The Cross

Since converting to Orthodoxy I can tell you that one of the number one draws for me has been the beauty and the reverence that is given to all things connected to Christ, our Lord & Savior. So much awe and honor goes to Him all the time within the services.

One of those things where reverence, and awe, is due is to the Cross. The Precious and Life-giving Cross!

We commemorate the Cross at least twice a year and one of those times in on September 14th. The hymn above is sung numerous times on this day. It is one of my favorites.

I have so many favorites! Singing in the choir gives me a close up look at all the hymns and it allows me to really take in the words. Especially if we sing them more than once.

The following hymns really caught my attention on the 2nd day that we sang them. I find them so encouraging and I am struck with awe even more so now. I thought I’d share their beauty and encouragement with you.
(Bolded emphasis are mine.)

As the Cross is lifted on high,
it urges all of creation
to praise the undefiled Passion of Christ, Who was lifted up on it.
For by the Cross He killed the one who killed us,
and brought us back to life when we were dead.
He adorned us in beauty,
and in His compassion made us worthy to live in heaven.
Therefore we rejoice and exalt His Name,
and magnify His infinite condescension.        

Rejoice, O life-bearing Cross:
invincible triumph of godliness,
gate of Paradise, and protection of the faithful!
The Cross is the might of the Church,
through which corruption is abolished,
through which the power of death is crushed.
and we are raised from earth to heaven.
O invincible weapon, the adversary of demons,
the glory of martyrs, the true adornment of ven’rable saints,
and the haven of salvation,
which grants the world great mercy.

Rejoice, O Cross of the Lord,
through which mankind has been delivered from the curse!
Thou art a sign of true joy,
shattering our enemies by thine Exaltation.
O Cross, worthy of all honor,
thou art our help, thou art the strength of kings.
Thou art the power of the righteous.
Thou art the majesty of priests.
O rod of strength, under which we like sheep are tended,
thou art a weapon of peace around which the angels stand in fear.
Thou art the divine glory of Christ,
Who grants the world great mercy.

The Cross is the guardian of the whole earth.
The Cross is the beauty of the Church.
The Cross is the strength of Orthodox Christians.
The Cross is the support of the faithful.
The Cross is the glory of the angels,
and the wounder of the demons.

Hymns from Vespers for the Elevation of the Cross

Have a blessed week of the Cross, the strength of Christians everywhere!

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