09 December 2014
Our Lady with No Veil
There was a very beautiful Mass yesterday evening in St Wilfrid's Church, York for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It was interesting to note that there were several people there that I do not remember seeing before at a Latin Mass at York. One must presume that their presence was motivated by devotion to the Immaculate Conception. Whatever their reason for being there, it is gratifying to see new faces. The choir was in good form, despite the absence of organ accompaniment, singing Missa de Angelis, and an excellent sermon was preached by Fr Mark Drew. After Mass there was some discussion about the statue of Our Lady which had been placed on the sanctuary for the novena. It was unusual in that Our Lady had no veil, and a few people noticed this, adding that the absence detracted from the appeal of the statue, despite it being very fine in other respects. The first question raised was to ask whether there was any reason for this ommission; and one possible explanation offered that it might be a represent of Our Lady Queen of Heaven, which would not require a veil. However, this seems an unlikely explanation because Our Lady Queen of Heaven would surely have a crown. Another suggestion was that there may originally have been a crown belonging to this statue which has been lost; or indeed, there may have been a fabric veil at one time. I have looked at hundreds of images of Our Lady on the internet, and only a tiny proportion do not have a veil. Most of these are modernistic images and rather quirky. In most cases where Our Lady is crowned, she is also wearing a veil. So the statue at St Wilfrid's is certainly unusual. Does anyone have a better explanation? It was generally agreed that this statue would be improved by the addition of a veil.