Friday after Ash Wednesday: Feast of the Crown of Thorns

This Friday is poignant.  Friday after Ash Wednesday is traditionally the Feast of the Crown of Thorns.

A significant portion of the Crown is preserved is preserved in Notre Dame de Paris.  They have a special Crown of Thorns Mass on Fridays of Lent, and the relic is exposed.  I’m not sure if the propers were changed under Novus Ordo, but am attaching the traditional propers for your convenience.

As an interesting point, in the appendix of pre-1962 missals there are other interesting votives connected to pre-Lent and Lent.

For example:

Tuesday after Septuagesima: The Agony in the Garden
Tuesday after Sexagesima: Passion of the Lord
Tuesday after Quinquagesima: Holy Face
Friday After Ash Wednesday: The Holy Crown of Thorns
Friday 1st Week of Lent: The Spear and Nails
Friday 2nd Week 2: The Sacred Shroud
Friday 3rd Week 3: The Five Wounds
Friday of 4th Week: The Most Precious Blood

And in Passiontide we have the Seven Sorrows of the BVM.

The history of the Crown of Thorns is intriguing.  It was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople, pledged to Venice for a heavy loan, redeemed by the saintly Louis IX and taken to Paris.  It survived the Revolution and remains today  in a chapel directly behind the cathedral’s main altar.

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.

On that poignant note, I celebrated a TLM Requiem at Notre Dame, in the Chapel of the Crown of Thorns, when the late, great Bp. Morlino died.  I was in Paris when the Extraordinary Ordinary passed away.

I was promptly hit by a motorcycle.

Pray for Bp. Morlino.

Pray for good successor to the Extraordinary Ordinary.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    In the Discovery/TLC documentary “In Pursuit of the Shroud”, the late Israeli botanist Avinoam Denin and his colleague Uri Baruch stated that they discovered a large amount of thistle pollen embedded in the shroud in the area around the bleeding scalp. It would seem that in addition to the surviving ringlet of reeds that is in Notre Dame, and whatever thorns were woven onto the cap-like or helmet-like crown placed on Our Lord’s head, as a final insult they took thistles. This would have been a mockery of the Wreath of Victory that heroes, caesars and gladiators were adorned with. It now appears that the Crown of Thorns was a 3-part composite: the ringlet (in Paris) used to anchor the weave of briars in a lattice, and then the thistles as a final insult. I hope someone will someday take into consideration all of what the Shroud tells us and make as authentic a painting or crucifix as possible. Go to the 24-26 minute mark. The documentary is a bit dated, but is superbly written and done in a scholarly way.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    How sad that those feasts were suppressed. They are Just Too Cool.

  3. HyacinthClare says:

    Prayer for you and your healing is made every day here. Have you told us how you’re healing, and I missed it?

  4. Glennonite says:

    Sir, I am prevented from submitting this in Ask Father Question Box, therefore:

    We have a busy former Calvinist grandma-type who MUST keep the area before the altar filled with….something. She’s in high-gear these days.

    Right now, she has an empty cross made of two tree branches with a ‘crown of thorns’ hanging on it. Is this acceptable? What are the boundaries for such ‘window-dressings’ in front of the altar?

    In this case, an empty cross seems wrong at this time of the liturgical calendar. I am looking for a corrective guide.

    Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Feast of the Crown of Thorns – Catholic Traditions in the Home

  6. Liz says:

    Father, this is so cool. I found all sorts of beautiful Crown of Thorns prayers in my prayer book that I was able to say after mass today. I’m so glad that I saw this. I think it’s so lovely that you were able to say mass for Bishop Morlino’s soul and not cool that you got hit by the motorcycle, but a neat thing to offer up. Prayers for his soul, your healing, your next bishop, our Church, and so much more.

  7. Liz says:

    *in the chapel of the Crown of Thorns I mean!

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