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Exultation of the Glorious Cross - September 14
MARI.ORG ^ | Roger J. AbiNader

Posted on 09/11/2005 6:03:25 AM PDT by NYer

This feast marks the end of the Maronite liturgical year. The Exaltation of the Cross commemorates the finding of the relics of the Cross by St. Helen. Before 337 A.D., this event was attributed to the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, who built basilicas at Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher. His mother, St. Helen, who built churches on the sites of the Nativity and of the Ascension, earned so great an admiration of our ancestors that, by the latter part of the century, they gave her credit for finding the Cross.

Christian Roman Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helen with the Glorious Cross.
Chapel No. 28 at Göreme in Cappadocia.
Photo from les Eglises Rupestres de Cappadoce (Paris, 1925)

The Exultation of the Glorious Cross 

"On this day, Queen Helen took pride in establishing the feast of the exaltation of the cross. On this day, King Constantine, with all faithful kings, was shaken with joy and pride. ...this day, we celebrate the feast of the saving cross, which redeemed us through suffering." (Sedro)(1)
Two feasts celebrate the Cross in a major way: Great Friday of the Crucifixion and The Exultation of the Glorious Cross. The Great Sunday of Resurrection also incorporates the Cross in a significant way. (2) Because each feast celebrates some aspect of our salvation history, the Cross' function is central to each commemoration. 

The importance of Cross to the Holy Mysteries is clearly demonstrated by the many references to the Cross and its attributes throughout the other times of the liturgical year. To impart to the worshipers the appropriate spiritual attitude, the liturgy applies both teaching devices and petition in the Introductory Prayers, the Hoosoyo, and the Service of the Word. 

The mention of the Cross is less frequent in the anaphoras and Communion Rite. As will be shown below, the anaphoras do not often use the word "cross", the "altar-cross" of Great Friday, but rather refer to the saving event of sacrifice re-enacted on the altar-table and to the attributes and accomplishments of the Cross in establishing and securing the Holy Mysteries. 

Great Friday of the Crucifixion: Adoration of the Cross

"O cross, come and tell us what is your power. For nations worship you from the ends of the earth. You became an altar on Golgotha, and God's Son was crucified on you. Blood and water flowed from Him for the forgiveness of the world". (Qolo)(3)
The blood and water flowing from Jesus' side particular the institution of the Eucharist and underscore the symbiosis between the Cross and the Holy Mysteries. 


The Incarnation, according to St. Ephrem, is the central event of Syriac spirituality because God, the One who cannot be contained, became contained within the limitations of a human body. By His nature, God cannot be grasped by the human mind. (4) Yet, He chose to become limited, small and accessible so that He could be bound, scourged and killed. (5)

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Father of the Church.
Picture courtesy of St. Sharbel Foundation, Fr. J. Akiki (1992)

Sunday After the Birth of the Lord, Finding of the Lord In The Temple 

"Glory be to the hidden One who became visible by His birth.

Glory be to the living One who tasted death by His birth." (Qolo, str. 1)(6) 
This miraculous and paradoxical self-abasement flowed out of God's love for humankind. 
Great Friday of the Crucifixion: Anaphora of the Signing of the Chalice 

"O Christ our God, in your great and unspeakable love for all, you became our sacrifice on Golgotha. By offering yourself, you pardoned the sin of the world." (Sedro(7)
Divine condescension brought about permanent change in the relationship between us and our Creator-- affectionately referred to as Abba by Jesus.(8) The Cross, then, is the connecting device, the bridge, between the Incarnation and Resurrection. Therefore, the spiritual essence of the feast of the Exultation of the Glorious Cross is wholly and absolutely defined by the Resurrection, for by it Abba raised Jesus in glory, and, once and for all, removed the fear of death from the heart of the believer. (1 Cor. 15:17) 

Liturgy: A Call To Be Fully Present In The Trinity

Our church season presents a series of liturgical celebrations centered on Jesus and His saving deeds. The liturgy provides us with the time for focusing on the Gospel and on Salvation in light of our personal and communal life experiences. By incorporating familiar signs and symbols, liturgical ritual provides fuller meaning to our life experiences by pointing to the Life who transforms our burdens into experiences of grace-- "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:30) 

In totality the liturgy is a prophetic call to holiness and faithfulness. We are reminded, through the Word and in the Mysteries, of the saving deeds of our loving Lord. 

Maronite liturgical rites are simple and concrete. The use of common elements, e.g., the water and a cross, in a spiritual way, infuses them with the power to be icons to the Divine. The ritual use of applicable scriptural texts displays and illustrates: (a) the old figures and symbols which indicate from where we have come, and (b) the new signs and words which point the Way in which we are going.

Kitab al Ritab al Marouniat (The Maronite Book of Rituals), (Rome, 1838). 
Exhibit courtesy of Fr. Ghattas Khoury, Pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon Church, (Wheeling, WV)

Our prayers, hymns and canticles explain and teach about our relationship with the Trinity. The Hoosoyo, structured in couplets like the Beatitudes, and the Mazmooro, stand as parables, challenging us to both a new understanding and to a new urgency in the metanoia of our lives.(9) 


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Theology; Worship

1 posted on 09/11/2005 6:03:25 AM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...

A Blessed Season to you all!

2 posted on 09/11/2005 6:05:20 AM PDT by NYer (It's Cool 2 B Catholic!)
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To: NYer


Second Tone

We offer Thee in mediation the life-giving Cross which, of Thy goodness, Thou hast given unto us, the unworthy, O Lord. Save Thy hierarchs and Thy flock, and grant Thou peace through the Theotokos, O only friend of man.

In Orthodoxy, today is the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross which is celebrated on September 14th. It is a great feastday of The Church. Thanks for the post!

3 posted on 09/11/2005 6:18:51 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: NYer

A beautiful celebration is coming up. For the Byzantine and Ukranian Catholics as well as the Orthodox, this is a very important day.

4 posted on 09/11/2005 7:02:00 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer
Crux fidelis!
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.

Faithful cross! Above all other,
One and only noble tree:
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be.
Sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, oh Tree of Glory,
Thy relaxing sinews bend.
For awhile the ancient rigor
That thy birth bestowed, suspend,
And the Heavenly King of beauty
Gently on thine arms suspend.

- Venantius Fortunatus (530-609)

5 posted on 09/11/2005 10:42:06 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: Kolokotronis; RKBA Democrat; Convert from ECUSA; redhead; sandyeggo; Marcellinus; Maeve; Siobhan; ..
Beautiful icon and prayer! Thanks, Kolokotronis.

At today's Maronite Divine Liturgy, the priest performed the Solemn Blessing with the Glorious Cross.

Blessing of the East Side of the Altar

Celebrant: May Your salvation, O Lord reach Your Church who believes in You and exalts Your wondrous cross. By its sign we, Your Christian people, are protected from our enemies, seen and unseen. We now implore Your mercy and cry out three times:

The congregation responds by chanting the Kyrie Eleison 3 times.

Blessing of the West Side of the Altar

Celebrant: O Lord, the Church, Your bride, sings Your glory. She and her children are annointed by Your living seal. She overcomes evil, her enemy, through Your help and awaits a complete victory from You. We now implore the Son who was hung on the cross: "Be gracious, O Lord, to Your people and do not forget Your inheritance." We cry out three times:

The congregation responds by chanting the Kyrie Eleison 3 times.

Blessing of the South Side of the Altar

Celebrant: Moses divided the sea for His people with the sign of His glorious cross, and in the desert, the bronze serpent was raised to heal poisonous bites. Grant us, O Lord, to overcome all arrogance against Your Church, saved by Your cross. We now implore Your mercy upon us and cry out three times:

The congregation responds by chanting the Kyrie Eleison 3 times.

Blessing of the North Side of the Altar

Celebrant: By the signing of the cross over the four directions - east, west, south, and north - the whole universe is sanctified, and those who seek refuge under the arms of the cross are delivered from the power of evil. May our souls and bodies be marked by the cross, as were the thresholds of the houses of Your people in Egypt. We now implore You and cry out three times:

The congregation responds by chanting the Kyrie Eleison 3 times.

What an awesome, reverent and beautiful liturgy!

6 posted on 09/11/2005 10:56:49 AM PDT by NYer (It's Cool 2 B Catholic!)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Religion Moderator
Can you fix the title? Should read: Exaltation of the Glorious Cross - September 14

Thank you!

8 posted on 09/14/2005 7:57:34 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...


9 posted on 09/14/2007 8:16:27 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

St. Francis' Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness
of my heart.
Give me
right faith,
sure hope
and perfect charity.
Fill me with understanding
and knowledge
that I may fulfill
your command.

Exultation of the Glorious Cross - September 14

Exultation/Triumph of the Holy Cross

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross

The Feast of the Holy Cross (Fr. Elfeghali's report)

Catholic, Crusader, Leper and King: The Life of Baldwin IV and the Triumph of the Cross


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

Triumph of the Cross - September 14th

Feast of The Exaltation of The Holy Cross - September 14

10 posted on 09/14/2007 8:23:04 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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