From a reader…
What color veil is the Cross covered with on Good Friday for the Adoration of the Holy Cross? Rather, is there any place in or outside the Missale Romanum that would indicate any color other than violet?
I respect our good Pastor’s authority, naturally. I am sorry for adding to his stress level approaching Holy Week, but I opened my unfortunate mouth and asked why we don’t use violet. Being merely a lay person I defer to him, and was hoping to learn. However, my question was not received well and went unanswered. I understand this is a rather silly question about “nitty gritty details,” but I honestly was curious.
The Roman Missal – for the Ordinary Form, the Novus Ordo – has a specific indication about the color of the cloth covering the Cross on Good Friday in rubric 15:
“The Deacon accompanied by ministers, or another suitable minister, goes to the sacristy, from which, in procession, accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, he carries the Cross, covered with a violet veil [velo violaceo obtectam], through the church to the middle of the sanctuary.”
In the traditional, Extraordinary Form, violet prescribed for Good Friday.
In recent years, for Good Friday in St. Peter’s celebrated by the Pope, we have seen a red veil. It strikes me that this is a custom of papal liturgy. For example, red vestments are used for the Requiem of a Pope rather than black or violet/purple.
That said, the fact remains that the Missal says violet, not some other color.