Transfer of the Most Blessed Sacrament

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Your blog is very much appreciated.

The Transfer of the Most Blessed Sacrament – Roman Missal 41. At an appropriate time, the altar is stripped and, if possible, the crosses are removed from the church. It is expedient that any crosses which remain in the church be veiled.

The parish I just began working at interprets this to mean that the large crucifix on the wall in the sanctuary  should be removed and returned to its place before the Easter Vigil begins or at the very least veiling the corpus.  While I believe there may be some confusion on the difference between a cross and a crucifix and that I cannot find a rubric suggesting to veiling and/or remove a crucifix, I thought I would seek clarification of this rubric from you. 

Thank you in advance.


A: The missal makes very few distinctions between a cross and a crucifix. At times the word could mean either one. For example no. 38 probably means a processional cross with a corpus. On Good Friday, no. 3 probably also means a crucifix. All the references to the adoration of the cross, in my opinion, mean a cross without a corpus, but not many people agree with me on that.

So I think 41 means crosses and crucifixes, and a key expression is “if possible.” If the crucifix can be removed or covered without much effort, I think that’s what the liturgy has in mind.