September 14, 2017 </br>The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

September 14, 2017
The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

Texts for Great Vespers, Festal Matins, and Divine Liturgy for September 14, 2017.


GREAT VESPERS

Kathisma Reading
Blessed is the man… is sung only when feast occurs on a Sunday or Monday

At Psalm 140

In Tone 6

8. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

By its elevation the Cross is like an appeal to the whole creation.
We adore the blessed passion of Christ our God
who was suspended on it.
By this Cross, Christ destroyed the one who had destroyed us.
In His great goodness, He brought us back to life after we had been dead.
In His mercy He clothed us with beauty
and made us worthy of heaven.
Therefore, we exalt His Name with great rejoicing
and glorify His infinite condescension.

7. Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

By its elevation the Cross is like an appeal to the whole creation.
We adore the blessed passion of Christ our God
who was suspended on it.
By this Cross, Christ destroyed the one who had destroyed us.
In His great goodness, He brought us back to life after we had been dead.
In His mercy He clothed us with beauty
and made us worthy of heaven.
Therefore, we exalt His Name with great rejoicing
and glorify His infinite condescension.

6. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

By its elevation the Cross is like an appeal to the whole creation.
We adore the blessed passion of Christ our God
who was suspended on it.
By this Cross, Christ destroyed the one who had destroyed us.
In His great goodness, He brought us back to life after we had been dead.
In His mercy He clothed us with beauty
and made us worthy of heaven.
Therefore, we exalt His Name with great rejoicing
and glorify His infinite condescension.

5. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

O precious Cross of the Lord,
Moses prefigured you when he stretched out his arms to heaven
and thus defeated the haughty Amalek.
You are the pride of the faithful
and the strength of those who struggle,
the glory of the apostles, the courage of the just,
and the salvation of the saints.
Therefore, at the sight of your elevation,
the whole creation rejoices, exalts, and glorifies Christ
whose goodness joined together those who had strayed.

4. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

O precious Cross of the Lord,
Moses prefigured you when he stretched out his arms to heaven
and thus defeated the haughty Amalek.
You are the pride of the faithful
and the strength of those who struggle,
the glory of the apostles, the courage of the just,
and the salvation of the saints.
Therefore, at the sight of your elevation,
the whole creation rejoices, exalts, and glorifies Christ
whose goodness joined together those who had strayed.

3. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

O precious Cross of the Lord,
Moses prefigured you when he stretched out his arms to heaven
and thus defeated the haughty Amalek.
You are the pride of the faithful
and the strength of those who struggle,
the glory of the apostles, the courage of the just,
and the salvation of the saints.
Therefore, at the sight of your elevation,
the whole creation rejoices, exalts, and glorifies Christ
whose goodness joined together those who had strayed.

2. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

O most venerable Cross of the Lord,
the angels surround you with joy at your elevation today.
You raise up those who had fallen and had been delivered to death
for having eaten of the forbidden tree.
Therefore, we praise you with our lips,
begging for sanctification, saying:
Exalt Christ our gracious God, O you nations,
and adore His divine footsteps forever.

1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

O most venerable Cross of the Lord,
the angels surround you with joy at your elevation today.
You raise up those who had fallen and had been delivered to death
for having eaten of the forbidden tree.
Therefore, we praise you with our lips,
begging for sanctification, saying:
Exalt Christ our gracious God, O you nations,
and adore His divine footsteps forever.

In Tone 2, Glory… Now…

Come, all you people,
let us venerate the blessed Cross of the Lord
through which eternal justice came to us.
He who deceived Adam, the first man,
was conquered by a tree,
and the same who fettered the royal creation by his cunning
has been cast down into nothingness.
The venom of the serpent has been washed away
by the divine blood of Christ.
The curse of the rightful sentence was lifted
when the just Christ was condemned unjustly.
By God’s plan, death that had come from a tree
would be conquered by a Tree,
and suffering would be healed by the suffering of the Lord.
Glory to the active presence of Your providence in our lives, O Christ, our King.
Through it You have brought salvation for all,
for You are gracious and the Lover of mankind.

Readings
(1) Exodus 15:22-16:1; (2) Proverbs 3:11-18; (3) Isaiah 60:11-16

Lytia

In Tone 1

The prophecy of David is truly fulfilled today,
for we now bow down before Your footstool
in the shadow of Your wings, O God of love.
Filled with hope, we cry out:
Let the light of Your face shine upon us,
and raise up all the faithful Christians
by the exaltation of Your precious Cross,
O Christ, our God of tenderness and mercy.

The Tree of true life was planted in the place of the Skull,
the Tree upon which the King of the Ages brought about our salvation,
is raised up in the middle of the earth today.
It sanctifies the ends of the earth,
and the Church of the Resurrection celebrates its rededication now.
The angels rejoice in heaven,
and those upon the earth exalt with joy and say with David:
Exalt the Lord our God and bow before His throne
and before His footstool, for He is holy;
it is He who grants great mercy to the world.

Jacob, the Patriarch, prefigured Your Cross, O Christ,
when he blessed his descendants
by laying his hands on their heads in the form of a cross.
Today we exalt it and cry our, O Saviour:
Grant victory to Your Church over her enemies,
as You once did to Your people.

In Tone 2

Hidden in the earth as a divine treasure,
the Cross of the Giver of Life now appeared in the heavens to the godly king,
and its inscription spiritually signified his victory over the enemy.
Rejoicing with faith and love,
he was inspired by God and hastened to raise on high
the Cross that he had seen in his vision.
With great zeal he brought it forth from the bosom of the earth
for the deliverance of the world and the salvation of our souls.

By crossing his hands in the blessing of his children,
the Patriarch Jacob foreshadowed the powerful sign of the Cross.
We now have it as our safeguard that cannot be overthrown,
and with its strength we drive out the hosts of demons.
Casting down the arrogance of Belial with it,
we put to flight the destroying power of Amalek.
And now that it is lifted on high,
we the faithful offer it in devotion
for the cleansing of our sins before the goodness of God.
We cry aloud with the fullness of our voices:
Have mercy on us, O Lord made flesh of a Virgin;
take pity on us, O Gracious One,
for we are the works which you fashioned in Your wisdom.

O triple-branched Cross of Christ
you are my strong protection.
Sanctify me by your might,
that I may venerate and glorify you in faith and love.

In Tone 4

Let us raise our voices today and sing in honour of this feast,
and with radiant faces let us cry out in a loud voice:
For us You accepted condemnation, O Christ;
You were spat upon and scourged;
You were wrapped in a purple robe and have ascended the Cross.
Seeing You, the sun and moon hid their light,
the earth quaked in fear, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Now give us Your precious Cross as our guardian,
our protector which drives away the demons,
that embracing it, we may all cry out:
Save us, O Cross, by your might,
and strengthen us through your exaltation,
for you have been given to us as the light and salvation of our souls.

O Cross, you are the radiant sign among the stars.
In prophecy you have revealed the sign of victory to the godly king;
and when his mother Helena found you,
she displayed you in the sight of all the world.
Today the choirs of the faithful shout aloud as they raise you on high:
Enlighten us by your brightness, O life-giving and all-venerable Cross.
Make us holy by your might;
strengthen us by your exaltation,
for you are raised up against our enemies.

Glory… Now…

Moses prefigured the power of the precious Cross, O Christ,
when he conquered Amalek, his enemy, in the wilderness of Sinai.
When he stretched out his arms in the form of a cross,
the people were strengthened.
Now these images are fulfilled in us.
Today the Cross is exalted, and the devils are put to flight.
Today all creation is freed from corruption.
Through the Cross every gift of grace has shone upon us.
Therefore, rejoicing, we bow down before You and say:
How marvellous are Your works, O Lord, glory to You!

Aposticha

In Tone 5

Joy to you, life-bearing Cross of the Lord,
invincible triumph of the true faith
You are the gate to Paradise,
the strength of the faithful, and the stronghold of the Church.
Because of you, corruption no longer has meaning nor power.
By you we have been lifted up from earth to heaven.
You are an invincible weapon against evil,
a glory indeed for saints and martyrs,
and a haven for salvation.
You are the source of mercy to the world.

Extol the Lord our God and worship at His footstool, for He is holy.

Joy to you, most honourable Cross of the Lord.
Through you the human race has been delivered from the curse.
In your exaltation you are a sign of true joy.
O Cross all-venerable, you scatter all our enemies.
You are the help of Christians, the glory of kings,
the strength of the just, and the splendour of priests.
All who sign themselves with you are freed from peril.
You are the strength under which we are tended like sheep.
The angels gather around you in awe as the source of peace.
You are the glory of Christ
who grants great mercy to the world.

God is our King from time past, the giver of help through all the land.

Joy to you, precious Cross of the Lord,
guide to the blind and physician to the sick,
and resurrection to the dead.
You raised us out of corruption and removed the curse.
Through you we have been made divine,
and the power of Hades has been destroyed in full.
Therefore, seeing you today lifted up by our priests,
we exalt Christ who was suspended on you;
and we bow deeply before you,
seeking forgiveness and great mercy.

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

Of old, Moses prefigured Your Cross
while vanquishing Amalek and obtaining victory over him.
David the psalmist called it Your footstool
and directed us to adore it.
We sinners indeed venerate Your Cross today, O Christ our God.
With our unworthy lips we extol You,
for You deigned to be crucified on it;
and we entreat You, O Lord:
Together with the thief, make us worthy of Your kingdom.

Troparion

In Tone 1
Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance,* grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your Cross. (3)


FESTAL MATINS

The Lord is God, Tone 1

Troparion, Tone 1

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance,* grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your Cross.

Sessional Hymn I, Tone 6

When the wood of your Cross was raised on high, O Christ our Lord,* the foundations of death were shaken.* What Hades had eagerly swallowed up, it now let go in trembling.* We glorify You for showing us your salvation, O Holy One.* Have mercy upon us, O Son of God.

In Tone 1, Glory…Now…

We bow down to the Tree of your Cross, O Lover of Mankind,* since You, the Life of all, were nailed upon it.* O Saviour, You opened Paradise to the thief who turned to You in faith.* You counted him worthy of blessedness when he confessed to You, crying:* O Lord, remember me!* As You accepted him, also accept us as we call out:* We have all sinned;* in your merciful kindness, do not forsake us.

Sessional Hymn II, Tone 6

Today the word of the prophet is fulfilled.* Behold, we bow down on the site where your feet stood, O Lord.* We have received the Tree of salvation,* and through the prayers of the Theotokos,* O only Lover of Mankind,* we have obtained freedom from sinful passions.

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

When he stretched out his arms in the form of a cross, O Saviour,* Joshua, the son of Nun, mystically prefigured the likeness of the Cross many years ago.* The sun stood still until he had defeated the enemy who was opposed to You, O God.* Today this same sun is darkened as it sees You upon the Cross* through which You destroyed the power of death and despoiled Hades.* By your Cross, You have raised up the whole world.

Exaltation

We extol You,* O Christ the Giver of Life,* and we honour your precious Cross* through which we have been saved from the bondage of the enemy.

verses:

O Lord, plead my cause against my foes; fight those who fight me.
Take up your buckler and shield; arise to help me.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us.
Glory…Now…
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory be to You, O God! (3 times)

and then:

You have given a sign to those who fear You, in order that they may escape from the face of the bow. It is your Cross, O Christ our God.

Sessional Hymn, Tone 8

Formerly, the tree in Paradise made me naked.* In the temptation, the enemy brought death.* He, the Tree of Life, who became man and lived on earth, carried the Cross.* Now the whole world is full of joy.* Seeing the Cross raised up to God in faith, O people, let us cry aloud:* Your Church is full of glory!

Glory…Now…

Formerly, the tree in Paradise made me naked.* In the temptation, the enemy brought death.* He, the Tree of Life, who became man and lived on earth, carried the Cross.* Now the whole world is full of joy.* Seeing the Cross raised up to God in faith, O people, let us cry aloud:* Your Church is full of glory!

Gradual Hymn, Tone 4, Antiphon I

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
verse: Sing a new song to the Lord, for He has worked wonders.

Gospel
John 12:28-36

Having Seen the Resurrection of Christ

After Psalm 50, Tone 2

Glory…
O triple-branched Cross of Christ,* you are my strong protection.* Sanctify me by your might* that I may venerate and glorify you in faith and love.

Now…
O triple-branched Cross of Christ,* you are my strong protection.* Sanctify me by your might* that I may venerate and glorify you in faith and love.

In Tone 6: Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion, blot out my offense.

O Cross of Christ, hope of Christians,* guide of all those who have gone astray,* haven of the storm-tossed and victory in warfare,* firm foundation of the inhabited earth,* healer of the sick and resurrection of the dead,* have mercy on us.

Canon

ODE 1

After inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross upon the Waters, Moses took his staff and marked a straight line before him and divided the Red Sea, thereby opening a path for Israel who walked across as though they were on dry land. Then Moses marked a second line over the waters and united them again, thereby overwhelming the chariots of Pharaoh. Therefore, let us praise Christ our God, for He has been glorified.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

When the Israelites battled against Amalek, Moses stood between the two men of God, thereby prefiguring in his person the undefiled Passion. He raised a standard of victory by forming a cross with his outstretched hands; through this sign the power of Amalek was overthrown. Therefore, let us praise Christ our God, for He has been glorified.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

After raising up a staff as a cure against the deadly and poisonous bite of the serpents, Moses placed upon it crosswise, as a symbol of the Cross, a serpent. In this manner he triumphed over calamity. Therefore, let us praise Christ our God, for He has been glorified.

Glory… Now…

The Cross was revealed in the heavens as a sign of victory to Constantine, the holy king and defender of the faith. Through this sign the proud contempt of his enemies was conquered, deceit was overthrown, and the divine faith was spread to the ends of the earth. Therefore, let us praise Christ our God, for He has been glorified.

ODE 3

When the rod of Aaron budded, it made known who was to be priest; it was an image of this mystery. Likewise in the Church that formerly was barren, the wood of the Cross has now blossomed, endowing her with steadfastness and might.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

When the rock was struck and gushed forth water for a calloused and disobedient people, it manifested the mystery of the Church, chosen by God; for the Cross is her steadfastness and might.

Glory… Now…

When your immaculate side was pierced with a spear, O Lord, immediately there flowed out water and blood, thereby establishing the New Testament and washing away sin. For the Cross is the glory of the faithful and the power and steadfastness of kings.

ODE 4

I have received the mystery of your Law, O Lord; I have meditated upon your works; and I have glorified your Divinity.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

In times past, Moses transformed the bitter wells in the desert with wood; thereby, he prefigured the spreading of the gospel to the Gentiles through the Cross.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

In the days of old, a sharp axe fell into the deep waters of the Jordan; the axe was returned when a stick of wood was thrown into the waters. This prefigured the cutting down of error by the Cross and baptism.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

Arranged in four divisions as a sacred army, the people of Israel marched in this manner before the ark of the covenant. They were glorified in their ranks which were formed in the sign of the Cross.

Glory… Now…

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the Cross, extended in a wondrous manner, sends forth rays as the sun.

ODE 5

O Cross, triple-blessed Tree on which Christ the King and Lord was crucified, it was through you that the Evil One, who tempted our first parents with the tree, was destroyed. He was ensnared by the trap set by God who was crucified upon you in the flesh. Through this mystery, peace has been granted to our souls.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

O famous Wood, you are blessed in song for being the Cross on which Christ was crucified. The fiery revolving sword by which Eden was guarded feared you, and the awesome Cherubim bowed down to Christ who was crucified upon you in the flesh. Through this mystery, peace has been granted to our souls.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

When the powers of darkness see the sign of the Cross raised on high, they tremble; the multitude of angels and saints in heaven, together with the people on earth, bow down before Christ who grants peace to our souls.

Glory… Now…

The holy Cross showers its divine light of pure rays upon the people darkened by the deception of error; and it reconciles them to Christ who was crucified upon it, thereby granting peace to our souls.

ODE 6

Clearly prefiguring the redeeming Passion, Jonah stretched out his hands in the form of a cross when he was in the belly of the whale. When Jonah was cast forth after three days, he prefigured the glorious resurrection of Christ our God who was crucified in the flesh and granted life to the world by his resurrection on the third day.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

Distorted in body because of age and wasted away by sickness, Jacob was straightened when he crossed his hands, thereby revealing the power of the life-giving Cross. For God, who was crucified upon it in the flesh, rewrote the shadowy Old Law in new letters, and thus drove away the disease of error which corrupts our souls.

Glory… Now…

When Jacob placed his hands upon the heads of his grandsons in the form of a cross, he indicated that those who serve under the Law would enjoy for a time the honor that is due to the firstborn. Although the error of his act was noticed, he did not change the life-giving figure; for he announced that the newly-formed people of Christ our God, strengthened by the Cross, shall have the higher place.

KONTAKION, TONE 4

Willingly raised upon the Cross, O Christ our God,* You bestowed your mercies upon a new people bearing your name.* With your power grant joy to our Church,* giving her victory over enemies,* with the invincible standard, your weapon of peace, as an ally.

IKOS

He, who was caught up in the third heaven to Paradise and who heard unspeakable and divine words which human beings cannot express, wrote to the Galatians. Study the Scripture, and you will read and understand what he wrote: God forbid that I should glory in anything except the Cross of the Lord on which He suffered the passion. Therefore, let us continue to praise this Cross of the Lord with confidence, for it is the glory of us all. This Wood is our salvation, a weapon of peace, and an unconquerable sign of victory.

ODE 7

The evil command of the wicked tyrant bewildered the nations; he uttered threats and blasphemy hateful to God. Yet neither the raging wild beasts nor the roaring fire could frighten the three youths. They stood together in the fire, refreshed by the wind as though it were dew, and they sang: You are praised and blessed above all, O God of our Fathers.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

By eating of the tree, Adam inherited a corruptible life. He was exiled from Paradise, and his body was prone to corruption which was passed on to his descendants like a disease. But those of the earth, who acknowledge the wood of the Cross as their vindication, cry aloud: You are praised and blessed above all, O God of our Fathers.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

Death came into the world by the partaking of the fruit of the tree; the breaking of the law of God came through disobedience. The Tree of precious life was carefully guarded until the confession of the good thief. He made it accessible once again by crying out as he departed this life: You are praised and blessed above all, O God of our Fathers.

Glory… Now…

When he honoured the staff of Joseph, Israel revealed that in the future the most glorious Cross would be the safeguard of royal power. The Cross is a victorious glory of kings and a light to the faithful who cry out: You are praised and blessed above all, O God of our Fathers.

ODE 8

O you children, equal in number to the Trinity, bless the Father and Creator of all; sing the praises of the Word who came to earth and changed the flames to dew; and exalt above all forever the most Holy Spirit who gives life to all.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

When the Cross that is sprinkled with the blood of the incarnate Word is raised up, all you powers of heaven sing praises, celebrating the reconciliation of the human race. All you faithful, venerate the Cross of Christ; for through it, resurrection was granted to the world forever.

Glory to your precious Cross, O Lord!

Let the priests reverently raise up the Cross on which Christ our God was hung, and exalt the lance that pierced the body of the Word of God. Let all people see the salvation of God and glorify Him forever.

Glory… Now…

Rejoice, all you faithful Christian kings, chosen beforehand by a divine decree. Receive the precious Cross from God and make this victorious weapon your glory, for by it, the enemy tribes that hastily seek battle are overthrown forever.

ODE 9

O my soul, extol the most precious Cross of the Lord.

O Theotokos, you are a mystical paradise who gave birth to Christ and still remained a virgin. He planted the life-giving Tree of the Cross upon the earth. Therefore, on this day of its exaltation, we worship Him and extol you.

O my soul, extol the most precious Cross of the Lord.

Let all the trees of the forest exalt, for they are made holy by Christ who planted them in the beginning and who was stretched out upon the Tree. On this day of its exaltation, we worship Him and extol you, O Cross.

O my soul, extol the most precious Cross of the Lord.

The Cross is marked upon the foreheads of all God’s people, and it is raised up as their sacred horn of strength. By it, all the horns of the spiritual powers of evil are crushed. Therefore, on this day of its exaltation, we worship Him and extol you, O Cross.

Hymn of Light, Tone 2

The Cross is the guardian of the universe;* the Cross is the beauty of the Church.* It is the power of kings, and it sustains the strength of our faith.* It is the glory of the angels and the slayer of demons. (2 times)

Glory… Now…

Today the Cross is elevated, and the world is sanctified.* For You, O Christ who are enthroned with the Father and the Holy Spirit,* have stretched your arms upon it and drawn the world to the knowledge of God.* Make us who have placed our trust in You worthy of divine glory.

At the Praises

In Tone 8

O, what a strange mystery!* The most holy Cross, the life-giving Tree,* is exalted on high today and revealed to the world.* The ends of the earth give glory, and the demons are terrified.* What a great gift is bestowed upon us mortals.* Through your Cross, O Christ, save our souls,* since You alone are full of compassion. (2 times)

O, what a strange mystery!* The Cross which carried the Most High as a cluster of life-giving grapes* is exalted today high above the earth.* We are all drawn to God through it,* and death has been forever swallowed up.* O spotless Wood, we enjoy the immortal fruit of Eden through you* as we give glory to Christ.

O, what a strange mystery!* The length and breadth of the Cross is equal to the heavens,* for it sanctifies the whole world by divine grace.* By the Cross savage nations are vanquished;* by the Cross the authority of kings is confirmed.* O divine Ladder, we go up to heaven by you* and with our hymns exalt Christ the Lord.

In Tone 6, Glory… Now…

Today the Cross of the Lord is exalted,* and the faithful welcome it with love.* Through it they receive healing of both soul and body* and are relieved of every weakness.* Let us kiss it with joy and fear;* with joy because Christ the Lord was crucified in his great mercy upon it;* with fear because of our unworthiness due to sin.* Through the Cross, Christ our God grants salvation to the world.

Great Doxology

Exaltation of the Cross

Once the congregation has begun to sing “Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me Your commandments,” the priest, preceded by the deacon holding a candle, censes the altar from all four sides three times.

Then, once the congregation has begun to sing “Holy God” the priest makes a full prostration before the altar on which the cross lays. (If the Great Doxology is not sung, then the preparatory Incensation should take place before the singing of “Holy God.”) He then takes the cross, holds it on high (against his forehead) and proceeds around the altar preceded by the following in this order: a) Candle bearers; b) Deacon with censer (walking backwards and censing the cross); c) Priest with cross.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us (3).
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.

Having reached the ambo, below which the acolytes stand on either side, and having waited for the congregation to conclude the “Holy God,” the priest, still facing the altar, raises the cross.

Deacon: Wisdom! Stand aright!

Congregation immediately sings the Troparion, Tone 1:

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.* Grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your cross (3).

Immediately after “Wisdom! Stand aright!” while the people sing the troparion, the priest places the cross on the tetrapod.

Then, each time the troparion is sung (that is, three times), the priest (not deacon) censes the cross from four sides preceded by the deacon holding a candle. On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (but not on the Third Sunday of Lent or August 1), at this point (that is, after the Troparion, “Save Your people, O Lord,” has been sung three times) the following rite is included:

Priest (taking the cross from the tetrapod and holding it on high – against his forehead) stands in front of the tetrapod (facing east).

If a deacon is present, he stands opposite the priest (that is, on the opposite side of the tetrapod) censing the cross and intoning the following petitions. (In the absence of a deacon, the priest intones the petitions himself – the whole time however, holding the cross against his forehead. Thus, provision must be made for the text of the litany to be visible to him. Note, though, that a concelebrating priest may cense and sing the petitions in the absence of a deacon.)

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, in the greatness of Your compassion, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.

Congregation: Lord, have mercy. 24 times

During the “Lord, have mercy” the priest blesses to the east with the cross, and then raises the cross as high as possible. He then gradually lowers it, (that is, lowers his hands, and then bends his knees) as the melody of the “Lord, have mercy” descends. Then once the melody of the “Lord, have mercy” begins to rise, the priest gradually elevates the cross again, and during the last triple “Lord, have mercy,” blesses the east again.

Deacon: We also pray for our most holy universal Pontiff, N., Pope of Rome; and for our most blessed Patriarch, N., that the Lord God would grant them health and salvation, ever directing them and assisting them in all they do: We pray You, O Lord, hear us and have mercy.

Congregation: Lord, have mercy. 24 times

During the “Lord, have mercy” the priest (according to Galician custom) blesses to the north with the cross, and then raises the cross as high as possible. He then gradually lowers it etc. (just as during the first petition), and during the last triple “Lord, have mercy,” blesses the north again.

Deacon:  We also pray for our most reverend metropolitan, N., for our God-loving bishop, N., for our spiritual fathers and mothers, and for all our brothers and sisters in Christ; for their health and salvation, and for the remission of their sins, let us all say.

Congregation: Lord, have mercy. 24 times

During the “Lord, have mercy” the priest (according to Galician custom) blesses to the west with the cross, and then raises the cross as high as possible. He then gradually lowers it etc. (just as during the first petition), and during the last triple “Lord, have mercy,” blesses the west again.

Deacon: We also pray for every Christian soul that is afflicted and maltreated; for their health and salvation, and for the remission of their sins, let us all say.

Congregation: Lord, have mercy. 24 times

During the “Lord, have mercy” the priest (according to Galician custom) blesses to the south with the cross, and then raises the cross as high as possible. He then gradually lowers it etc. (just as during the first petition), and during the last triple “Lord, have mercy,” blesses the south again.

Deacon: We also pray for all those who serve and have served in this holy church; for their health and salvation, and for the remission of their sins, let us all say.

Congregation: Lord, have mercy 24 times

During the “Lord, have mercy” the priest blesses to the east again, and then raises the cross as high as possible. He then gradually lowers it etc. (just as during the first petition), and during the last triple “Lord, have mercy,” blesses the east one last time.

The priest then places the cross on the tetrapod again, while all sing “Glory: now and for ever” and the Kontakion in Tone 4:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; now and for ever and ever. Amen.

By Your own choice, O Christ our God,* You were lifted on the cross.* Grant Your mercies to Your new community* that bears Your name.* By Your power gladden the faithful people* and grant them victory against enemies.* May they have the help of Your instrument of peace,* the invincible sign of victory.

On all three occasions, including the Feast of the Exaltation (September 14), we conclude the exposition thus:

Clergy: To Your cross, O Master, we bow in veneration, and we glorify Your holy resurrection.

Congregation: To Your cross, O Master, we bow in veneration, and we glorify Your holy resurrection.

Clergy: To Your cross, O Master, we bow in veneration…

Congregation: …and we glorify Your holy resurrection

Text in Ukrainian: Хресту Твоєму поклоняємось, Владико, і святеє воскресіння Твоє славим.

The clergy (and people) then approach the tetrapod to venerate the cross. (Especially when the Exposition is done as part of Matins, stichera from the Menaion are sung at this point.)

At the Veneration of the Cross

In Tone 2

Come, O faithful, let us bow before the life-giving Cross
on which Christ, the King of glory, freely stretched out His hands.
By this He raised us up to our former happiness,
which we had lost because of the ancient Enemy
and the bitter pleasure that exiled us from God.
Come, O faithful, let us bow before the Wood
which lets us crush the head of the invisible enemy.
Come, all you families of the nations,
let us venerate the Cross of the Lord with our hymns:
Rejoice, O perfect redemption of the fall of Adam;
Rejoice, O venerable Cross.
Filled with fear and awe, we embrace you;
we glorify God, and we say:
O Lord, You were nailed on the Cross;
in Your goodness and love, have mercy on us.

In Tone 5

Come, O people, let us contemplate the marvellous wonder;
let us bow before the power of the Cross.
For the tree of Paradise gave rise to the reign of death,
and now a Tree has made our life blossom forth,
when the sinless Saviour was nailed upon it.
And now, all the nations that are nourished by this incorruptible food sing praises:
You destroyed death by Your Cross and set us free.
O Lord, glory to You!

The word of Your prophets Isaiah and David is now fulfilled,
for they spoke of You, O Lord, and said:
All the nations shall come to You and bow before You.
Behold the people who are now filled with Your grace
in Your sanctuary in the temple of Jerusalem.
O God of goodness who suffered on the Cross for us
and gives us life through Your holy resurrection,
protect us with Your care, O Lord, and save us.

In Tone 6

Rising from the depths of the earth on this day,
the Tree of Life strengthens our faith
in the resurrection of Christ who nailed on it.
His raised hands announce His ascension into heaven,
which permitted Him to dwell in our nature in this fallen world.
We also cry out in thanksgiving:
O Lord who was raised on the Cross and raises us with You,
grant heavenly joy to those who praise Your name.

The four corners of the earth are sanctified today, O Christ our God,
by the four ends of Your exalted Cross.
With it, exalt your faithful Christians
who destroy the power of the enemy through your Cross.
You are great, O Lord, and wondrous in Your works; glory to You!

The words of the prophets have told of the most holy wood
by which Adam was delivered from the ancient curse and from death.
On this day of its exaltation, creation raises its voice
to beg God for the abundance of his mercy.
O Lord, your compassion is beyond measure;
spare us, O God, and save our souls!

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

Behold the words of the prophet Moses are fulfilled, O Lord;
for he said: You shall see your life suspended before your eyes.
Today the Cross is exalted, and the world is freed from error.
Today the Resurrection of Christ is renewed;
the ends of the earth exalt with joy.
At the sound of the cymbals of David,
they offer a hymn of praise and say:
In your goodness and love for all,
You have brought about our salvation in the middle of the earth, O our God.
Through your Cross and Resurrection You save us.
O Lord all-powerful, glory to You!


DIVINE LITURGY

Antiphon 1
O God, my God, hear me; why have You forsaken me? The words of my transgressions put salvation far from me.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
O God, I will call to You by day but You will not listen; and by night, yet it will not be foolish of me.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
But You, the praise of Israel, dwell in the holy place.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Saviour, save us.
Glory… Now… Only-begotten Son…

Antiphon 3
The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble;* He is enthroned upon the cherubim, let the earth quake.

Troparion, Tone 1: Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.* Grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your cross.

Great is the Lord in Sion* and supreme above all peoples.

Troparion, Tone 1: Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.* Grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your cross.

Let them profess Your great name* for it is awesome and holy.

Troparion, Tone 1: Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.* Grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your cross.

Entrance

Exalt the Lord our God and bow in worship at the footstool of His feet for it is holy.

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 1: Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance.* Grant victory to Your faithful people against enemies,* and protect Your community by Your cross.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 4: By Your own choice, O Christ our God,* You were lifted on the cross.* Grant Your mercies to Your new community* that bears Your Name.* By Your power gladden the faithful people,* and grant them victory against enemies.* May they have the help of Your instrument of peace,* the invincible sign of victory.

Instead of Holy God, we sing:
To Your Cross, O Master, we bow in veneration, and we glorify Your holy Resurrection. (3)
Glory… Now… and we glorify Your holy Resurrection.
To Your Cross, O Master, we bow in veneration, and we glorify Your holy Resurrection.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7
Exalt the Lord our God,* and bow in worship at the footstool of his feet, for it is holy.
verse: The Lord reigns, let the people tremble. (Psalm 98:5,1)

Epistle
1 Corinthians 1:18-24

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: Remember Your congregation which You acquired from the beginning.
verse: But God is our king before the ages; He has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. (Psalm 73:2,12)

Gospel
John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify the most precious cross of the Lord.
And the Irmos, Tone 8: You are a mystical Paradise, O Mother of God, who though untilled, have brought forth Christ. He has planted upon earth the life- giving Tree of the Cross. Therefore today as we raise it on high we bow low and we magnify you.

Communion Hymn
Let the light of Your countenance, O Lord,* shine upon us.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 4:7)

At the end of Liturgy we sing:
To Your Cross, O Master, we bow in veneration, and we glorify Your holy Resurrection. (3)

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