Friday after Ash Wednesday: Feast of the Crown of Thorns

Last year a reader has sent photos from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris where she saw the relic exposed!

She wrote:

I was impressed by the huge crowd and most went up to venerate the Crown. The service was dignified, beautiful and moving. No antics. No craziness. Moral of the story? When people come to church they want the Faith, the authentic Faith. They don’t want to be entertained. They go elsewhere for that.

Notre Dame Crown of Thorns

Reliquary image


A reader sent…

Feria Sexta post Cineres [Friday after Ash Wednesday] is the feast of the “Crown of Thorns”- one of the old Friday devotional feasts (in aliquibus locis) regrettably lost before 62… Might be worthy of a blog post or incorporation into your LentCaZt. [Already made before I opened the email.]

To this day at Notre Dame (where a significant portion of it is preserved), they have a special Crown of Thorns Mass on Fridays of Lent, and the relic is exposed… Not sure if the propers were changed under Novus Ordo, but am attaching the traditional propers for your convenience

The history of the Crown of Thorns itself is intriguing… transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople, it was pledged to Venice for a heavy loan before being redeemed by the saintly Louis IX and taken to Paris, where it survived the Revolution and remains today.


Also, while the Crown of Thorns feast would not be celebrated under the 1962 rubrics, I believe it would be licit as a Votive Mass on some ferial Friday per annum.   Perhaps a priest assigned to a liberal tyrant pastor could use it on or near the anniversary of his assignment.  Of maybe some priests could say it with a special intention for the bishop… or another prelate.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mibethda says:

    One of John Taverner’s three festal Masses, written in the splendid floral style of the early Tudor period, was the Missa Corona Spinea. It was probably written for this feast in the Sarum Use (no Kyrie).

  2. msc says:

    I’m off to listen to Taverner’s Missa corona spinea: one of his most beautiful works. I think I’ll play The Sixteen under Christophers, and maybe the Tallis Scholars and Phillips on the weekend. Even those who normally resist the spell of fifteenth century polyphony should find something worthwhile in it. The Tallis recording can be heard at .

  3. Uxixu says:

    Ah yeah, found them in my 1948 Altar Missal. The whole cycle of Masses are wonderful… that said, they appear to have been an attempt to reduce the burden of the old pre-St. Pius X Office (which was lighter on Feasts than ferias) … and led to the Ferial Psalms never been read (much less chanted) and led to Divino Afflatu. Curious how often they were celebrated in the diocese before 1962… or if they were a vestigial remnant.

    Would have seemed more… beneficial to have moved them to the votive section than suppressing them entirely.

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