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A beautiful Lenten custom
March 15th, 2016
By Michael Stallman

There’s a lovely and ancient practice I’d like to see more of. It consists in veiling the statuary and crucifix in the church with simple purple cloth for the last two weeks of Lent. We have been practicing our Lenten journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving – fasting alongside Christ in the desert. Now this Passiontide we can deprive ourselves also of sacred art and images, fully preparing ourselves to concentrate on Christ’s work of redemption. The crucifix is uncovered on Good Friday, and the remaining veils would be removed again before the Easter Vigil, echoing the temple veils rent in two. At the Easter Vigil we once again behold the church decorated in glory, as our voices raise to praise him with his angels and his saints. It’s a beautiful custom that ought to return.

Michael Stallman
San Mateo

The writer is a member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Burlingame.

From March 17, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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