Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission
Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of New England
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CHRIST THE SAVIOR Orthodox Mission

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15     TONE 4

With our Bishop’s permission, we celebrate today

Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross

Welcome.  Thank you for joining us in the Divine Liturgy.  Here are those portions of the liturgy that change from week to week. You are welcome to join with us in song and prayer.  Holy Communion is only given to Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting, and recent confession. All present are welcome to partake of the blessed bread offered by the priest at the end of the service. You are also invited to join us for an Agape luncheon after the liturgy.

 

The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord: The pagan Roman emperors tried to completely eradicate from human memory the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and was resurrected for mankind. The Emperor Hadrian (117-138) gave orders to cover over the ground of Golgotha and the Sepulchre of the Lord, and to build a temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter.

 

 

 

( at the Divine Liturgy)

The First Antiphon

God, my God, attend to me! Why hast Thou forsaken me? (Ps.21/22:1)

Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us!

Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

(Ps 21/22:1b)

Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us!

O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. (Ps 21/22:2)

Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us!

Thou dwellest in the sanctuary, the praise of Israel. (Ps 21/22:3))

Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us!

 

The Second Antiphon

O God, why dost Thou cast us off forever? (Ps 73/74:1)

Refrain:  O Son of God, crucified in the flesh, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast gotten of old! (Ps 73/74:2)

Refrain: O Son of God, crucified in the flesh, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Remember Mount Zion, where Thou hast dwelt! (Ps 73/74:2b)

Refrain:  O Son of God, crucified in the flesh, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

God is our King before the ages; He has worked salvation in the midst of the earth.  (Ps 73/74:12)

Refrain: O Son of God, crucified in the flesh, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

 

The Third Antiphon

The Lord reigns, let the people tremble! (Ps 98/99:1)

Tone 1Troparion of the Feast

O Lord, save Thy people

and bless Thine inheritance!

Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians

over their adversaries;

and by virtue of Thy Cross,//

preserve Thy habitation!

 

The Lord reigns, let the people tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! (Ps 98/99:1)

Troparion of the Feast

 

The Lord is great in Zion; He is exalted over all the people. (Ps 98/99:2)

 

Troparion of the Feast

Bow down in worship to the Lord in His holy court! (Ps 98/99:9)

Troparion of the Feast

Entrance Verse

Extol the Lord our God: worship at His footstool for He is holy!

(Ps 98/99:5)  

 

Tone 1Troparion

O Lord, save Thy people

and bless Thine inheritance!

Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians

over their adversaries;

and by virtue of Thy Cross,//

preserve Thy habitation!

 

Tone 4Kontakion

As Thou wast voluntarily raised upon the Cross for our sake,

grant mercy to those who are called by Thy Name, O Christ God;make all Orthodox Christians glad by thy pow’r,

granting them victories over their adversaries//

by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace!

 

(Instead of the Trisagion)

Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master,

and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify.

 

Tone 7Prokeimenon

Extol the Lord our God: worship at His footstool for He is holy! (Ps 98/99:5)  

v: The Lord reigns, let the people tremble! (Ps 98/99:1)

 

 

Epistle

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

[18] For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
[19] For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
[20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
[21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
[22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
[24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

 

Tone 1Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

v. Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast gotten of old! (Ps 73/74:2)  

v: God is our King before the ages; He has worked salvation in the midst of the earth.  (Ps 73/74:12) 

 

Gospel

John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35

[6] When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
[7] The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
[8] When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
[9] And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
[10] Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
[11] Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

[13] When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
[14] And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
[15] But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priest answered, We have no king but Caesar.
[16] Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
[17] And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
[18] Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
[19] And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
[20] This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin

[25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
[26] When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
[27] Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
[28] After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

[30] When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
[31] The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
[32] Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
[33] But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
[34] But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
[35] And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

 

(Instead of “It is truly meet …,” we sing:)

 

Tone 8

Magnify, O my soul, the most precious Cross of the Lord!

Thou art a mystical Paradise, O Theotokos,

who, though untilled, hast brought forth Christ;

through Him the life-bearing wood of the Cross was planted on earth.

Now at its Exaltation, as we bow in worship before it, we magnify thee.

 

Communion Hymn

The light of Thy countenance has been signed upon us, O Lord. (Ps4/5:6)

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Exaltation of the Cross (Cont’d)

Pagans gathered at this place and offered sacrifice to idols there. Eventually after 300 years, by Divine Providence, the great Christian sacred remains, the Sepulchre of the Lord and the Life-Creating Cross were again discovered and opened for veneration. This took place under the Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) after his victory in the year 312 over Maxentius, ruler of the Western part of the Roman empire, and over Licinius, ruler of its Eastern part. In the year 323 Constantine became the sole ruler of the vast Roman Empire.

In 313 he had issued the Edict of Milan, by which the Christian religion was legalized and the persecutions against Christians in the Western half of the empire were stopped. The ruler Licinius, although he had signed the Edict of Milan to oblige Constantine, still fanatically continued the persecutions against Christians. Only after his conclusive defeat did the 313 Edict of Milan extend also to the Eastern part of the empire. The Holy Equal of the Apostles Emperor Constantine, having gained victory over his enemies in three wars with God’s assistance, had seen in the heavens the Sign of the Cross, and written beneath: “By this you shall conquer.”

Ardently desiring to find the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Saint Constantine sent his mother, the pious Empress Helen (May 21), to Jerusalem, providing her with a letter to Saint Macarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Although the holy empress Helen was already in her declining years, she set about completing the task with enthusiasm. The empress gave orders to destroy the pagan temple and the statues in Jerusalem. Searching for the Life-Creating Cross, she made inquiry of Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful.

Finally, they directed her to a certain elderly Hebrew by the name of Jude who stated that the Cross was buried where the temple of Venus stood. They demolished the pagan temple and, after praying, they began to excavate the ground. Soon the Tomb of the Lord was uncovered. Not far from it were three crosses, a board with the inscription ordered by Pilate, and four nails which had pierced the Lord’s Body (March 6).

In order to discern on which of the three crosses the Savior was crucified, Patriarch Macarius alternately touched the crosses to a corpse. When the Cross of the Lord touched the dead one, he came to life. Having beheld the raising of the dead man, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross was found.

Christians came in a huge throng to venerate the Holy Cross, beseeching Saint Macarius to elevate the Cross, so that even those far off might reverently contemplate it. Then the Patriarch and other spiritual leaders raised up the Holy Cross, and the people, saying “Lord have mercy,” reverently prostrated before the Venerable Wood. This solemn event occurred in the year 326.

During the discovery of the Life-Creating Cross another miracle took place: a grievously sick woman, beneath the shadow of the Holy Cross, was healed instantly. The elder Jude and other Jews there believed in Christ and accepted Holy Baptism. Jude received the name Cyriacus and afterwards was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem. During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363) he accepted a martyr’s death for Christ (see October 28).

The holy empress Helen journeyed to the holy places connected with the earthly life of the Savior, building more than 80 churches, at Bethlehem the birthplace of Christ, and on the Mount of Olives where the Lord ascended to Heaven, and at Gethsemane where the Savior prayed before His sufferings and where the Mother of God was buried after her death.

Saint Helen took part of the Life-Creating Wood and nails with her to Constantinople. The holy emperor Constantine gave orders to build at Jerusalem a majestic and spacious church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, also including under its roof the Life-Giving Tomb of the Lord and Golgotha. The temple was constructed in about ten years. Saint Helen did not survive until the dedication of the temple, she died in the year 327. The church was consecrated on September 13, 335. On the following day, September 14, the festal celebration of the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross was established.

Another event connected to the Cross of the Lord is remembered also on this day: its return to Jerusalem from Persia after a fourteen year captivity. During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Phocas(602-610) the Persian emperor Khozroes II in a war against the Greeks defeated the Greek army, plundered Jerusalem and captured both the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord and the Holy Patriarch Zachariah (609-633).

The Cross remained in Persia for fourteen years and only under the emperor Heraclius (610-641), who with the help of God defeated Khozroes and concluded peace with his successor and son Syroes, was the Cross of the Lord returned to the Christians.

With great solemnity the Life-creating Cross was transferred to Jerusalem. Emperor Heraclius in imperial crown and royal purple carried the Cross of Christ into the temple of the Resurrection. With the emperor went Patriarch Zacharios. At the gates by which they ascended Golgotha, the emperor suddenly stopped and was not able to proceed farther. The holy Patriarch explained to the emperor that an angel of the Lord was blocking his way. The emperor was told to remove his royal trappings and to walk barefoot, since He Who bore the Cross for the salvation of the world from sin had made His way to Golgotha in all humility. Then Heraclius donned plain garb, and without further hindrance, carried the Cross of Christ into the church.

In a sermon on the Exaltation of the Cross, Saint Andrew of Crete (July 4) says: “The Cross is exalted, and everything true gathers together, the Cross is exalted, and the city makes solemn, and the people celebrate the feast”.

 

Announcements

Vivienne Boucher will be baptised today before liturgy. God grant her many years!
Father Seraphim and Matushka Faith will be out of town next Sunday, September 22. Please help us welcome Father Mark Sherman
The Book Group will meet Sunday October 6 after liturgy to discuss His Life is Mine. Please see Lisa to join the email list for more information.
The Parish Council will meet Sunday October 13. We will discuss the Parish Bylaws.
This week we commemorate the Martyr Sophia and her daughters Faith, Hope, and Love, patron saint of our Matushka Faith. God grant her many years!

 

Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission

Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of New England

425 South Main Street, Brewer, ME 04412

(With the blessing of our hiararchs, we meet at St. Teresa's Catholic Church.)

Services

Sundays:  9:40 am - in Brewer, Divine Liturgy (with 3rd and 6th hours) Every liturgy includes a festal meal served after the liturgy.  All are welcome.  (In our parish the meal is pot luck.)
Wednesdays: 6:00 pm - Brewer Chapel, Vespers with the 9th hour read before. Followed by a Bible study and meal.

 

Christ the Savior Contact information:

Confessions are always available before Divine Liturgy during Hours every Sunday or after any Vespers service.
For Hospital visits, Pastoral visits, Bible Studies, or Evangelistic Outreach needs, please call or email Fr Scott Ceraphim at 207-478-3088, scottcmitchell@yahoo.com
For any Church-related administrative needs, please call or email Sr. Warden Chris Maas at 924-4553, chris.maas@roadrunner.com
For announcements and prayer requests contact Carolyn at 978-314-1365, carolynstripling@gmail.com/
 

 

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