1020 Regent St
Madison, WI 53715
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September 18, 2022
14th Sunday after Pentecost;
Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross
St. Eumenes, Bishop of Gortyna
The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
Commemorated on September 14
(OCA) The pagan Roman Emperors tried to obliterate the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and rose from the dead, so that they would be forgotten. Emperor Hadrian (117-138) ordered that Golgotha and the Lord's Sepulchre be buried, and that a temple in honor of the pagan "goddess" Venus and a statue of Jupiter be placed there.
Pagans gathered at this place and offered sacrifice to idols. Eventually after 300 years, by Divine Providence, the Christian holy places, the Sepulchre of the Lord, and the Life-giving Cross, were discovered and opened for veneration. This took place under Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) after his victory over Maxentius (in 312), who ruled the Western part of the Roman Empire, and over Licinius, the ruler of its Eastern part. In the year 323 Constantine became the sole ruler of the vast Roman Empire.
In 313 Saint Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, by which Christianity was legalized and persecutions against Christians in the Western half of the Empire were stopped. Although Licinius had signed the Edict of Milan in order to oblige Constantine, he continued his cruel persecutions against Christians. Only after his conclusive defeat did the Edict of Milan extend also to the Eastern part of the Empire. The Holy Equal of the Apostles Emperor Constantine, triumphing over his enemies in three wars, with God’s assistance, had seen the Sign of the Cross in the heavens. Written beneath were the words: “By this you shall conquer.”
Ardently desiring to find the Cross upon 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 Makarios, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Saint 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 Dormition.
Although the holy Empress Helen was no longer young, she set about completing the task with enthusiasm. In her search for the Life-giving Cross, she questioned both Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful. Finally, she was directed to a certain elderly Jew named Jude who stated that the Cross was buried beneath the temple of Venus. They demolished the pagan temple and, after praying, they began to excavate the ground. Soon the Lord's Tomb was uncovered. Not far from it were three crosses, and a board with the inscription ordered by Pilate, and four nails which had pierced the Lord’s Body (March 6).
In order to discover on which of the three crosses the Savior had been crucified, Patriarch Makarios alternately touched the crosses to a corpse. When the Cross of the Lord touched the dead man, he was restored to life. After witnessing the raising of the dead man, everyone was convinced that the Life-giving Cross had been found.
Christians came in a huge crowds to venerate the Holy Cross, beseeching Saint Makarios to lift the Cross, so that those far off could see it. Then the Patriarch and other spiritual leaders lifted the Holy Cross, and the people prostrated themselves before the Honorable Wood, saying “Lord have mercy." This solemn event occurred in the year 326.
During the discovery of the Life-giving Cross another miracle took place: a woman who was close to death was healed by the shadow of the Holy Cross. The elderly Jude (October 28) and other Jews believed in Christ and were baptized. Jude was given the name Kyriakos, and later he was consecrated as the Bishop of Jerusalem. He suffered a martyr’s death for Christ during the reign of Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363).
Saint Helen took part of the Life-giving Wood and nails with her to Constantinople. Saint Constantine ordered a majestic and spacious church to built at Jerusalem in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, also including under its roof the Life-giving Tomb of the Lord and Golgotha. The church was built in ten years. Saint Helen did not survive until the dedication of the church, she reposed 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 Honorable and Life-giving 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 Phokas (602-610) the Persian king Khozróēs II attacked Constantinople defeated the Greek army, plundered Jerusalem, capturing both the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and the Holy Patriarch Zachariah (609-633).
The Cross remained in Persia for fourteen years, and only under Emperor Herakleios (610-641), who defeated Khozróēs and concluded peace with his successor and son Syroes, was the Lord's Cross returned to the Christians.
With great solemnity the Life-giving Cross was transferred to Jerusalem. Emperor Herakleios, wearing a crown and his royal purple garments carried the Cross of Christ. The Emperor was accompanied by Patriarch Zachariah. At the gates by which they ascended Golgotha, the Emperor stopped suddenly and was unable to proceed. The holy Patriarch explained to the Emperor that an Angel of the Lord was blocking his way. Herakleios was told to remove his royal trappings and to walk barefoot, since He Who bore the Cross for the salvation of the world had made His way to Golgotha in all humility. Then Herakleios donned plain clothes, 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 is gathered together, the Cross is exalted, and the city makes solemn, and the people celebrate the feast."
This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius
Tuesday, September 13
- 5:00 PM: Vespers (Elevation of the Cross)
Wednesday, September 14
- 7:00 AM: Divine Liturgy
- 3:00-5:00 PM: Office Hours [canceled]
Thursday, September 15
- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
Saturday, September 17
- 4:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
- 5:00 PM: Vespers [canceled]
- 6:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
Sunday, September 18
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, September 121
- 3:00-5:00 PM: Office Hours
Thursday, September 22
- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
- OCF Meeting (Library Mall)
Saturday, September 24
- 4:00 PM: Confessions
- 5:00 PM: Vespers
- 6:00 PM: Confessions
Sunday, September 25
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Thank you for the very kind card and gift for my birthday! I appreciate them both and I especially appreciate all of you! THANK YOU!
This Wednesday, September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Vespers, Tuesday at 5:00 PM with Liturgy, Wednesday, 7:00 AM. Please note, this is a strict fast day.
This Thursday, September 8, is the Nativity of the Mother of God. We will have Vespers, Wednesday (9/7) at 5:00 PM and Divine Liturgy, Thursday (9/8) at 7:00 AM.
Vespers and confessions are canceled this Saturday (9/17) because of the UW homegame.
Hymns After the Small Entrance
Tone 5 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted up on the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead//by His glorious Resurrection.
Tone 1 Troparion (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!
Tone 4 Troparion (Ss Cyril & Methodius)
Divinely-wise Cyril and Methodius, / equals-to-the-apostles and teachers of the Slavs, / entreat the Master of all / to strengthen all nations in Orthodoxy and unity of mind, / to grant peace to the world and to save our souls.
Tone 4 T roparion (St. Eumenes)
We have thee as a friend and helper, gracious advocate Eumenes: for compassion flowed from thee and thou pourest forth healings on the Church.//Protect those who honor thee.
Tone 5 Kontakion (Resurrection)
Thou didst descend into hell, O my Savior, shattering its gates as Almighty, resurrecting the dead as Creator, and destroying the sting of death. Thou hast delivered Adam from the curse, O Lover of man,//and we cry to Thee: “O Lord, save us!”
Tone 3 Kontakion (Ss Cyril & Methodius)
Let us honor the sacred pair, who translated divine scripture / pouring forth a fountain of divine knowledge from which we still draw today. / Now as you stand before the throne of the Most-high / we call you blessed, Cyril and Methodius, / as you fervently pray for our souls.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Tone 2 Kontakion (St. Eumenes)
Radiant with divine light, O blessed one, illumine us who lovingly praise thy precious and glorious passing; O Hierarch Father Eumenes,// unceasingly intercede for us all.
Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 4 Kontakion (Feast)
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 power, granting them victories over their adversaries//by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Thy weapon of peace!
Epistle: Galatians 2:16-20/2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth. Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.
But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?
And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
Gospel: Mark 8:24-9:1/Matthew 21:33-42
And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
(Instead of “It is truly meet…,” we sing:)
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.
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest!
The light of Thy countenance has been signed upon us, O Lord.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.