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Lenten observances QUESTION from Miss Patricia A. Christy October 17, 1999
Our pastor insists on covering the crucifix from Ash Wednesday until Pentecost Sunday... The crucifix is covered with a purple cloth on Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. On Easter Sat. the crucifix is then covered with a white cloth, until Pentecost Sunday. Many of our people are very concerned about this. THe crucifix, according to the priest, should not reflect the passion until after Pentecost...No one understands his theology in this... I am the Sacristan, and I have a multitude of people complaining to if I have some knod of control over this. This has been for me one BIG HEADACHE, as I am not qualified to argue with the priest about all of this. I have taken my stance, and have resigned from the Liturgy Committee since none of them will hear my pleas for the people. I have quoted from Liturgical norms books here in St. Louis, and the Committee looks at me as if I have three heads. I am so fed up with all of this that I feel like letting out a scream that would rock the earth! As for me, I adore our Lord in the Passion in other ways, since we have been restricted in this at our church. But what can I possibly do for the fold who comes to me with wanton eyes as if I have some kind of supernatual power. I have told them time and time again to PRAY...because only prayer will change the heart and mind and soul of our pastor. But I have no power or control over him...and I am subject to him in an element of obedience. Signed...not looking forward to the Paschal Season, Patricia Christy. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on October 17, 1999
Dear Patricia, This is a very ancient practice and extends to all the statuary in the church, not only the Crucifix. It's a symbolic gesture reminding us during Lent that prior to His death on the Cross, there weren't any Saints in Heaven because the gates of Heaven were still closed. This practice was universally observed prior to the Second Vatican Council and remains an option. When explained through proper catechesis, it is a deeply meaningful gesture. I hope this helps. John Miskell Back to Index Page

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