Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
Prayer of Saint Ephrem
The Prayer of Saint Ephrem, is a prayer attributed to Saint Ephrem the Syrian and used during the Great Lent by the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. In the Byzantine tradition, this prayer is considered to be the most succinct summation of the spirit of Great Lent and is hence the Lenten prayer par excellence, prayed during all Lenten weekday services. There are two versions of the prayer in use, reflecting liturgical Greek and Slavonic uses. Modern translations have been produced from both Greek and Slavonic, but some attempt to combine the two. Κύριε καὶ Δέσποτα τῆς ζωῆς μου, πνεῦμα ἀργίας, περιεργίας, φιλαρχίας, καὶ ἀργολογίας μή μοι δῷς. Πνεῦμα δὲ σωφροσύνης, ταπεινοφροσύνης, ὑπομονῆς, καὶ ἀγάπης χάρισαί μοι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ. Ναί, Κύριε Βασιλεῦ, δώρησαι μοι τοῦ ὁρᾶν τὰ ἐμὰ πταίσματα, καὶ μὴ κατακρίνειν τὸν ἀδελφόν μου, ὅτι εὐλογητὸς εἶ, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν. Kýrie kaí Déspota tís zoís pnevma argías, periergías, filarchías, kaí argologías mí moi dós. Pnevma dé sofrosýnis, tapeinofrosýnis, ypomonís, kaí agápis chárisaí moi tó só doúlo.
Naí, Kýrie Vasilef, dórisai moi toú orán tá emá ptaísmata, kaí mí katakrínein tón adelfón mou, óti evlogitós eí, eis toús aiónas tón aiónon. Amín. In English, this may be translated: O Lord and Master of my life, grant me not a spirit of sloth, love of power, idle talk, but give to me, your servant, a spirit of sober-mindedness, humility and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, since you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen; this Greek version is the form of the prayer found in the current liturgical books of the Greek Orthodox Church and all those churches that utilise Greek or Arabic in their services. Early Greek manuscripts preserve several variant texts, including the reading φιλαργυρίας in place of φιλαρχίας, taken up in the first Slavonic translations, it is difficult to know which form is more ancient, since both vices are serious afflictions for both monastic and lay Christians. It should be noted that the Greek word σωφροσύνης in the second line is translated in English as'chastity.'
However, this is a problematic archaism, since, in modern English,'chastity' refers exclusively to sexual continence. The Greek word is much broader in meaning and carries the sense of soundness of mind and prudence. Therefore, the prayer asks in the second line for a restoration to Christian wholeness and integrity, foreshadowing the petition of the third line that the supplicant might have the temptation to judge others removed from them, it is possible that the choice to translate σωφροσύνης as'chastity' reflects both the affection for the Cranmerian prose of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer present in some anglophone Orthodox and the presupposition that a concern for sexual purity is predominant in the Orthodox tradition. Sometimes the phrase "idle talk" is substituted by the Latinate word vaniloquence, which carries about the same meaning. In the earliest Church Slavonic translations, the prayer was rendered: Господи и владико животѹ моемѹ, духъ оунынїѧ, небрежεнїѧ, срεбролюбїѧ и празднословїѧ ѿжεни ѿ мεнε.
Духъ же цѣломѹдрїѧ, смиренїѧ, терпѣнїѧ и любве дарѹй ми рабѹ твоемѹ. Ей Господи Царю, даждь ми зрѣти моѧ согрѣшенїѧ, и еже не ωсуждати брата моегω, якω благословенъ еси во вѣки. Аминь. In English, this is: O Lord and Master of my life, take from me a spirit of despondency, love of money, idle talk, but give to me, your servant, a spirit of sober-mindedness, humility and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, since you are blessed to the ages. Amen. There are two main differences in the first line between the Greek text given above and the Slavonic text given here. First, the Greek reads "μή μοι δῷς," meaning "grant me not," whereas the Slavonic has "ωтжεни ѿ мεнε," meaning "take from me." The Greek text unambiguously implies that God is the one who grants every character of spirit or breath, the supplicant therefore requests that God give a spirit characterized not by vice but by virtue. The supplicant asks God to lighten their burden; the Slavonic text, could be read as asking God to replace one kind of spirit or breath with another, with the implication that the first kind of spirit does not come from God to begin with.
This could lead to a dualist reading of the prayer, opposing the unvirtuous'spirit of man' to the virtuous'spirit of God.' The Greek text seems better to reflect the monastic tradition, as expressed by writers such as the fifth-century Abba Isaiah of Sketis in his Ascetic Discourses, that all passions are divine gifts with a sacred purpose. The second main difference is that, where the Greek has περιεργίας, the Slavonic has небрежεнїѧ meaning'negligence,"indifference,' or'despondency,' which would be ἀκηδία in Greek—the classic monastic sin. A third minor difference is the transposition of terms in the first line. Whereas the Greek reads "ἀργίας, περιεργίας", the Slavonic reads "оунынїѧ, небрежεнїѧ". Despondency remained at the head of the list of vices until the order was conformed to the Greek text during Nikon's reforms, it seems that the differences between the Greek and Slavonic texts reflect the fact that the Slavonic text was prepared from a different Greek text tha
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover, it is known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday. Members of many Christian denominations, including the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services; the date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U. S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day. A common folk etymology claims "Good Friday" is a corruption of "God Friday".
The term in fact comes from the sense "holy" of the word good. The Oxford English Dictionary gives other examples with the sense "of a day or season observed as holy by the church" as an archaic sense of good as in good tide meaning "Christmas" or "Shrove Tuesday", Good Wednesday meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week. In German-speaking countries, Good Friday is referred to as Karfreitag: Mourning Friday; the Kar prefix is a cognate of the English word "care" in the sense of woes. The day is known as Stiller Freitag and Hoher Freitag. In the Nordic countries it is called "The Long Friday". In Greek and Hungarian, Good Friday is referred to as Great Friday. In Bulgarian, Good Friday is called either Велики петък - Great Friday, or, more Разпети петък which translates to "Crucified Friday". According to the accounts in the Gospels, the royal soldiers, guided by Jesus' disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas received money for betraying Jesus and told the guards that whomever he kisses is the one they are to arrest.
Following his arrest, Jesus was taken to the house of Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas. There he was interrogated with little result and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest where the Sanhedrin had assembled. Conflicting testimony against Jesus was brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answered nothing; the high priest adjured Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying "I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?" Jesus testified ambiguously, "You have said it, in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven." The high priest condemned Jesus for blasphemy, the Sanhedrin concurred with a sentence of death. Peter, waiting in the courtyard denied Jesus three times to bystanders while the interrogations were proceeding just as Jesus had predicted. In the morning, the whole assembly brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, making himself a king.
Pilate authorized the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own law and execute sentencing. Pilate told the assembly that there was no basis for sentencing. Upon learning that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate referred the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Herod received no answer. Pilate told the assembly. Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asked for Barabbas, imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection. Pilate asked what they would have him do with Jesus, they demanded, "Crucify him". Pilate's wife had seen Jesus in a dream earlier that day, she forewarned Pilate to "have nothing to do with this righteous man". Pilate had Jesus flogged and brought him out to the crowd to release him; the chief priests informed Pilate of a new charge, demanding Jesus be sentenced to death "because he claimed to be God's son." This possibility filled Pilate with fear, he brought Jesus back inside the palace and demanded to know from where he came.
Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his own hands in water to show he had no part in this condemnation. Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot and to keep his job; the sentence written was "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Jesus carried his cross to the site of execution, called the "place of the Skull", or "Golgotha" in Hebrew and in Latin "Calvary". There he was crucified along with two criminals. Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. During his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3 pm, darkness fell over the whole land. Jesus spoke from the cross, quoting the messianic Psalm 22: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" With a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit. There was an earthquake
An antiphon is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms, their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion, they may be used in the Liturgy of the Hours for Lauds or Vespers. They should not be confused with processional antiphons; when a chant consists of alternating verses and responds, a refrain is needed. The looser term antiphony is used for any call and response style of singing, such as the kirtan or the sea shanty and other work songs, songs and worship in African and African-American culture. Antiphonal music is that performed by two choirs in interaction singing alternate musical phrases. Antiphonal psalmody is the singing or musical playing of psalms by alternating groups of performers; the term “antiphony” can refer to a choir-book containing antiphons. The'mirror' structure of Hebrew psalms renders it probable that the antiphonal method was present in the services of the ancient Israelites.
According to historian Socrates of Constantinople, antiphony was introduced into Christian worship by Ignatius of Antioch, who saw a vision of two choirs of angels. Antiphons have remained an integral part of the worship in the Armenian Rite; the practice did not become part of the Latin Church until more than two centuries later. Ambrose and Gregory the Great, who are known for their contributions to the formulation of Gregorian chant, are credited with'antiphonaries', collections of works suitable for antiphon, which are still used in the Roman Catholic Church today. Polyphonic Marian antiphons emerged in England in the 14th century as settings of texts honouring the Virgin Mary, which were sung separately from the mass and office after Compline. Towards the end of the 15th century, English composers produced expanded settings up to nine parts, with increasing complexity and vocal range; the largest collection of such antiphons is the late-15th-century Eton Choirbook. As a result, antiphony remains common in the Anglican musical tradition: the singers face each other, placed in the quire's Decani and Cantoris.
The Greater Advent or O Antiphons are antiphons used at daily prayer in the evenings of the last days of Advent in various liturgical Christian traditions. Each antiphon is a name of one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. In the Roman Catholic tradition, they are sung or recited at Vespers from December 17 to December 23. In the Church of England they have traditionally been used as antiphons to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer. More they have found a place in primary liturgical documents throughout the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England's Common Worship liturgy. Use of the O Antiphons was preserved in Lutheranism at the German Reformation, they continue to be sung in Lutheran churches; when two or more groups of singers sing in alternation, the style of music can be called polychoral. This term is applied to music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. Polychoral techniques are a definitive characteristic of the music of the Venetian school, exemplified by the works of Giovanni Gabrieli: this music is known as the Venetian polychoral style.
The Venetian polychoral style was an important innovation of the late Renaissance. This style, with its variations as it spread across Europe after 1600, helped to define the beginning of the Baroque era. Polychoral music was not limited to Italy in the Renaissance. There are examples from the 19th and 20th centuries, from composers as diverse as Hector Berlioz, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Marian antiphon Polyphony Polyphonic form Polyphonic singing Polychoral compositions Latin church music by George Frideric Handel — includes three antiphons. Antiphon "O Sapientia quae ex ore Altissimi..." Antiphon O Adonai II Great Advent Antiphon File:Schola Gregoriana-Antiphona et Magnificat.ogg
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by other Christian churches related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome; the work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, Holy Communion and the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Marriage, "prayers to be said with the sick", a funeral service, it set out in full the "propers": the introits and epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday service of Holy Communion. Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms; the 1549 book was soon succeeded by a more reformed revision in 1552 under the same editorial hand, that of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.
It was used only for a few months, as after Edward VI's death in 1553, his half-sister Mary I restored Roman Catholic worship. Mary died in 1558 and, in 1559, Elizabeth I reintroduced the 1552 book with modifications to make it acceptable to more traditionally-minded worshippers and clergy. In 1604, James I ordered some further changes, the most significant being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments. Following the tumultuous events surrounding the English Civil War, when the Book was again abolished, another modest revision was published in 1662; that edition remains the official prayer book of the Church of England, although through the twentieth century alternative forms which were technically supplements displaced the Book of Common Prayer for the main Sunday worship of most English parish churches. A Book of Common Prayer with local variations is used in churches around, or deriving from, the Anglican Communion in over 50 different countries and in over 150 different languages.
In some parts of the world, the 1662 Book remains technically authoritative but other books or patterns have replaced it in regular worship. Traditional English Lutheran and Presbyterian prayer books have borrowed from the Book of Common Prayer and the marriage and burial rites have found their way into those of other denominations and into the English language. Like the King James Version of the Bible and the works of Shakespeare, many words and phrases from the Book of Common Prayer have entered common parlance; the full name of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the Church of England, Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be Sung or said in churches: And the Form and Manner of Making and Consecrating of Bishops and Deacons. The forms of parish worship in the late medieval church in England, which followed the Latin Roman Rite, varied according to local practice.
By far the most common form, or "use", found. There was no single book; the chant for worship was contained in the Roman Gradual for the Mass and in the Antiphoner for the offices. The Book of Common Prayer has never contained prescribed chant; the work of producing a liturgy in the English language books was done by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, starting cautiously in the reign of Henry VIII, more radically under his son Edward VI. In his early days Cranmer was somewhat conservative: an admirer, of John Fisher, it may have been his visit to Germany in 1532. In 1538, as Henry began diplomatic negotiations with Lutheran princes, Cranmer came face to face with a Lutheran embassy; the Exhortation and Litany, the earliest English-language service of the Church of England, was the first overt manifestation of his changing views. It was no mere translation from the Latin: its Protestant character is made clear by the drastic reduction of the place of saints, compressing what had been the major part into three petitions.
Published in 1544, it borrowed from Martin Luther's Litany and Myles Coverdale's New Testament and was the only service that might be considered to be "Protestant" to be finished within the lifetime of King Henry VIII. It was only on Henry's death in 1547 and the accession of Edward VI that revision could proceed faster. Cranmer finished his work on an English Communion rite in 1548, obeying an order of Convocation of the previous year that communion was to be given to the people as both bread and wine; the ordinary Roman Rite of the Mass had made no provision for any congregation present to receive communion in both species. So, Cranmer composed in English an additional rite of congregational preparation and communion, to be undertaken
A hymn is a type of song religious written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος, which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist; the singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may not include instrumental accompaniment. Although most familiar to speakers of English in the context of Christianity, hymns are a fixture of other world religions on the Indian subcontinent. Hymns survive from antiquity from Egyptian and Greek cultures; some of the oldest surviving examples of notated music are hymns with Greek texts. Ancient hymns include the Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten; the Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, praising deities of the ancient Greek religions.
Surviving from the 3rd century BC is a collection of six literary hymns by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus. Patristic writers began applying the term ὕμνος, or hymnus in Latin, to Christian songs of praise, used the word as a synonym for "psalm". Modeled on the Book of Psalms and other poetic passages in the Scriptures, Christian hymns are directed as praise to the Christian God. Many refer to Jesus Christ either indirectly. Since the earliest times, Christians have sung "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs", both in private devotions and in corporate worship. Non-scriptural hymns from the Early Church still sung today include'Phos Hilaron','Sub tuum praesidium', and'Te Deum'. One definition of a hymn is "...a lyric poem and devotionally conceived, designed to be sung and which expresses the worshipper's attitude toward God or God's purposes in human life. It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional and literary in style, spiritual in quality, in its ideas so direct and so apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it."Christian hymns are written with special or seasonal themes and these are used on holy days such as Christmas and the Feast of All Saints, or during particular seasons such as Advent and Lent.
Others are used to encourage reverence for the Bible or to celebrate Christian practices such as the eucharist or baptism. Some hymns praise or address individual saints the Blessed Virgin Mary. A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist, the practice of singing hymns is called hymnody. A collection of hymns is called a hymnary; these may not include music. A student of hymnody is called a hymnologist, the scholarly study of hymns and hymnody is hymnology; the music to which a hymn may be sung is a hymn tune. In many Evangelical churches, traditional songs are classified as hymns while more contemporary worship songs are not considered hymns; the reason for this distinction is unclear, but according to some it is due to the radical shift of style and devotional thinking that began with the Jesus movement and Jesus music. Of note, in recent years, Christian traditional hymns have seen a revival in some churches more Reformed or Calvinistic in nature, as modern hymn writers such as Keith and Kristyn Getty and Sovereign Grace Music have reset old lyrics to new melodies, revised old hymns and republished them, or written a song in accordance with Christian hymn standards such as the hymn, In Christ Alone.
In ancient and medieval times, string instruments such as the harp and lute were used with psalms and hymns. Since there is a lack of musical notation in early writings, the actual musical forms in the early church can only be surmised. During the Middle Ages a rich hymnody developed in the form of Gregorian plainsong; this type was sung in unison, in one of eight church modes, most by monastic choirs. While they were written in Latin, many have been translated. Hymnody in the Western church introduced four-part vocal harmony as the norm, adopting major and minor keys, came to be led by organ and choir, it shares many elements with classical music. Today, except for choirs, more musically inclined congregations and a cappella congregations, hymns are sung in unison. In some cases complementary full settings for organ are published, in others organists and other accompanists are expected to transcribe the four-part vocal score for their instrument of choice. To illustrate Protestant usage, in the traditional services and liturgies of the Methodist churches, which are based upon Anglican practice, hymns are sung during the processional to the altar, during the receiving of communion, during the recessional, sometimes at other points during the service.
These hymns c
Feast of the Cross
In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are several different Feasts of the Cross, all of which commemorate the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus. While Good Friday is dedicated to the Passion of Christ and the Crucifixion, these days celebrate the cross itself, as the instrument of salvation; the most common day of commemoration is September 14 in Eastern Orthodoxy. In English, it is called The Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the official translation of the Roman Missal, while the 1973 translation called it The Triumph of the Cross. In some parts of the Anglican Communion the feast is called Holy Cross Day, a name used by Lutherans; the celebration is sometimes called Holy Rood Day. According to Christian tradition, the True Cross was discovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years with a portion of the cross.
One-third remained in Jerusalem, one-third was brought to Rome and deposited in the Sessorian basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, one-third was taken to Constantinople to make the city impregnable. 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, all could come forward to venerate it. Red is the usual liturgical color in churches. In Western Christianity, red vestments are worn at church services conducted on this day as well as Pentecost and other times of celebration. In the Roman Catholic liturgical observance, the red is worn only on this day, if the day falls on a Sunday, its Mass readings are used instead of those for the occurring Sunday in Ordinary Time; the lectionaries of the Church of England and Western Rite Orthodoxy stipulate red as the liturgical color for'Holy Cross Day.'
In Eastern-Rite Orthodox Churches that use various liturgical colors, red vestments are worn. Yet in these Orthodox churches, the wearing of red continues for a week after the feast. In Western Rite Orthodox Parishes, the Wednesday and Saturday of the calendar week after the one in which the feast day occurs, are designated as one of each year's four sets of Ember days. In new calendar Western Rite Orthodox Parishes these ember days are the week following 14 September. In old calendar Western Rite Orthodox Parishes these ember days are the week following 27 September; until 1969, these ember days were a part of the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Organization of these celebrations in the ordinary form is now left to the decision of episcopal conferences in view of local conditions and customs; the ember days are still observed in the calendar of the Roman Rite's "extraordinary form" and in the Anglican Ordinariate calendar. September 14 is the titular feast of the Congregation of Holy Cross, The Companions of the Cross and the Episcopal Church's Order of the Holy Cross.
This date marked the beginning of the period of fasting, except on Sundays and ending on Easter Sunday, stipulated for Carmelites in the Carmelite Rule of St. Albert of 1247; the Rule of St. Benedict prescribes this day as the beginning of monastic winter which ends at Easter; the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated every year on September 14, recalls three events: the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine. Under emperor Constantine, around 327, Bishop of Jerusalem, caused excavations to be made in order to ascertain the location of Calvary as well as that of the Holy Sepulchre, it was in the course of these excavations. It was determined by Macarius to be authentic and for it Constantine built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre; the feast was observed in Rome before the end of the seventh century. The Second Council of Nicæa of 787, drew the distinction between veneration of the cross and worship or latria, "which, according to the teaching of the faith, belongs to the Divine nature alone."
Petavius noted that this cult must be considered as not belonging to the substance of religion, but as being one of the things not necessary to salvation. The honor paid to the image passes to the prototype. In the Gallican usage, beginning about the seventh century, the Feast of the Cross was celebrated on May 3, called "Crouchmas" or "Roodmas"; when the Gallican and Roman practices were combined, the September date was assigned to commemorating the rescue of the Cross from the Sassanid Persians, the May date was kept as the Finding of the Holy Cross or Invention of the True Cross to commemorate the finding. Pope John XXIII removed this feast in 1960, so that the General Roman Calendar now celebrates the Holy Cross only on September 14. However, some u