When Jesus dies. why is the temple veil broken?


what does this mean?


I was taught at bible study that the curtain between the front of the temple and the back - which was the ‘Holy of Holies’ - signified that the people were separated from God i.e that only that high priest could go into that part of the temple and be right in front of God. When Jesus died, this practice ended (symbolically at least) - the curtain is torn and people have complete access to God - there is no barrier between us and Him.


I’ve heard it explained that way as well.


I think it was the birth of Christianity or the separation from Judaism, same with the earthquake


Fifty-plus years ago, I learned that it symbolized the completion of the Old Law.
I’ve heard nothing to contradict that since then.

PS - good morning Texas Roofer.
Happy Holy Saturday to all.


Perhaps it refers to this reference that I found on a Jewish website:

Traditional Jewish funerals are very simple and usually relatively brief. Before they begin, the immediate relatives of the deceased – siblings, parents, children, spouse – tear their garments to symbolize their loss.


And a happy Easter to you !


See Hebrews 10:20, where the writer says Jesus opened a way for us “through the veil, that is, His flesh” - this after explaining how Jesus is our High Priest (the High Priest was the only one who went past the veil to offer sacrifice in the Holy of Holies).

In addition to the opening of the entry to the Presence of God, it’s been observed that the veil is torn from top to bottom (indicating that the act was from heaven, rather than from earth).

Another intersting bit about the veil that we miss because we’re not familiar with the Temple is that it was THICK - I’ve read statements describing it as “4 inches” (which was Josephus’ description) and “3 feet” (this apparently because of an issue about the precise measurements of the different sections of the Temple) but it’s not a gauzy veil (which is what I tend to think of when I hear the word “veil”) - it’s made of linen and yarn and embroidered with cherubim and it completely hides the Ark of the Covenant from view. The one in Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high (a cubit is a the length of a man’s forearm) but in Herod’s rebuilt temple it was 40 cubits high. So it being torn is no minor event.

Happy Easter to all!


I’ve heard that the tearing of the veil signifies that there is nothing between us and God and from this persons perspective, that included the Church, any church. There are numerous passages in the Bible to refute this notion what with Christ trying to start a Church and all, why make something that is from the get go obsolete?

But wondering if anyone knew of any historical or cultural symbolism in the act of tearing the veil that is outside the Bible? Such as “during the time Jews practiced this which meant this so that means that over there” kinda of deal. I feel that some historicity might help my case as with the Bible it is easily misinterpreted but not so easily done with firm “history”, /sarc. A fallacy I know, but that’s what some people think, or at least this on person.

I hope someone can understand what I mean, Thanks.


I found it quite phophetic. A few years ago I had a dream about a temple being purified. Turned out I was to go through some major purifications. One of those, the worst I literally felt spiritually like I was being torn in two. It was like God has begun the process of separating the attachment evil had on my soul and my soul then felt freer and closer to God afterwards, and I was more able to recognise in myself how evil had been influencing me and was slowly able to wean myself from certain influences of that attachment. Probably more to my experience, but hard for me to put into words.

Because of my experience, this torn veil thing has a lot of meaning attached to it. Like a veil had been taken away in myself and God has pulled me more to Him.

I know it sounds a bit strange, but I am a strange woman.


Mt 27:51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; (see also Mk 15:38, Lk 23:45)

St. Jerome: The curtain of the Temple was torn, and all the mystery of the Law that were previously woven together were made known and passed to the Gentile people. In the gospel that we have frequently mentioned, we read that the upper lintel of the Temple, which was of immense size was broken and split in two. Josephus, too, reports that the angelic powers, the former guardians of the Temple, equally cried out at that time: “Let us pass from this dwelling place."

St. John (Chrysostom): This cry rent the veil, and opened the tombs, and made the house desolate. And He did this, not as offering insult to the temple (for how should He, who says, Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise), but declaring them to be unworthy even of His abiding there; like as also when He delivered it over to the Babylonians. But not for this only were these things done, but what took place was a prophecy of the coming desolation, and of the change into the greater and higher state; and a sign of His might.



i know this too. also i know i am strange. :smiley:


many ways to understand this. thank you everyone. :slight_smile:


This is basically my understanding of the tearing of the sanctuary veil. The Jewish people forsook Christ and his message of Love. It is a symbol of the ending of the old covenant between God and the Jewish people, of the old law, and the beginning of the New Covenant of Baptism and the Eucharist, open to all nations.


With the tearing of the Temple veil, as others have said, the barrier between God and humanity (our sin) was torn away so that we might enter the Holy of Holies through Christ’s flesh.


will God end a new covenant?


It meant the end of Judiasm as they knew it. The Old was fulfilled and now we have the New, which is Jesus, Himself.


He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.

Revelation/Apocalypse 1:8
I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”
(The alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. God is the first beginning and the last end.)


thank you :slight_smile:

but i don’t know what you are saying. :o


It probably isn’t you…:smiley:

Jesus is God, in the flesh, the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity, God, the Son. The only begotton Son of the Father, right?
God (the Father), God (the Son-Jesus) God (the Holy Spirit) 3 Persons, ONE GOD.

Well, I am poor at explaining things that I know, I do a lot of reading so let me try.

A covenant is a promise that God makes to us, like when He promised Adam about sending a Saviour (In Genesis, in the Bible, the first book.) God also made promises to other people, like Abraham and Noah (about the fact that God wouldn’t destroy the whole earth ever again with a flood), God makes many promises to His people, any of this making sense to you? Those are called covenants that God makes with His people.

God is always faithful to His promises, He doesn’t abandon His people and we believe that one day many Jewish people will come to know and love Jesus, the Christ. It says so in the Bible. That is one of the things that has to happen before the END. (When Jesus returnes.) for both Jews and Gentiles. We await many conversions.

St. Paul speaks about this in the Bible (especially in Ephesians), he wants to make God’s plan of salvation for the entire universe known.

I don’t just read the chapter and verses in the Bible, I also read the Introductions before each book and the footnotes. I’ve been that way since I was very small. Once I got my hands on the Bible when I was very little, I read the last Chapter first. (I’ve always been that way too, then I knew if I would like the Book or not and if I did, I’d read it, well, let me tell you, when I read the part about Jesus winning, I just knew I’d love the whole Book!)

Tell you what, there is a man named Dr. Scott Hahn, you can read the things he wrote about this, you could probably ask your library to get these books in if you can’t afford them but here is a good site that I know of that has them. www.saintjoe.com

Many Jewish people converted from St. John the Baptist telling them about the coming of the Messiah, and we believe many will convert also before the end, when the real Elijah will return (in body) to prepare people’s hearts for the Final Coming of the Messiah.
Here is a good explanation of that from a very awesome Priest, Fr. Levis on EWTN’s question and answers… ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=310559&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2002&Author=&Keyword=Covenant&pgnu=5&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=220&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ID+DESC&start_at=

The Jewish People, the Chosen People, have the same Holy Spirit and worship the same Father.-God- In the Bible (in the footnotes) it says with Christ as the capstone (Eph 2:20, Isiah 28:16. Matthew 21:42 that they are being built into the holy temple of God’s people, where Divine presence dwells. (Eph2:21-22).

I have been Catholic my entire life and have heard the Bible read at Mass many, many, many times and was blessed with moving around a lot in my life, (at the time I didn’t think it was such a blessing, but I do now.) It gave me the opportunity to hear many, many different ways of the Gospel told by differing viewpoints, but always the same somehow. (Obviously by the power of the Holy Spirit.)

I love EWTN and the many Priests on those shows, also I read many great Catholic web sites, (besides this one), and the Cathechism, as a matter of fact, I was blessed with being able to hear and watch the entire teachings by Fr. John Corapi…:


…and I have always loved all the Pope’s since I can remember, have read much of what they have written at:


I have even been blessed with receiving a Bible that was blessed by Pope John Paul II.

So, even though I am very poor at expressing myself, I am very gifted at understanding, by the grace of God, what these wonderful men of God teach us. I listen, I believe, I recognize the truth of their words and I just know that God loves us all and wants us all to come to the knowledge of the truth, which is His Son, Christ Jesus. Once I hear or read something I am pretty good at finding it again or remembering it.

You will probably get many more and much better answers than mine, but…I won’t tell you anything that I don’t believe is the truth. If it doesn’t ring true to me, I won’t repeat it, I’ve done that in the past, :blush:and I’m not going to let that happen again, I didn’t always listen well, wasn’t always a good Catholic, but I do make the effort to now. (thank God).

Only trouble is now I am getting older, and I expect that one of these days I will forget more that I remember.:curtsey:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.