Your Sunday Sermon Notes and Passion Sunday POLL: veils on images

Was there a good point made during the sermon you heard for your Mass of obligation this  5th Sunday of Lent (Novus Ordo).

From this Sunday, traditionally called 1st Sunday of the Passion, it is customary to veil images in churches.  In the Gospel in traditional Form of the Roman Rite we hear:

Tulérunt ergo lápides, ut iácerent in eum: Iesus autem abscóndit se, et exívit de templo.  … They therefore took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple.

What is going on where you are?

This is a fine old tradition.  It has to do with deprivation of the senses and the liturgical dying of the Church in preparation for the Lord’s tomb and resurrection.

We do this to sense something of the humiliation of the Lord as he enters His Passion, something of His interior suffering.

We are also being pruned during Lent.  From Septuagesima onward we lose things bit by bit in the Church’s sacred liturgy until, at the Vigil, we are even deprived of light itself.  The Church is liturgically dying.

We are our rites.

Choose your best answer.  Anyone can vote, but only registered and approved users can comment.   Let us know what you saw!

At my Latin Rite church, for this 1st Passion Sunday (5th of Lent) - 2019 - I saw:

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Gab says:

    I’m such a dummy! I clicked the wrong button. I should have clicked “statues and images were already veiled before this Sunday” instead of the first option! Grr.

  2. jaykay says:

    All veiled, for the first time in some years, as it has tended to be only from Palm Sunday. And for a brief period in the last decade, not at all! So, nice to see this restored in traditional fullness. Up to at least the 90s it had always been done from this (Passion) Sunday.

  3. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    There was a plain-clothed, in my opinion possibly some sort of undercover law enforcement individual veiled at Mass today, but other than that, there didn’t appear to be any other veils in sight, including on the statues.

    Folks at a certain parish in the Midwest will likely be able to identify the individual referred to here. She is not the only one, though. There are likely others.

    Folks, there are likely many plain-clothed law enforcement individuals in parishes and (likely unknown to the bishop) employed by dioceses, particularly in a certain diocese in the Midwest. Whatever government entity (possibly) involved likely does not want this fact to be revealed, and thus, they appear to be retaliating against a certain individual who has discovered their undercover, duplicitous evils.

    Seems to me that they may be violating the law in several ways with their activities they perform on Catholic property. And this is in addition to their profanation of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    And, the priests who are actively collaborating with veiled or unveiled apparent undercover entities should be aware of the fact that these entities could quite easily set up a priest if they wanted to. A priest/pastor that trusts a government entity’s involvement in their parish may want to think twice…eh em.

    And, this “set up” tactic appears to be one of their main tactics. For example, certain undercover individuals appeared to have attempted to make it look like a priest was stalking this commentator, while in reality it was likely the undercover individuals doing to stalking and/or informing a certain priest to hover around this individual, all while telling the priest their intentions were something else. This commentator was originally fooled, thinking he was possibly being stalked by certain priests, but it was likely other individuals trying to make it look like the priests were doing the stalking.

    They are masters of deception. They likely make some individuals think that they are their friends. Yeah, right. Just a heads up to any faithful priest out there; keep in mind what is written above – there are likely at least some plain-clothed anti-Catholic government persons around you that may very well have bad intentions.

    But, yeah, no statues were veiled at the parish this commentator attended today.

  4. Ellen says:

    Not yet, but they will be next week.

  5. benedetta says:

    Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt in the Byzantine Rite. Our Father Deacon spoke on how to have a great Easter: go to confession.

  6. Greg Hlatky says:

    The last words of today’s Gospel were that Christ left the temple. Father John made the point as well that the Church reaches its nadir as Good Friday approaches.

  7. Greg Hlatky says:

    I feel sorry for those whose churches have no images or statues. To be a poor parish that can’t afford them is one thing but deliberately to deprive the faithful of them to be “modern” is true poverty.

  8. newishconvert says:

    Ours were up yesterday for the Vigil and will stay up until Easter. They look lovely. This morning at Mass a dear friend who is also on the sacristan committee asked me if I had ironed the veilings. Not only did I iron them, I made them a couple years ago. We are still working on the coverings for the pictures: how to cover them completely and keep them from sliding off. But this year they look a lot better than they did the previous two. Our pastor is a delightful young (I am not) man who is very much a traditionalist in a diocese that is not. I believe in doing all I can to make his job easier.

  9. BrionyB says:

    Everything was veiled that could be, as far as I can tell. Surprisingly powerful symbolism.

    Example: I always finish my prayers after Mass with a “mini-litany” (Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us; Holy Mary, pray for us; St Joseph, pray for us). It was startling to glance over to St Joseph’s statue at the end, and find he was “not there”. Just a dark, cloth-draped shape in the alcove.

  10. Father recommended going to confession before the celebration of the Paschal Mystery.
    I heard Father talking in the sacristy between Masses this morning about needing cloths to cover the statues and processional cross (I’m guessing starting next week). This has never been done at our parish before, and I am so happy. :)

  11. Fallibilissimo says:

    Today, after mass we adored the Blessed Sacrament and Father gave a a few words of reflection on the 2nd reading from some weeks ago where St Paul is tearful to see how many (not few) live as enemies of the Cross (in Philippians). He noted how so many of our modern crucifixes are sometimes so abstract or are so afraid of the death of Christ that they only present a resurrected Christ as if the Joy of the Resurrection didn’t come at a great price. He noted how these “resurefixes” appeal to the modern “party” mentality that has a near maniacal attachment to “fun” without a cross. An example he brought up was the frenzy with which parents often behave when it comes to the “party” of first communions and baptisms with no or little attention to importance confession or the deep commitment to Christ that comes in Baptism, as if these occasions were just another excuse to party without Christ. He laments that after first communion, or after confirmation, it’s hard to see those who were so prone to make every detail of those special days photogenic, come back the following Sunday. Thus, it would seem, so many make a big deal of these days and yet nothing permeates them but a pretty mass and a chance to dress up (Father often expresses his very striking and negative criticisms on these matters where rites and celebrations come at the cost of substance). He took this opportunity to express yet another lament on Masses that are turned into circuses with all the bells and whistles of self importance (abuses) at the cost of focusing on Christ.

    Father also reminded us what he says exorcists often tell him: Satan is more afraid when people go to confession than when they approach the communion. Apparently exorcists relate to him that demons sometimes like it when people go to communion since so many of them are sacrilegious (he didn’t say that today, but I recall him saying something similar in the past). At the beginning of Holy week, our parish has a special day where all of us try to get to Church to got to confession (several priests come to help out).

    Keeping with the theme of the Cross, Father then turned his attention to the last centuries’ tendencies to focus heavily on the “doloristic” elements of the Passion of Christ which try to express the idea: “Christ suffered so much for you, and what do you do?”. Nevertheless, Father says these devotional impulses sometimes lose the most important part of Christ Passion and overall Sacrifice: obedience to the Father. So, Christ didn’t merely suffer all the way to the death on the Cross, He was obedient to the Father through the Passion and all the way up to death on the Cross. It would seem that the theme of obedience -or rather disobedience- sums up all the problems we have with abuses of the Mass, disregard for the sacrament of confession and an obsession over the immediate pleasures of fun modern ritualistic “parties” while ignoring the great party/feast we are invited to in Christ.

    More was said, and the points highlighted here were explicated further but I guess that’s the gist of it.

  12. Lemonaam says:

    Father told us that we can all have a similar encounter with Jesus as the woman taken in adultery had during todays Gospel, if we would just ask for it. The words of Jesus to the woman: “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” are in essence the same as when the priest says to us “I absolve you from your sins” during confession. Father told us to make use of these last two weeks before Easter to GO TO CONFESSION!

    (Father is a retired priest aged 80, but so orthodox for his age. I really admire him and his ministry, as you might see why).

  13. ex seaxe says:

    Should the Stations of the Cross be veiled? Ours are not, and I did not check the pieta on the wall above the choir loft, but I think it would be unsafe to try to veil it..

  14. Pius Admirabilis says:

    The FSSP only “rents” the Church from the local rector, so the Altar Cross was veiled, but the statues weren’t. I may be mistaken, but I didn’t notice any of them being veiled. I will make sure to take a closer look next Sunday, though. There are two side Altars with beautiful statues on them (of the BVM and Joseph, I think).

  15. At the parish where I’m in the schola for the TLM, all images and statues were covered, except for the Divine Mercy image that they keep near the elevated pulpit. So I voted “Some …” since it wasn’t all.

  16. jaykay says:

    ex seaxe: you ask a good question. I’ve never, even “back in the day”, seen the Stations veiled, though all other images certainly were, including the 12-foot (at least) Calvary in the narthex of our Church. That is a good question. Tradition seems to say, at least in my area, they weren’t. But then, in the days when the liturgies took place in the morning, not many would have been there because of work, including Holy Saturday morning. But the Stations of the Cross on Holy Friday evening were the main focus for most people, prior to 1956 reforms, so perhaps that was the reason? I must ask some of the increasingly small number who were around back then and taking part. Thanks for raising the question.

  17. jameeka says:

    Your homily today ( facebook-St Mary Pine Bluff Sunday Mass EF) was fiery and excellent again, Father Z. I did not know all the relationships between the Feast of Sukkot, and Jesus’ statements in John chapters 7 and 8. Thank you very much, this also helps with active participation in the OF readings the past few days.

    OF: Gospel today is the woman caught in adultery. Father C suggested that possibly Jesus was writing with the finger of God in the ground all the Commandments, as God had done on stone tablets (twice), for Moses and the chosen People.

    He also talked about the importance of Confession, recalling that when he was a boy, once per month they would all line up for Confession on Saturday evenings. His father pointed out that even a certain local judge was in line, he too needed to be reconciled before Sunday Mass.

    Misery and Mercy meet, as St Augustine says about this Gospel. I was overwhelmed at Communion with thanksgiving; this story is the culmination of why the Son of God became Man, so He could reconcile us to His Father. Without Him, we are stuck in the dilemma of horrible endings. How fortunate we are!

  18. exNOAAman says:

    First year I can remember any veil used. The metal crucifix atop the tabernacle was covered. The 2 large statues uncovered. (OL Queen of Poland, and St. Joseph) It’s a small historic church without too much statuary.
    Father referred to the likely availability of confession this time of year by making a gag that the post office just delivers his mail straight to the confessional from now until Easter.

    Also found myself at a NO mass at the chapel of an old folks home later this morning. The paster from a nearby parish passed on well-wishes from the usual priest who is sick, and mentioned that his crew was responsible for 9 masses today; 6 of which he was doing himself! Seemed to have a good attitude though. I wanted to shake his hand and thank him afterwards, but he had to rush out. Ain’t easy.

  19. JonPatrick says:

    Our Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy is held at one of the parish Latin Rite churches and all statues were veiled.
    Father gave his homily about St. Mary of Egypt, a fascinating story. She started out as a very successful prostitute in the city of Alexandria. One day she saw a procession going through the city and the people seemed very joyful so she joined in as she always liked a good time. The procession ended at the dock where they boarded a ship. She thought “a cruise, this looks like fun” so she got a ticket and boarded the ship. The ship sailed to the Holy Land and the procession headed for Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. All along she had been talking to the pilgrims and wanted very much to be part of this, but when she got to the church she was unable to enter. She prayed and asked the Blessed Mother for her intercession, saying that if she could enter and venerate the relic of the True Cross as the others were doing, she would renounce her life of sin and dedicate it to the Lord. She was then able to go in. She followed through with her promise and became a hermitess in the desert, giving away all her possessions even her clothing. An icon venerated at the liturgy is of her receiving communion from a priest who would come and visit her once a year, her dressed only in his cloak which he lent her for the purpose of modesty.

  20. At the place I attended the Extraordinary Form, all of the statues inside the sanctuary (behind the altar rail) were veiled, with the exception of two angels, which were very high up. The crucifix was also veiled. All of the statues in the nave were unveiled.

    I think the angels were not veiled due to the difficulties in accessing them. Is it right for the crucifix to be veiled? Should the statues on “our side” of the rail have been veiled?

  21. Fr. Kelly says:

    Re Veiling of Stations:

    From the St. Joun Cantius Ordo (EF) Covering of Statues: The season of Passiontide (last two weeks of Lent) prepares us for the days of the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). In Passiontide, crucifixes, statues and sacred images (but not the Stations of the Cross) in the church are veiled in violet after the hour of None in the Divine Office on the Saturday receding Passion Sunday I. …

    From the Pauline Press Ordo (OF): In the dioceses of the United States, the practice of covering crosses and images throughout the church may be observed.Crosses remain covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, but images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

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