The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross originated in Jerusalem in 355 to commemorate the dedication of the Basilica of the Resurrection. When the true cross of Jesus was found shortly afterwards, this event was commemorated on the same day. In time, the Feast of the Exaltation sup planted the feast of the dedication.

In 395, St. John Chrysostom wrote of three crosses which were dis covered beneath Golgotha by the Empress Helena. Many other writers speak of miracles which occurred through contact with the true cross. It was through one of these miracles that the true cross was recognized by St. Helena and St. Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem.

The Holy Cross was kept in the Basilica of the Resurrection in Jeru salem until 614, when the Persians conquered the city and burned the church. In 628, Emperor Heraclius III defeated the Persians and returned the Holy Cross to Jerusalem. A portion of the cross was taken to Rome in the seventh century by Sergius I, a Pope of Byzantine origin.

Troparion: O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries,
and by virtue of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation.

We prostrate ourselves before the life-giving cross as we sing

Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master,
and Thy holy Resurrection, we glorify.

Orthodox Singers Male Choir. Before Thy Cross.

Music (pdf), Kievan


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