For centuries, it has been the practice in the Catholic Church to cover images in the fortnight before Easter. Here is the main sanctuary, with the processional cross and High Altar cross veiled in purple.
This derives from the ancient custom - still practised in many countries - of removing or veiling images in times of death and great mourning. In rural Ireland it was the custom to mark a death by turning pictures towards the wall. In many cultures, women veil themsleves at funerals, as a mark of mourning.
By covering images, we emphasise the solemnity and sadness of this time, when we prepare for the Passion and death of Jesus. Images speak of beauty, of celebration and consolation; but now there is a disruption of the familiar landscape, familiar objects are removed from view, all is stark and desolate.
This sombre mood will reach its climax in the night of Jesus' arrest, Maundy Thursday, when the altar itself will be stripped and laid bare, as he was stripped before the soldiers. atttttttttttttttt
So the mood now is solemn, earnest - as we wait in anticipation of the colour, light and celebration of the Resurrection.