The Veiling of statues

Friends in Christ, in the final two weeks of Lent, it is a custom in the Church to cover the crucifix and the statues and the pictures in purple, as we have in our church. What is the meaning of the covering up of these images?
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Well, in the 9th century in some countries, a large, purple cloth was stretched out in front of the entire altar. No one could watch the Mass. The idea was, that we are all sinners, and so we will deprive ourselves of the joy of seeing the Holy Mass during Lent. This cloth was called the ‘hunger cloth,’ hungering for Christ. It was removed on Wednesday of Holy Week, when during the reading of the Gospel it says, ‘the veil in the temple was torn in two.’ Then the veil concealing the altar was removed.
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But the practice which we do today is linked to that of the Latin Mass. The two weeks before Lent have traditionally been called ‘Passiontide.’ Passiontide begins on Passion Sunday, in which the gospel says that the enemies of Christ picked up stones and were ready to stone him to death, but he hid himself. – Jesus hid himself. Therefore, from that time on, we hide all of the images of Christ.
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During the course of Lent, if we observe carefully, we will see that the Church herself experiences death with Jesus, leading up to Easter. As Lent begins, the Alleluia goes away, never to be heard again. Organ music ceases, beautiful flowers are removed, to be seen no more, and fasting begins. As we go further toward the Passion, statues and images are covered. We are deprived of all the joys, of even the smiling face of Mary.
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But this dying continues: On Holy Thursday, the altar is stripped, candles removed, bells are replaced with wooden clackers, the Eucharist is taken out of the church, and on Good Friday there is no Mass at all. When we begin the Easter Vigil, we are deprived even of light itself. total darkness. It is as if the Church herself were dead in the tomb with her Lord.
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Veiling of images reminds us again and again, that if Christ had not come, if he had not suffered for us and rose, there would be no salvation, no saints, no Blessed Mother, no hope at all.
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These days we share in the Passion and death of Christ, so that on Easter we may share with gratitude in his glorious Resurrection.

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