The Feast of the Holy Lance and  the Nails of Our Lord
Michael continues to bring up research on the Holy Lance of Antioch, emailing the team these notes: 

More on the actual event of crossing the Jordan following the capture of Jerusalem:

ca. 1099

So when the Tower had been surrendered, the Count blazed forth into great anger against his people, saying that he could not remain disgraced in that country. Accordingly, we set out from Jerusalem to Jericho, took palms and went to the Jordan. 

There, as Peter Bartholomew had commanded, a raft was constructed from twigs, and with the Count on it we pulled it across the river; since, forsooth, we had no ship, this plan seemed better to us. When after this the multitude had been called together, we commanded that they pray God for the life of the Count and the other princes.

Therefore we proceeded to dress only in a shirt and new breeches, as we had been commanded about baptism; but why the man of God so commanded, we still do not know. When these matters had been accomplished, we returned to Jerusalem.

[Seems that chronicler Raymond d'Aguiliers forgot about his earlier instruction of St. Andrew to Raymond of Saint-Gilles. Appears he took it for a baptism ceremony, not St. Andrews's instructions related to the Holy Lance. That might make sense since Jerusalem had many relics and Raymond might have forgotten the instruction with all the history floating in his head.]

Record of original instruction for the Feast was by Raymond d'Aguiliers , chronicler and chaplain to the leader of the First Crusade Raymond of Saint-Gilles , Count of Toulouse. (1096-1099). They were accompanied by the Bishop of Puy Adhemar (also known as Adémar, Aimar, or Aelarz) de Monteil (died 1 August 1098) was one of the principal figures of the First Crusade and was bishop of Puy-en-Velay from before 1087.

He was the chosen representative of  Pope Urban II for the expedition to the Holy Land. Remembered for his martial prowess, he led knights and men into battle and fought beside them, particularly at  Dorylaeum and  Antioch.

"Behold, the Father who was wounded on the Cross for us, whence this wound. The Lord likewise commands that you celebrate that day on which He gave you His Lance. And since it was found at vespers, and that day cannot be celebrated, celebrate the solemn festival on the eighth day in the following week , and then each year on the day of the finding of the Lance. 

Say, also, to them that they conduct themselves as is taught in the Epistle of my brother, Peter, which is read today." (And the Epistle was this: "Humble yourselves under the mighty band of God.") "Let the clerics sing this hymn before the Lance: 

Lustra sex qui jam peracta tempus inplens corporis. And when they shall have said,   Agnus in cruce levatus immolandus stipite,  let them finish the hymn on bended knees."

At some point in history, the church settled on major and minor feasts. The major ones focused on the major events in Christ's life, and others celebrated regionally. Liturgically, the spear is remembered in every liturgy when preparing the host, and on Great and Holy Thursday during Holy Week in the Orthodox Church. Therefore, the need for a special feast appears to have become optional.

Below are descriptions of French and German traditions, which makes sense since the Crusaders were French, German and Spanish, it seems. The connection to English King Athelstan is intriguing since historian William of Malmesbury is renowned for his accuracy. Perhaps Thomas' spear cam to Britain for a time.

From my study so far, my hunch is that there were so many variations because the French and German Crusade stories could not be shaken, and to protect the true location of the spear from vandals and the greedy.

Great Holy Thursday Evening

"We worship Thy passion, O Christ..."

(The service of the HOLY PASSION  of our Lord Jesus Christ. The  service is Matins of Friday morning sung by anticipation, on Thursday  evening.)

Good Friday celebrates the holy, saving, and awesome Passion of Christ. To take away our sins, Christ willingly endured spitting, scourging, buffeting, scorn, mocking, and purple robe; the reed, sponge, vinegar, nails, spear, and above all, the Cross and Death. The confession from the cross of the penitent thief, crucified with Christ, is celebrated. This service is long, but its content is dramatic and deeply moving for the devout Christian. 

Participation in the prayers and the historical sequence of the events, as related in the Gospels and hymns, provides a vivid foundation for the great events yet to come. Following are the references of the "Twelve Gospel" readings of this service
    1. John 13:31 thru Ch. 18:1
    2. John 18:1-29
    3. Matthew 26:57-75
    4. John 18:28 thru Ch. 19:16
    5. Matthew 27:3-32
    6. Mark 15:16-32
    7. Matthew 27:33-54
    8. Luke 23:32-49
    9. John 19:38-42
    10. Mark 15:43-47
    11. John 19:38-42
    12. Matthew 27:62-66
These readings relate the last instructions of Christ to His disciples, the prophecy of the drama of the Cross, the dramatic prayer of Christ and His new commandment. The day should be devoted to reading the "Gospel of the Testament" of Christ which He left for all men. The Church services during Holy Week re-enact the events of this Gospel.

After the reading of the fifth Gospel comes the procession with the Crucifix around the church, while the priest chants the 15th antiphon: 

"Today is hung upon the Tree, He Who did hang the land in the midst of the waters. A Crown of thorns crowns Him Who is King of Angels. He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery Who wrapped the Heavens with clouds. He received buffetings Who freed Adam in Jordan. He was transfixed with nails Who is the Bridegroom of the Church.
He was pierced with a spear Who is the Son of the Virgin. We worship Thy Passion, O Christ. Show also unto us thy glorious Resurrection."

During the Procession, the faithful Christian kneels and prays for his spiritual welfare, imitating the thief on the Cross who confessed his faith and devotion to Christ. He then approaches and reverently kisses the Crucifix.

The Lance, Cicada 3301 and Q
The Lance, Cicada 3301 and Q



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