Friday, February 27, 2015
The Sacred Lance and Nails (Friday after the 1st Sunday in Lent)

Image Source: Leo Reynold Photo of the Instruments of the Passion taken at Reepham, Norfolk, England, UK on June 10, 2006.

The Facebook Page "Restore the '54" produces an account for this unique feastday:

This Feast is found in the Missae pro Aliquibus Locis of the Roman Missal. "The Supreme Pontiff, Innocent VI, in his decree establishing the Feast and Office of the Lance and Nails, which pierced the body of our crucified Lord Jesus Christ, exhorts all the faithful to have a special veneration for, and devotion to, all the sacred instruments of our Savior's Passion. The following are his words: "We should honor the most holy Passion of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in such manner that, meditating on all the mysteries and merits of the same Passion, we venerate also each sacred instrument thereof. Then this holy and zealous Pontiff, coming more directly to the honor due to the lance and nails, says: "Although the lance and nails, and the other sacred instruments of the Passion, should be everywhere venerated by the faithful of Christ, and though every year the Church celebrates the solemn offices of the same Passion, yet we deem it proper and fitting that a special solemn feast should be instituted and celebrated in honor of those particular instruments of the Passion, more especially in those places wherein these salutary instruments are preserved. Hence we wish to encourage this devotion by special office and privileges. " (Innocent VI in Decret. de Fest. Lane, et Clav. Domini)."

The Lance, also known as the spear of Longinus is kept in the Vatican Basilica, given to Innocent VIII in 1492. The nails were kept with the Crown of Thorns, along with a small piece of the Lance of Longinus at Saint Chapelle, France and were subsequently lost during the French Revolution. The crown of thorns was the only relic saved and is now kept at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The Sacred Lance and Nails of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Friday after the First Sunday of Lent
Mass Said in Some Places

Introit: Ps. xxi: 17-18 et 15
They have pierced my hands and my feet: they have numbered all my bones: and I am poured out as water [Ps. Ibid., 15] My heart has become like wax melting away within my bosom. Glory be.... They have pierced.
O God, who in assuming flesh was afflicted by the Nails, and didst will to be wounded by the Lance for the salvation of the world: grant, we beseech Thee; that we who solemnly venerate the Nails and Lance on earth, may enjoy the glorious triumph of victory in heaven. Thou who livest and reignest.....
A Reading From The Prophet Zacharia
xii: 10-11; xiii: 6-7
Thus saith the Lord: And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, and of prayers: and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the firstborn. In that day there shall be a great lamentation in Jerusalem. And they shall say to him: What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones: saith the Lord almighty.

Gradual: Ps. lxviii: 21-22
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, and I found none. Rather they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Tract: Isaias: liii: 4-5
Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought Him, as it were, a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we were healed.
In Masses outside of Lent the tract is omitted and replaced by:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Hail, our King: Thou alone art merciful in spite of our errors: Obedient to the Father Thou wert led to be crucified, as a humble lamb to the slaughter. Alleluia

During Paschaltide:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Hail, our King: Thou alone art merciful in spite of our errors: Obedient to the Father Thou wert led to be crucified, as a humble lamb to the slaughter. Alleluia To Thee be glory, hosanna: to Thee be triumph and victory: to Thee be the highest praise and the crown of honor. Alleluia.
Gospel: John xix: 28-35

 The continuation of the holy Gospel according to John:
Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: «I thirst.» Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said: «It is consummated.» And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost. Then the Jews (because it was the parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day (for that was a great sabbath day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken: and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side: and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true.
Evil men rose up against Me: without mercy they sought to kill Me: they did not hesitate to spit in My face: with their lances they wounded Me, and they have struck all My bones.

Sanctify us O Lord, we beseech Thee, with this holy and immaculate evening sacrifice: which Thine only-begotten Son offered on the Cross for the salvation of the world. Thou who livest and reignest....
Preface of the Holy Cross
 It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should in all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who didst set the salvation of mankind upon the tree of the Cross, so that whence came death, thence also life might rise again, and that he who overcame by the tree might also be overcome on the tree; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominations adore, the powers are in awe, the virtues of highest heaven and the blessed seraphim unite in blissful exultation. With them we praise Thee; grant that our voices too may blend, saying in adoring praise

Communion Hymn
The looked upon Him whom they have pierced, when they shook the foundations of the earth.

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst spontaneously offer Thyself on the Cross as an immaculate holocaust to God the Father; we beseech Thee; that from this same sacrifice we may obtain Thine indulgence, and eternal glory. Thou who livest and reignest with the same God the Father....

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