Come ye hither to the Cross

An icon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

An icon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

THIS is a day for feasting!

At the rising of Christ, death was seen in headlong flight; a ray of life dawned; Adam, raised up anew, is dancing for joy.

And so let us cry out, singing of victory.

This is a day for venerating the precious Cross!

Come hither to it, all of you; for it lieth before you now, gleaming with the rays of the rising of Christ.

Let us kiss it, as we rejoice in soul.

Great Cross of the Lord, appear!

Show me a divine vision of thy beauty: a worshipper worthy to praise thee now; for even as if thou wert a living thing, so do I speak and embrace thee.

Let heaven and earth give praise with one voice!

For the all-blessed Cross upon which Christ was sacrificed, nailed through the body, lies before us all.

Let us kiss it, as we rejoice in soul.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O TRINITY in distinctions, O One in outward form,* O Father, Son and Spirit, same in power; O Unity in counsel and will, and mighty sovereign: keep watch upon thy world, and direct her into the way of peace.

Both now and forever, and to the ages of ages.

Theotokion

NEVER having made trial of any man, O Virgin, without seed thou bringest forth an infant child, thou bearest a spotless nursling, Christ God, the maker of all things: implore him to grant peace upon the whole world.

This is my translation of the text at Analogion. Another translation can be found at Anastasis.

* The text speaks of three “characters” (χαρακτῆρες) and one “outward form” (μορφή). Fr Ephrem and Bp Kallistos both understandably go for three “persons” (which would be ὑποστάσεις) and one “essence” (οὐσία), the language of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea and our Creed.

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