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General Menaion or the Book of Services Common to the Festivals of our Lord Jesus of the Holy Virgin and of Different Orders of Saints
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CHAPTER III.

THE GENERAL SERVICE TO THE VENERATED AND VIVIFYING CROSS.

For, "O Lord, I have cried," the Stichera, Tone 7. Similar to Called from above...

To-day rejoiceth the divine multitude of the faithful; for unto the ends of the world there appeareth the cross, illumineth the firmament with light unapproachable, brighteneth the air and adorneth the face of the earth. The church of Christ hymneth with songs divine and in venerating serveth the divine and most wonderful cross which from above doth preserve her; by its power strengthened, let us approach the Master calling out and saying: pacify the world and enlighten our souls.

Let the creation rejoice and dance; for the cross to-day from heaven shineth forth in the ends of the world, enlightening the earthly and shewing united those that are scattered; to-day men exult together with the choirs of angels, for the cross having destroyed the forbidding call of separation, hath now joined all openly into one. Wherefore shining brighter than the sun it enlighteneth with grace the whole creation, and maketh clear and saveth those that faithfully honour it.

Shining brighter than the sun and shewing itself unto the world as the revered sceptre of Christ, the King, and as His end is the divine cross. It shineth clearly forth unto the ends of the world. It hath brought out of the hades the race of man and having greatly despoiled the hades and overturned the enemy did utterly destroy the arrogance of the demons. And now doth it declare the resurrection of the Saviour and saveth those that call: pacify the world and enlighten our souls.

Glory ...Both now... Tone 8.

That which Moses of old did prefigure, whilst vanquishing Amalek and obtaining victory over him, and that which David the Psalmist, calling it as Thy footstool, enjoined to adore, -- Thy venerable cross, O Christ the God, we sinners do this day adore, and with our unworthy lips extolling Thee Who hast deigned to be crucified thereon, we entreat: O Lord, with the malefactor of Thy kingdom do make us worthy.

The Entrance. The Prokeimenon of the day.

The Reading from the Book of Exodus (15, 22-27; 16, 1).

Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out, into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying: What shall we drink ? And he cried unto the Lord, and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet; there He laid for them statutes and ordinances, and there He proved them, and said: If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and three score and ten palm trees; and they encamped there by the waters. And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai.

The Reading from the Book of Proverbs (3, 11-18).

My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction; for whom the Lord loveth He correcteth,-- even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than costly stones: no evil can withstand her, she is well known to those who approach her, and everything that is honoured cannot be compared unto her. Length of days, and years of life are in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Out of her mouth truth proceedeth, and law and mercy she carrieth on her tongue. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her and unto those that trust in her as in the Lord, she is steadfast.

The Reading from the Book of Isaiah (60, 11-16).

Thus saith the Lord: thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night, that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish, yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary, and I will make the place of My feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet, and they shall call thee, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal magnificence, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shaft consume the riches of kings; and thou shaft know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.

For Versicles, the Stichera, Tone 2. Similar to: O house of Ophrah...

With the deified water and Thy blood, O Word, is the church -brightly ornamented as a bride, praising the glory of the cross.

The Versicle: Exalt ye the Lord our God and bow down before His footstool, for it is holy.

Let us bow down whilst exalting the spear with the cross, the nails and other things with which the life-bearing body of Christ was affixed. The Versicle : And God our King before the ages hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.

When Moses was vanquishing Amalek and holding his hands in the air, he did prefigure in the form of the cross the most pure passion of Christ. [Glory ...Both now...

Prefiguring Thy cross, O Christ, Jacob, the patriarch, whilst blessing his grand children laid his hands upon their heads in the form of the cross, which to-day exalting we cry out, O Saviour: Grant victories unto the Christ-loving Emperor as Thou didst grant the overcoming unto Constantine. Now Thou lettest...The Trisagion. And after Our Father ... the Troparion: O Lord, save Thy people. And the Dismission.

At the Matins, for God is the Lord, the same Troparion thrice.

After the 1st Stichologia, the Cathisma, Tone 6 :

No sooner was the tree of Thy cross, O Christ, fixed, the very foundations of death, O Lord, were shaken; for Him Whom the hades so greedily engulfed it had with dread to disgorge. Thou, O Holy One, hast declared unto us Thy salvation and we glorify Thee, O Son of God; have mercy upon us.

Glory ...Both now ...the same.

After the 2nd Stichologia; the Cathisma, Tone: 6:

To-day is fulfilled the prophetic saying, for we bow down upon the spot on which stood Thy feet, O Lord, and having received the tree of salvation, we obtained the freedom of sinful passion, through the supplications of the Theotokos, O Only Lover of men. [Glory ...Both now...the same.

After Praise ye the name of the Lord, the Refrain :

We magnify Thee, O Life-giver, Christ, and we venerate Thy holy cross with which Thou hast delivered us from the thraldom of the enemy. [The selected Psalm :

Judge, O Lord, those who offend me, vanquish those who fight against me...

After the Polyeleon the Cathisma, Tone 8. Similar to :

That which was secretly ordained...

In paradise a tree hath once made me naked, the enemy through eating bringing about death, and when the tree of the cross, bringing the vestment of life unto men, hath been fixed on earth, the whole world was filled with every manner of joy. This seeing lifted up, let us, O people, with one voice and one faith cry out unto God: Filled is Thy house with glory. Glory...Both now...the same.

The Graduals, the 1st Antiphon of the 4th Tone.

The Prokeimenon, Tone 4

All the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God. The Verse: Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let every breath... The Gospel St. John 12, 28-36.

After the 50th Psalm the Sticheron, Tone 6

O cross of Christ -- the hope of Christians, the instructor of the straying, the haven of the assaulted, the victory in wars, the stablishment of the universe, of the infirm the healer, the resurrection of the dead, have mercy upon us.

The Canon of the venerated and life-giving Cross -- the work of Gregory the Sinaiate. The Heirmoi -- twice each, and the Troparia 12 times in all. Tone 4 : Ode 1. The Heirmos : I will open my mouth...

O cross all-powerful ! Thou art the boast of the apostles, the stablishing of the ascetics and the sign of the faithful, the glory of both the hierarchs and of the martyrs, the victory and stablishing of all those that praise thee.

O cross most venerated ! Thou hast proved to be four-ended power, the adornment of the apostles and of martyrs the strength, the health of the infirm, of the dead the resurrection and of the falling the raising.

O cross ! Be unto me the might, the strength and the power, the deliverer and foremost defender against my assailants, the shield and protector, my victory and stablishing, ever preserving and sheltering me. [The Theotokion :

When thou, O all-spotless one, saw on the cross thy Son, a painful weapon did lacerate thy breast, thou hast given way toexclamations, lamenting in thy pain, but soon didst thou glorify the might of the cross. The Catabasia : Having delineated the cross, Moses...

Ode 3. The Heirmos: Thy hymnologists, O Theotokos...

O cross most venerated ! Thou art the weapon of the ascetics -- the two-edged sword of Christ, the adornment of the faithful, of ailing the cure and protection and raising of the dead.

O cross! Thou hast proved to be the foundation of piety, the destroyer of demons, the ornament of churches, the ruin of the wicked and humiliation of the enemies in the day of judgment.

O cross the life-bearing ! Be unto me the strength and victory, the shield and wall unassailable, the driving away of demons and the extinguishing of bad thoughts and preservation unto my mind. [The Theotokion.

The crucifixion most humiliating did thy Son, O Virgin Sovereign-Lady, suffer as well as the death most unsuitable; but exalted hath He become and hath overturned the antagonistic forces of the enemy, as Immortal One. The Catabasia : A staff as type of mystery...

The Cathisma, Tone 8. Similar to: That which was secretly

ordained...

The form of the cross did of old mysteriously typify Joshua the son of Nun, when he cruciformly spread his arms, O my Saviour, and the sun stood until the enemies that fought against Thee, O God, were overpowered; and now seeing Thee on the cross the sun set, and having destroyed the power of death, Thou hast raised with Thyself the whole world. Glory ...Both now... the same.

Ode 4. The Heirmos: He that sitteth in glory on the throne

of the Godhead...

The world being four-ended, thou, O cross, art represented by us, and as a three-edged sword dost thou cut off the principles of darkness, being the great weapon of Christ and an invincible and all-powerful victoriousness.

Thy height, O life-bearing cross, striketh the prince of the air, and thy depth slayeth the serpent of the whole abyss, and thy width doth again appear in putting down the prince of the world by thy might.

Being raised, thou hast attracted the fallen together with thee, thou hast exalted the earthly nature and art praised equally with the throne of God; O cross -- the great height, bridge for the world, do speedily bring up my soul from the depth of passions. [The Theotokion :

Having cruciformly stretched out thy hands, O most pure Maiden-Theotokos, unto Him Who was lifted on the cross, do now, O Virgin, bring also thine entreaties for all those that in faith pray unto thee. The Catabasia : Having heard, O Lord, the mystery of Thine oeconomy.

Ode 5. The Heirmos: Amazed were all things at thy

divine glory...

O cross! Thou art the heavenly ladder of the sanctuary, the indicator of steps, the height and glory of Christ, the image of God equally significative unto the world both visible and invisible.

O cross! A form indescribable in power, sanctification of waters, purification of the air, consecration and enlightenment ; thou hast appeared as a sign of every valour and as Christ's immutable sceptre that hurleth to the ground every adversary.

O cross all-powerful! Do put down the wicked enemies that foolishly hate and denounce thee; set fire to the heathen and extinguish their rage. O cross, all-holy and Christ-bearing, preserve us by thy might.

The Theotokion : O Queen of all, Sovereign-Lady, by the sceptre of thine Offspring, do, O Virgin, destroy the revolt of those who denounce the might of the cross, do grant strength and cleansing, victory and help unto our Faithful Emperor. The Catabasia : O most highly praised tree...

Ode 6. The Heirmos : Celebrating this divine and most

honourable feast...

Cross is the resurrection of all, cross is the raising of the fallen, the mortification of passions and subjugation of the body, cross is the glory of souls and light eternal.

Cross is the destroyer of enemies, cross is the overthrow andcaptivation of the wicked and of the faithful the might, the preserver of the pious, and the driver away of the demons.

Cross is the destruction of passions, cross is the driving away of bad thoughts, cross is the ruin of the crafty heathen and hath proved to be the captor of spirits.

No sooner the cross is lifted, the orders of the spirits of the air fall, and when the cross descendeth, all the impious fear, seeing as lightning the power of the cross.

The Catabasia: The sea monster... The Contakion, Tone 4.

Similar to :

Thou that wast of Thine own will lifted up on the cross, do grant Thy bounties, O Christ the God, to Thy new community named after Thee; make glad in Thy power our Faithful Emperor (mentioned by name), conferring victories over his enemies upon him who hath Thine assistance, the armoury of peace -- an unconquerable trophy. [The Oikos :

He that was caught up to the third heaven into paradise and heard unspeakable and godly words which may not be uttered by (human) tongues -- what doth he write unto the Galatians which the zealots of scriptures read and understood ? As to me, saith he, God forbid, that I should glory, save in the cross alone of Christ, Who hath suffered thereon and hath slain the passions; that cross of the Lord we all therefore also hold in glory, for this tree of salvation is unto us the armoury of peace, an unconquerable trophy.

Ode 7. The Heirmos : The godly-minded ones worshipped

not the creature...

The Undivided and Unmixed Trinity let us theologize as One in nature -- the Father Unbegotten and the Begotten Son and the Holy Proceeding Spirit of God, singing in hymns: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers.

With the never-setting lightnings of Thine, O Three-hypostatic One, do enlighten our mental eyes that we may see Thy transcendent beauty, O Triluminar One, which is incomprehensible unto men and to angels inaccessible.

With the rays of Thy light, O gracious God, most-hymned and all-powerful, do Thou raise up from the depth my fallensoul that was ensnared away from the light of grace and precipitated into the darkness. [The Theotokion :

Crosswise stretching thine arms, O pure one, unto Him Who had stretched His arms on the tree of the cross and exalted our nature as well as slain the armies of the enemies, cease not in thy supplications. The Catabasia: The senseless order of the tyrant...

Ode 8. The Heirmos : The pious youth in the furnace...

The height of Christ's passion, the bow and arrow and a sword -- an unassailable weapon and unconquerable power, Christ's footstool and victory over the enemies, symbol of reign and sceptre of the faithful -- hast thou proved to be, O victorious cross.

Thou hast raised up our fallen nature, having restored us together with and through Christ crucified, O height divine and depth unspeakable ! Thou art the symbol of Christ, O most precious cross, and the breadth without measure as well as the symbol of the Incomprehensible Trinity, O life-bearer.

Embracing the cross of the Lord with our lips, souls and hearts, let us all come now together, exalt and magnify it, and adoring it let us sing together the purest hymn, exclaiming: Hail thou, O cross, that art the greatest riches, the adornment of the church.

It is the tree of life and of salvation, the tree of immortality, the tree of knowledge, the tree thrice-beloved, incorruptible and inexhaustible -- that cross tripartite, the honoured tree, for it bears the image of the three-hypostatical Trinity.

The Catabasia : Bless ye, O youths...

Ode 9. The Heirmos : Let every earth born one leap

in spirit...

Who will be able in writing to proclaim thy works, O cross dear to the world, thy powers and wonders -- the raising of the dead? Howbeit the whole world hath exalted together with Himself He, the greatly desired One, Who hath ascended unto God.

Stablishing of the faithful is the thrice-blessed cross, their sign and glory, the tree all-powerful ; the cross of Christ is great and perfect, it is the glory of the apostles, stablishment of the ascetics and of martyrs the strength and might, of kings the victory and glory.

Hail thou, O cross, the image uncircumscribed and most eminent, the thrice-rich tree both fearful and all-blessed; hail thou, O all-holy and all-powerful cross; hail, the preserver of our lives -- thou, O all-hymned cross of the Lord.

O honoured cross! Be unto me the preserver of my soul and body, with thy form putting down demons, driving away mine enemies, destroying passions and granting me blessing, life and strength by the co-operation of the Holy Ghost and through the honoured entreaties of the all-pure one.

The Catabasia : Mysterious paradise art thou,

O Theotokos.. The Photagogicon :

The cross is the preserver of the universe; the cross is the adornment of the Church; the cross is the might of kings; the cross is the stablishment of the faithful; the cross is the glory of angels and the sore of demons. Thrice.

With the Lauds the Stichera, Tone 1. Similar to :

Of the heavenly orders the joy...

The way to heaven the venerable cross prepareth unto all that adore it, in undoubted faith; and unto the choirs of the bodiless powers coupleth those that lovingly hymn it, He Who was nailed thereon.

Adoring in faith the venerable cross, let us hymn the Lord crucified thereon; purifying both our lips and souls at the bidding of that one, we shall become enlightened with the spiritual brightness of This one, in praising Him.

Sweetening the bitterness, Moses hath of old saved Israel by making the form of the cross, and we all the faithful, mystically and divinely impressing it in our hearts, are always saved by its power. [Glory...Both now....Tone 4:

Having helped meek David to subdue the stranger, do Thou, O Lord, succour our faithful Emperor (mentioned by name) and with the arm of the cross put down our enemies; make shine upon us, O Bounteous, Thy mercies of old, that they may trulyunderstand that Thou art God, and that trusting in Thee we may obtain victories, whilst we customarily pray unto Thy most pure Mother that great mercy may be granted unto us.

The great Doxology ...And the Dismission. At the Liturgy

for the Beatitudes Ode 3 and 6 of the Canon.

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