The Lenten Rood Veil


Percy Dearmer, the author of the Parson's Handbook, was vicar of St Mary's Primrose Hill in Hampstead, so it is no surprise that this glorious church has a full set of Lenten array. The church also follows the pre-Reformation practice of veiling the great rood at the chancel step and they use a veil dating from Dearmer's incumbency, strikingly stencilled in black and red. In medieval liturgical practice the great rood above the rood screen was covered up with the other images in the church at the beginning of Lent. However, while the other veils remained until the Paschal Vigil, in the Sarum Use the rood veil was dramatically removed at the end of the procession on Palm Sunday as the priest twice sung Ave rex noster, fili david (hail our king, son of David) and the chanters took up the anthem. The veil at Primrose Hill is suspended on a pulley system and they still follow the medieval custom of unveiling it on Palm Sunday as Sarumsleuth's photos below demonstrate.




Here for good measure are a couple of pictures of the Lenten array in other parts of this lovely church.




Sources
For the medieval practice of unveiling the rood on Palm Sunday see: The Use of Sarum I, Richard Pynson Processionale ad Usum Sarum 1502 (Boethius Press, 1980)
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