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Catholic Activity: Shrouding of Statues and Crucifixes


  • Purple or red cloths

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How to apply this practice during Holy Week in your home.


It was a custom to shroud or cover the crosses and statues in a church with purple or red cloth. Some churches still retain this practice, as the Roman Missal states:

The practice of covering the crosses and images in the church may be observed if the episcopal conference should so decide. The crosses are to be covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord's passion on Good Friday. Images are to remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.
The practice reminds us that we have entered the solemn Holy Week, and helps us avoid distractions. This practice could easily be implemented at home. The fabric can either be dyed purple or red, or bought ready-made by the yard (inexpensive remnants are an option, available at all fabric and craft stores). An added practice could be placing a shroud over the TV, as a reminder that during this week there should be no television viewing. Some families cover mirrors in various parts of the house, also to curb distractions. These coverings should remain until after the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.

There should be one crucifix that remains uncovered and used as a focal point for the family prayers and services throughout Holy Week. If there isn't a family altar already existent, a special place or table should be designated. This should have a crucifix, some candles, and perhaps covered in a purple cloth.

Jennifer Gregory Miller Jennifer G. Miller

Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2014 by Jennifer Gregory Miller