The chalice veil – the square of fabric that as the name suggests goes over the chalice – is not just for show. It is always the same colour as the vestments worn on the day matching the feast or season being celebrated.
Its purpose is to emphasise the change between the two parts of the Mass. Throughout he first part, the Liturgy of the Word, when God has spoken to His people through the readings from Scripture and through the homily and the people have affirmed their faith in God through the words of the Creed, the chalice has sat veiled on the credence table. Now, at the start of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, when God will become present under the appearance of bread and wine in the Blessed Sacrament, the veiled chalice is brought to the altar. The removal of the veil helps to emphasise the change between the two parts of the Mass.
When you pass things to Deacon Michael as he prepares the altar always take the veiled priest’s chalice first. Underneath the veil are the corporal that he will spread on the altar and the paten containing the priest’s host. Deacon Michael will remove the veil, fold it and lay it on the altar. When he has done it pick it up and bring it back to the credence table. It will not be used again during the Mass.