We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Holy Grail?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Holy Grail is a legendary vessel that is believed to have been present at the Last Supper or the Crucifixion, or possibly both. Quests in search of it have been included in many works of fiction since the 12th century, when legends about this mythical object began to proliferate in England and France. Unlike very real Christian artifacts that have been successfully traced and discovered, the Holy Grail is generally regarded as an entirely mythical object, which exists in the mind rather than in reality.

There are several different versions of the story about the Grail. It is said to be a plate, dish, or cup, and it may be made from ceramic, metal, glass, or crystal, depending on which legend one believes. According to some stories, it was a cup used to serve wine at the Last Supper, so it has an association with Christ and the practice of Communion. In other stories, the Grail was used to capture the blood that flowed from Christ's wounds, while other stories say that the same vessel was used for both purposes.

Supposedly, Joseph of Arimathea took the Grail with him to England, where it was eventually lost. Many legends state that the vessel is still in England, perhaps hidden by supernatural means. In most stories, it is said that someone who is remarkably pure and noble will be able to see the Grail, and quests for it are usually equated with proving nobility and righteousness.

Stories about the Holy Grail began appearing 1,200 years after the birth of Christ, which strongly suggests that these legends were invented after the fact. In the case of real Christian artifacts, stories and legends are present from the time that these artifacts were said to have been used or revealed, providing strong evidence for their actual existence, along with information that can be used to trace the fate of these objects. The Grail stories appear to have been invented by medieval society, with the vessel standing in as a metaphor for purity and the value of questing for a goal.

Some historians have suggested that the legends may have evolved from the sacred cauldron or chalice that is present in the Celtic tradition. According to these historians, early Christians either absorbed the myth and repurposed it, or actively adapted the myth so that reluctant converts would associate Christianity with their beliefs. Christianity certainly has a history of adapting the festivals and beliefs of other religions to make converts more comfortable, so this theory is not entirely implausible.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Language & Humanities researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By ysmina — On Feb 21, 2013

@burcidi-- Yes, I've heard that as well. Some say that "holy grail" comes from "sangreal" meaning "royal blood." They say it refers to the lineage of Jesus Christ.

But there is a lot of controversy about this theory because we don't know for sure whether Jesus had any children.

I've even heard that Kate Middleton is a descendant of Jesus and that she could be the Holy Grail. That's a bit far-fetched I think.

By burcidi — On Feb 20, 2013

Can the Holy Grail be a person?

Some say that the Holy Grail is the descendant of Jesus. But if that's the case, what does it mean for Christians?

By anon310635 — On Dec 25, 2012

Yeah, GigaGold gets it right. All you folks who report that the Grail is not "real" clearly are lost. The Holy Grail is whatever you are longing for, aspiring to. It is not something material that can be proven by science. It is the reward that keeps you on your quest - life's journey. It is elusive but it is so good that it keeps you committed to finding it. I recommend the search. It is why we are here on this earth.

By FitzMaurice — On Feb 11, 2011

In Monty Python's "Holy Grail," the whole point of the movie is for King Arthur to find a relic, being charged by God with this duty. Ultimately, it is shown that these men are simply in modern Britain and are chasing random fancies. Sadly, they slay a prominent historian in the process, and are charged with manslaughter.

By dbuckley212 — On Feb 11, 2011

The "holy grail" of any topic is a doctrine or method which is said to be the best possible solution to a common problem. Holy grails abound: they could be a weapon which ends all wars, they could be a method of hand to hand combat which gives a person automatic advantages to win. Holy grails can result in a strong power play in which all "gaps," or advantages, result in strong competition and bloodshed, like in the cold war.

By GigaGold — On Feb 09, 2011

The Holy Grail is also a deep symbolic mechanism in the mind, which is used as an archetype, or image, of what people truly desire and can use for their greatest benefit. Everyone is looking for an elegant and powerful solution to problems, and these are their personal holy grails.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.