Veiled crosses

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: If crosses are veiled on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, is the altar cross incensed during the entrance procession and preparation of the gifts? I am of two minds. It seems odd to reverence a veiled sign. On the other hand, we still carry the veiled cross in procession; and from a practical standpoint, the cross is still mostly visible; only the corpus is completely veiled so it’s not as if we are pretending it isn’t there.


A: The rubric permitting the optional covering of crosses from the Fifth Sunday of Lent is found in the Roman Missal on that day, and it says nothing about the impact on other ceremonies. Into that silence, different theories may speak. My opinion is that the incensation of the cross during Mass does continue for the reasons you mention: A veiled cross is carried in procession, and the altar cross, though, veiled, is still there, and is in fact required to be there. Incensation acknowledges its presence.