Removing the pall from over the chalice may seem to be an insignificant, matter-of-fact occurrence; but if we delve deeper into what the pall is, we can better understand and appreciate the mystery of the Mass as it unfolds before our very eyes.

The pall has to be of white linen, this to remind us of the sudarium, the white, linen napkin which was used to wrap the blood-stained Head of our Lord at His burial.  When the corporal and the pall are blessed, the accompanying prayer asks that they “may be made, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, a “novum sudarium” for the Body and Blood of our Redeemer”.   The pall, then, is a new sudarium.  It reminds us of the piece of linen used to bind the Sacred Head.

At this point in the Mass, it is most opportune to call to mind why the sudarium was blood-stained.  We recall that painful moment when Christ’s sacred Head was sadistically pierced with a crown of thorns, and pray thus:  “Lord Jesus Christ, who for my sake wouldst be so cruelly crowned with thorns, pierce me so thoroughly with the thorns of penance that I may have a right to be crowned by Thee in heaven.  Amen.”

As for the impoverished, cut-and-edited N.O., there is not even mention of the pall in the General Instructions. The bloodied, thorn-crowned Sacred Head of our Lord is probably the furthest thing from the mind of many in the pews of the typical N.O. I am reminded of a lay “Eucharistic extraordinary minister”, who when shown a holy card of our Lord scourged, crowned, and bleeding, recoiled in horror and exclaimed, “Get that away from me!”   

“The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy.”  – Cardinal Ratzinger


[1] The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: dogmatically, liturgically, ascetically, by Fr. Nicholas Gihr

This entry was posted in The theology of the TLM in pictures and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *