The Universal Exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross

The Elevation of the Cross, celebrated on September 14/27, commemorates the finding of Christ’s Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century; and, after it was taken by the Persians, of its recovery by the Emperor Heraclius in the seventh century at which time it was “elevated” in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. From this latter event the “Universal Elevation of the Cross” was celebrated annually in all of the churches of the Christian Empire.

Holy Cross 2The holy day of the Elevation of the Cross has a place of great significance in the Church today. It remains with us as a day of fasting and prayer, a day when we recall that the Cross is the only sign worthy of our total allegiance, and that our salvation comes not by “victories” of any earthly sort but by the only true and lasting victory of the crucifixion of Christ and our co-crucifixion with him.

“Through the Cross joy has come into all the world” so we Orthodox sing celebrating Christ’s victory over death. We honor the Cross, the instrument which brought salvation to the world and to each and everyone of us.

В этот день Православная Церковь приглашает верующих воздать благоговейное поклонение Честному и Животворящему Кресту, на котором Господь наш и Спаситель перенес величайшие страдания ради нашего спасения.

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