Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A blessed Holy Cross Day

The Crucifixion at Assisi by Giotto.

From the Preface of the Cross:
". . . on the wood of the Cross, thou gavest salvation unto mankind; that so, whence death arose, life might also rise again: and the foe, who had conquered by a tree, by this Tree might be overcome, through Jesus Christ our Lord . . ."

From Wikipedia:
The True Cross is said to have been discovered in 326 by the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine I, Helena of Constantinople, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, with a portion of the cross placed inside it. In 614, that portion of the cross was carried away from the church by the Persians, and remained missing until it was recaptured by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in 628. Initially taken to Constantinople, the cross was returned to the church the following year.

The date of the feast marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335. This was a two-day festival: although the actual consecration of the church was on September 13, the cross itself was brought outside the church on September 14 so that the clergy and faithful could pray before the True Cross, and all could come forward to venerate it.

Collect of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:
O God, who makest us glad this day by the yearly solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Grant, we beseech thee, that we who on earth have learned the mystery of our redemption, may be found worthy of its rewards in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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