at the Easter Vigil.”
This isn’t “may” be covered. It is “are” covered.