Shryving Cloth

Shryving cloth.

Some antiquaries hold that this was the veil which was hung before the rood loft in Lent. Others believe it to have been a head veil assumed by women when they went to confession in church; for as confessionals probably did not generally exist in the ancient Church of England, a "shryving cloth" may have been found convenient in protecting the penitent from the public gaze. The latter explanation seems at least reasonable and probable.

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