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Author Topic: Feast of the Cross 14 September  (Read 1311 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan-Romania
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« on: September 09, 2009, 09:56:45 AM »

What do we celebrate on this day?
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 10:15:17 AM »

What do we celebrate on this day?

We commemorate both the finding of the Cross by St. Helen in the 4th century, and its return from Persia, where it was kept for 14 years after the emperor Khozroes II plundered Jerusalem in the 7th century. Like other days associated with the Cross, it is a day of strict fasting.
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Dan-Romania
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 11:34:46 AM »

And what does the cross mean for an christian?How we must understand a feast reserved to the Cross?
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scamandrius
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 11:50:49 AM »

The cross is the tree of life that was originally given to Adam and Even in Eden but then buried and hidden away until Christ, the Life-giver, was nailed upon it for us and our salvation (St. Ephrem the Syrian).  It is the ladder to heaven.  It is precious; it is life-giving.  It is tied to the resurrection which is our hope.  In short, it is our weapon and our shield in the spiritual life.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 11:58:28 AM »

The 6th Hour Theotokion for Wednesdays and Fridays sums it up pretty well:
"Most glorified art thou, O Virgin Theotokos. We praise thee, for through the Cross of thy Son, Hades was cast down and death was slain. Having been put to death, we were raised up and were deemed worthy of life. We received Paradise, the ancient bliss. Wherefore, in thanksgiving we glorify Christ our God, since He is mighty and alone abundant in mercy."

I have always loved the image of the Cross as the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, an example of which can be found in the prayers of the 9th Hour:
"In the midst of two thieves, Thy Cross was found to be a balance of justice; for the one was borne down to Hades by the weight of his blasphemy; the other was raised up from his sins to the knowledge of theology; O Christ God, glory be to THee."
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scamandrius
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 12:14:16 PM »

^No, the cross is not the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  that was the tree of disobedience.  The tree of obedience is the Tree of Life which was kept from Adam and Eve after they ate of the forbidden fruit.
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 12:37:33 PM »

^No, the cross is not the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  that was the tree of disobedience.  The tree of obedience is the Tree of Life which was kept from Adam and Eve after they ate of the forbidden fruit.

I realise the Cross is always associated with the Tree of Life, but I thought the above troparion was a reference to how the Cross became for us the true Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It may be wrong, but I've definitely heard Orthodox commentators say something to this effect.

I was not suggesting it was the physical tree from Eden (from what I understand many Church Fathers question whether these were even literal trees). There seems to be varying traditions regarding the origins of the wood of the Cross - the one I've come across most often is that it was planted by Lot.
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scamandrius
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 06:00:31 PM »

^Read St. Ephrem the Syrian's spiritual psalter and he has several hymns which are on point for this discussion.  And I'm pretty sure that also sums up the rest of the consensus patruum.
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Dan-Romania
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 07:08:09 AM »

What else can be said about the Cross?Why do we venerate the Cross?
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 08:10:51 AM »

Dear Dan,

One of the ways to appreciate the meaning of the holy Cross in the life of Christians is to pray the Akathist to the Holy Cross.

http://www.geocities.com/canonical_orthodox_2000/akathist_holy_cross.html


Here is the first section:

Angels from Heaven invisibly circle the life-bringing Cross in fear, and seeing it now brilliantly shedding light-bestowing grace upon the faithful, amazed they stand and cry to you such words as these:

Rejoice, O Cross, guardian of the world;
Rejoice, the glory of the Church;
Rejoice, you that bountifully gush forth with healings;
Rejoice, you that enlighten the ends of the earth;
Rejoice, Wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders;
Rejoice, fitly-joined, thrice-blessed, and bestower of graces;
Rejoice, for you are the divine footstool;
Rejoice, for you were ordained for the worship of all;
Rejoice, bowl of nectar, full to the brim;
Rejoice, torch of the radiance above;
Rejoice, you through whom the creation is blessed;
Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is worshipped;
Rejoice, O Wood most blessed.
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 07:34:46 PM »

And another is to consider the words of the Vigil service of this feast:

http://www.saintjonah.org/services/vigil_exaltation.rtf
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2009, 11:44:27 PM »

The Cross is holy because it bore the body of God upon it in the midst of His Passion. There are other instances in the Scriptures of the body of the Lord Christ conveying sanctification (such as the woman who touched His robe). The Cross is thus sanctified by its close contact and association with the Crucified Christ.
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Dan-Romania
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 05:02:41 AM »

Can the cross be seen as the sword of God , wich separetes the body from Spirit, the truth from lies, the right from wrong , being the scale of God , by being in the midst bringing one to Paradise and the one who blasphemed into the pit of hell.The Cross is the altar on wich Christ brought Himself as sacrifice.The Cross is the rod of iron with wich Christ rules.The Cross is a representation of God`s power,righteouss and mercy.
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