The Armchair Liturgist: Ready With Violet Veils?

I was thinking last week that I really need to take a jug of iced tea on a sunny day, sit in my backyard, and read MR3 through cover to cover. Anybody done that yet? The reading of the MR3, that is?

I was noticing that if a parish opts to unveil the cross for veneration than a violet veil is what they are directed to use. The previous edition of the Roman Missal did not specify the veil color–my parish used to use red. I’m thinking of switching to the Second Form of Showing the Holy Cross. What about you?

Suppose you were in a situation in which unveiling had a long attachment in your community, and you find yourself a few days before Good Friday–or even the morning of–with just a red veil. Sit in the armchair and render judgment.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Ready With Violet Veils?

  1. Liam says:

    Ah, hadn’t gotten there yet, let alone to #15 of that day.

    There are lots of details now. Of course, I only have a daily hand Missal (the MTF edition, the first one available in the US, last December).

    One of the very first that popped out to me last December was the non-parallelism in translating Good Friday and Easter:

    Good Friday, which in Latin is “Feria Sexta in Parasceve”, is rendered the “Friday of the Passion of the Lord [Good Friday]”

    Easter, which in Latin is “Dominica Resurrectionis” is rendered Easter Sunday of The Resurrection of the Lord, and the Vigil occupies first place thereunder.

    I have liked the option for the daily Prayers over The People for Lent; many of them are quite beautiful, but I’ve yet to hear any be used on Sundays (I am not a daily Massgoer, I confess).

    Now to your question: don’t have your parish do the Second Form if it’s in any way to indulge your pride or merely pique at noticing the problem. Because that’s even worse than the creation of the problem; it’s a distortion of it into a personal matter. Probably not the answer you were looking for. I would step back from it and do what would have been done before you noticed the issue; for this year.

    (Background: I suspect the rubric assumes violet because the veilings of Passiontide were (and are, in revival) violet – they weren’t changed to match each day’s vestments.)

  2. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    Paul Turner in his recent book, “Glory in the Cross” (Liturgical Press, 2012) notes on p.76, commenting on rubric 41 for Holy Thursday in the new Missal that any crosses that remain in the Church should be covered, and either red or violet is permissible. However as you note the rubric for the First Form on Good Friday seems to limit the option to violet. Not the first time that Roman liturgical documents have been ribrically inconsistent. Perhaps someone should send in a “dubitum” asking whether “red” is still permissible. Should keep a few minions there busy for a week or two.

    I was equally intrigued by his comments, on page 97, also part of his comment on the First Form, that for the unveiling a Cross is prefereable to a Crucifix. Never looked to closely at the rubric or tradiiton here, and apart fom some photographs of Good Friday liturgies outside of Japan, where a cross was used, have only ever seen crucifixes. Which all leads on to the question as to what we adore, offer reverence to in the liturgy on Good Friday – the Cross/the wood of the Cross, or the Crucified One. As further reading of Paul Turner’s book indicates, the language used during the Good Friday liturgy historically, and still in its present form is ambiguous to say the least.

    Tempted as I am by Liam’s comments on another inconsistency in the MR3 translation, I shall pass up further comment. Just say that having used MR3 in any English liturgies I’ve presided over in the past four months or so, hasn’t endeared me to it. One or more colleague who also find themselves celebrating the Eucharist in English occasionally have also not found it user friendly neither as easy to proclaim or sing as one would have hoped.

    Haven’t finished Turner’s book yet, been busy moving from my former residence in our seminary to a parish house and a more parish based minstry, but I must say it has been an enlightening read, a book that one and all engaged in liturgical ministry could read with great profit.

  3. On the very practical level, I’d be inclined to use what the parish has until obtaining what appears to be the rubrical preference.

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