The Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated on the 14th of September, and is one of the 12 major feasts within the Church Calendar, and is the 2nd feast we celebrate in our new liturgical year.
The Exaltation, or Elevation of the Cross refers to the revelation and discovery of three crosses by St Helen in the year 326AD. St Helen was led to the true cross by finding a rare, beautiful and fragrant flower known as ‘Vasiliko’ (Basil), meaning the flower of royalty. The crosses laid underneath the flower, and was very important in the discovery of the true cross, thus basil within the Orthodox tradition, is tied to the Precious Cross of the King of Glory. The true cross revealed itself through life-giving miracles. A sick and dying woman was healed after kissing Christ’s cross, and life was given to a dead man once he was placed on it. Following this, the true cross was praised and the people chanted “Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy)”, a tradition we continue to practice today. This great feast is a representation of fasting and repentance, as we dedicate our faithfulness to Christ. We venerate His holy cross and its life giving abilities to the faithful. Note, that this day is also a strict fast.
Please join us tonight at 7pm for a vesperal divine liturgy to commemorate this great feast.