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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Holy CrossThe Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Lifegiving Holy Cross Vespers with Bonfire and Procession

 

Jesus
Christ
Death
Jesus
Christ
Resur-
rec-
tion
Holy
Mystery
Baptism
Great
and
Holy
Friday
Holy
and
Glor-
ious
Pascha
Great
Feast
Exalta-
tion
of
Precious
and
Life-
giving
Holy
Cross
Vener-
ation
of
Holy
Cross
3rd
Sun.
Great
Lent
Feast
Proces-
sion
of
Holy
Cross
Trisagion
Hymn
is
Hymn
of
Cross

 

Memorial
Service
Jennaz
Dead
Evlogitaria
Memorial
Jennaz
Liturgical Text
Dead
Evlogitaria
Memorial
Jennaz
Liturgy John Chrysostom
Appendix 1, pages 94-98
The Eparchy of Newton
Liturgical Text
Dead
Evlogitaria
Statutes
Memorial
Jennaz
Euchologion
pages 89-91
The Eparchy of Newton
Resurrection
Evlogitaria
Statutes
Memorial
Jennaz
Liturgical Text
Resurrection
Evlogitaria
Memorial
Jennaz
Liturgical Text
Resurrection
Evlogitaria
tatutes
Memorial
Jennaz
Euchologion
pages 91 - 92
The Eparchy of Newton
Resurrection
Antiphon
Memorial
Evlogitaria
Jennaz
All
Souls
Sat.
1st
All Souls
Sat.
2d
All Souls
Sat.
Kolyva / Kollyva
Ameh
Memorial
Jennaz

 

 

Cycle Prepa-
ration
Vespers
Bonfire
Proces-
sion
Feast Divine
Liurgy
Changable
Prayers
Orthros
Proces-
sion
Cele-
bration
Sun-
days
Last
Sun
before
1st Sun.
of
Triodion
Pharisee
Publican

 

13 September evening - The lifesize (the outdoor) Holy Cross, adorned with basil sprigs, is where the ikon of the feast normally is. At the end of the Vespers, there is a procession. A priest carries the Holy Cross in procession through the church. During this time, special litanies are prayed. Also, the priest and the people bow and sing the same hymn as the people did when Emperor Heraclius carried the Holy Cross to Golgotha when the Holy Cross was recovered from the Persians and returned to Jerusalem.

The priest carries a lifesize (the outdoor) Holy Cross from inside the church to the bonfire outside the church. The priest blesses the bonfire. Then, the priest carries the Holy Cross to the four stations around the bonfire: North, East, South, and West. These stations represent the four corners of the world. At each station, the priest blesses the four corners of the world with the Holy Cross. The people repeat many times: "Lord have mercy" or "Kyrie eleison" or "Ya Rabb-urham". Then, the people venerate the Holy Cross and the priest gives each person a peice of basil.

Basil

According to tradition, a sweet smelling herb was growing where the Holy Cross was found. So, the herb was named "king" in Greek (basil). The Holy Cross is decorated with basil.

"Lord have mercy" or "Kyrie eleison" or "Ya Rabb-urham"

According to tradition, when the Holy Cross was found and when the Holy Cross was recovered from the Persians and returned to Jerusalem, all the people could do to express their awe was to chant repeatively "Kyrie eleison". So, the people of today repeat many times: "Lord have mercy" or "Kyrie eleison" or "Ya Rabb-urham".

Bonfire

The bonfire is a reenactment of the relay system of bonfires from Jerusalem to Constantinople to tell the Emperor Constantine that his mother, St. Helena, had found the Holy Cross.
Before St. Helena went to Jerusalem to find the Holy Cross, a system of rely bonfires was planned to spread the news if and when the Holy Cross was found. The rely bonfires began in Jerusalem, went across Lebanon, and finally to Constantinople.

More Information

Great Vespers

Liturgical Cycle

From the Monday after the Great Feast of Pentecost to Great and Holy Saturday, Sunday is the last day of the Liturgical week.
From Holy and Glorious Pascha to the Great Feast of Pentecost, Sunday is the first day of the Liturgical week.

Preparation
Mon.Tues.Wed.Thurs.Fri.Sat.Sunday
of
Holy Cross
     Saturday Before
7-13
Sept.
Sunday Before
7-13
Sept.
Preparation
Dedication of Basilica of Resurrection of Christ our God;
Holy Hieromartyr Cornelius Centurion
13 Sept.
Vespers
13 Sept.

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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
Web URL address: Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center or http://www.mliles.com/melkite/
E-mail: mliles@mliles.com or mliles@mliles.com

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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 22:28:40, CDT
The current date and time is: Friday, October 20, 2017, 03:52:33, CDT or Friday, October 20, 2017, 08:52:33, GMT