Peter’s Chains (Peter ad Vincula, or Lammas)
1 August

The Apostle Peter was imprisoned several times and it is told in Acts 12.6 how an angel caused the chains which bound him to fall from his wrists and led him to freedom. It is said that Eudocia, wife of Emperor Theodosius II found the chain that had bound Peter in Jerusalem and presented it to the pope, Leo the Great, and that it was miraculously joined with another chain supposed to have bound the apostle in Rome. The chain is kept, close to Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, in the Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains, dedicated on 1 August 442(?). The English name Lammas derives from the Anglo-Saxon Hlaf maesse[sp??], meaning ‘loaf mass’, and is a reminder that this date marked the traditional start of the wheat harvest when the first fruits of the harvest, baked as a new loaf, were offered in church.

n dedications in England, including Coveney.

If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, the propers for 29 June (for St Peter alone) may be used, EH page 210. The reading from Acts is particularly appropriate.

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