Covering the cross

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: If a parish chooses to cover crosses and images for the 5th Sunday of Lent, should the processional cross be even used. It seems odd to carry the cross veiled, although it is an option for the Good Friday Showing of the Holy Cross. We do veil our crosses and images but have not veiled our processional cross, in fact on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion we usually decorate it with palms and red ribbons.


A: I cannot reconcile GIRM 117 and 308 with the missal’s permission to cover crosses for two weeks. I think best practice is that the main cross remains uncovered because of its ritual and theological connection to the altar. If using incense, the altar and cross are incensed together – one is an image of the other. That meaning is lost if the cross is veiled.

But the missal permits – does not require – the covering of crosses.

To your question, yes, use the processional cross, but I recommend it remain unveiled.

The optional unveiling of the Good Friday Cross is a totally different matter – it is not the cross that is associated with the eucharist. There is no eucharist that day.