Monday, September 14, 2009

The Feast of the Holy Cross

The Feast of the Holy Cross is a feast of God’s love in triumph over sin, the victory of life over death, light over darkness. Let us celebrate it with joy, thanksgiving, and humility. Let these words of St. Andrew of Crete recall to us the beauty and power of the cross on this Holy Day:

The cross is called Christ's glory; it is saluted as his triumph. We recognize it as the cup he longed to drink and the climax of the sufferings he endured for our sake. As to the cross being Christ's glory, listen to his words: Now is the Son of Man glorified, and in him God is glorified, and God will glorify him at once. And again: Father, glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world came to be. And once more: Father, glorify you name. A voice came from heaven: I have glorified it and will glorify it again. Here he speaks of the glory that would accrue to him through the cross. And if you would understand that the cross is Christ's triumph, hear what he himself also said: When I am lifted up, then I will draw all men to myself. Now you can see that the cross is Christ's glory and triumph.

- St. Andrew of Crete

It was ordained that the Christ should suffer, and on the third day rise from the dead.

Antiphon on the Magnificat for the First Evensong of Holy Cross

We glory in your cross, O Lord, and praise and glorify your holy resurrection; for by virtue of your cross joy has come to the whole world.

Antiphon on Benedictus for the Matins of Holy Cross

Collect for Holy Cross Day

Almighty God, whose son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who reigns with your and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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