Described in almost every Grail romance, the Grail Procession generally begins with a Bleeding Lance or spear (identified in some texts with the lance with which the Roman soldier Longinus stabbed Christ). Other objects carried in the procession variously included candelabra, trestles, candles, stones, bowls, platters, and utensils.
Peredur, which does not feature a Grail per se, culminates with a bowl filled with blood in which floats the decaptitated head of Perceval’s uncle.
The procession is first mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes, who includes the Bleeding Lance, a candelabra, the Grail and a silver platter. The items in Chrétien’s Grail procession recall the description of a Byzantine mass found in a seventh or eighth century manuscript.
The procession in Arthurian romance, however, lacks a priest.
The procession observed by Percivale/Perceval at the Grail Castle when the Grail was carried, according to Chrétien by a squire with a bleeding lance, two squires carrying ten-branched candlesticks, a damsel with the Grail itself and a final damsel with a plate.
In the Didot Perceval, the procession consisted of two youths carrying a large spear from which blood freely flowed, followed by a damsel carrying a salver on which there was a head swimming in blood.
It is worth noting that the Grail Procession only ever appears in works where it is Perceval who achieves the Grail.
Fisher King’s Candlesticks | The Legend of King Arthur
Fisher King’s Carving Dish | The Legend of King Arthur
Fisher King’s Table | The Legend of King Arthur
Grail Maiden | The Legend of King Arthur
Grail Spear | The Legend of King Arthur
Holy Lance | The Legend of King Arthur
Lance of Longinus | The Legend of King Arthur
Longinus’ Spear | The Legend of King Arthur
Perceval, or Le Conte del Graal | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Peredur | 13th century
The Grail Maiden | Artist: Arthur Rackham, 1917