Why Frippery? Why veils:

From the earliest years of Christian worship, the faithful have covered religious symbols—whether crosses, statuary, or paintings, from the Fifth Sunday of Lent through Good Friday.  It used to be on the Sunday before Palm Sunday that the church would hear read the entire passion narrative, and so from that point during the liturgical year, through the end of Holy Week, crosses especially, but any symbol of God’s revelation to humanity, would be covered with a veil to remind us of the veil which was torn in two, according to Matthew, at the moment that Jesus died.  Now, we cover the crosses throughout Lent here at Trinity, and other Episcopal, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic parishes observe a similar tradition; there isn’t a set rule about exactly how far in advance such items should be veiled, though Ash Wednesday, when we cover up the crosses, is the earliest appropriate moment.
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The veil which was torn in two was the huge cloth curtain that divided the Holy of Holies in the Temple from the rest of the temple’s sacred space.  In the Temple of Jesus’ time, there were three parts—the temple courts where anyone could walk around (this is where the money-changers were, who Jesus threw out), the Holy Place where only ritually-pure Jewish men could go, and the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies where the Temple priests would dare to go only once a year to offer sacrifice on the altar.  This is where we get the altar rail—that is a symbol of where it used to be that no one could cross, or even see very well, what was beyond.  Because of Jesus’ willing sacrifice of himself on the cross for our own sins and waywardness,  veil—the separation, physically and spiritually—of God from humanity, no longer exists.

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