As written on timelessmyths.com's page on the Vulgate Cycle,

The Quest of the Holy Grail introduced the new Grail hero: Galahad, the son of Lancelot and Elaine, daughter of King Pelles. Galahad with his two companions, Sir Perceval and Sir Bors were the only Knights of the Round Table to complete the mysterious quest. It is only Galahad achieved the ultimate spiritual enlightenment of the Grail mystery. The story ended with the death of Galahad and Perceval. With Galahad's death, the Grail vanished.

With the disappearance of the Grail from Britain, it also meant the withdrawal of God's grace from Britain.

It seems quite odd that the Holy Grail, one of the most sacred relics in Arthurian literature, should disappear for all eternity and never re-appear. Does the Vulgate Cycle (also known as the Lancelot-Grail Cycle) discuss a possible return of the Holy Grail to Britain - or anywhere else, for that matter?

  • 3
    If you believe the local legend, the grail is still in Britain. It was found in the Chalice Well in Glastonbury and is now kept in Shapwick.
    – Chenmunka
    May 6 '15 at 9:02
  • Can you unaccepted my answer so I can delete it? I'm looking over it and there are some inaccuracies that put the whole conclusion into doubt.
    – user62
    Dec 19 '16 at 16:23
  • @Hamlet If you want, sure. What are the inaccuracies?
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 19 '16 at 16:25
  • @HDE226868 the source I cite views the grail legend as a reflection of a ritual. It's an approach to understanding myth that has its roots in Frazer. The problem is that this approach isn't always accurate and somewhat out of date. I doubt that my answer reflects a modern understanding of the grail legend.
    – user62
    Dec 19 '16 at 16:29
  • @HDE226868 actually, I've decided to edit the answer and remove the portion of the answer I am unhappy with, while keeping the quotes from Mallory. So I suppose you could reaccept it if you felt it still answered your question.
    – user62
    Dec 19 '16 at 16:33

According to Mallory's version of the story (which is written after the Vulgate and post-Vulgate Cycles), the grail is returned to heaven, because that's where it belongs (it's god's grail, and doesn't belong to humans).

...for in that place was part of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that Joseph of Arimathea brought into this land, and there himself lay in that rich bed. And that was the same spear that Longius smote our Lord to the heart; and King Pellam was nigh of Joseph's kin, and that was the most worshipful man that lived in those days, and great pity it was of his hurt, for through that stroke, turned to great dole, tray and tene.


And therewith he [Galahad] kneeled down to-fore the table and made his prayers, and then suddenly his soul departed to Jesu Christ, and a great multitude of angels bare his soul up to heaven, that the two fellows might well behold it. Also the two fellows saw come from heaven an hand, but they saw not the body. And then it came right to the Vessel, and took it and the spear, and so bare it up to heaven. Sithen was there never man so hardy to say that he had seen the Sangreal.

(Malory, Thomas, Le Morte d'Arthur Part 1 and Part 2)


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