The investigators continue to follow leads that might help them explain the mysterious items found at the excavation site. Along with the spear, they find a piece of burlap that perhaps was once a small bag to hold the remaining items – a nail, a ring, and a Templar coin.
The lead provenance investigator, Michael McKibben, asks the following questions to an Indonesian Christian Orthodox priest, Father Dan, in an email of August 26, 2018. He copies Douglas Gabriel:
I am looking for the earliest reference to the use of the holy spear at the table of oblation in the preparation of the host.
Fr. Dan: The use of the spear in the Prosthesis (liturgy of preparation of the sacraments). Our pattern to this very day is The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. St. John is from ANTIOCH
Many/most of the liturgical spears used in the Prosthesis are leaf shaped…. just like our spear.
St. John would most certainly have seen and venerated the spear.
b. c. 349 – d. 14 September 407
This also means that the use of the spear at Antioch in the preparation service was already occurring.
St. John Chrysostom liturgy
Douglas Gabriel responds, the same day, in another email:
Is it possible that Saint Peter used the true spearhead (without staff) as the tool to cut the bread in the services on the altar at St. Peter of Antioch? It would serve as a relic, the spear to cut the bread and “pierce” it, and the fan (as used in the Eastern orthodox churches). Perhaps the spearhead and the chalice (Leon or Valencia, later Antioch) were the tools of the early eucharist and thus became the two symbols of the grail that are used to create a communion that nourishes all present in the fashion that they need. The true holy grail.
I checked out three seminal histories of early Liturgies from our church library today to investigate further. So far, it appears that St John Chrysostom/Antioch or possibly St. Basil is the source.
McKibben shares these mining nuggets below with the research team:
First Council in Nicaea 325 AD
St. John Chrysostom (349-407)
Patriarch of Constantinople (397-407)
My theory appears to be confirmed by this statement. The spear may have entered to the liturgy of preparation in response to the Arian controversy that Christ was only a man, not an inseparable person of God in Holy Trinity.
Second Council of Nicea
Canon 7 commands that relics are to be placed in all churches: No church is to be consecrated without relics.
Kings of the Grail: Discovering the True Location of the Cup of Christ
By Margarita Torres Sevilla, José Miguel Ortega del Rio
Have you started following our digital journey in discovering the provenance of the Holy Lance of Love? Get started here: Searching the Destiny of the Lance. You might be surprised, as were we, to find ourselves part of the story!