Weekly Sunday Bulletin – Sunday of the Holy Cross

Apolytikion Ήχος Βαρίς – 7th

Κατέλυσας τώ Σταυρώ σου…
O Lord by Your sacred Cross You abolished death, and granted unto the thief blessed paradise. The Myrrh bearers ceased lamenting and turned to joy. The apostles did preach the Good News at Your command, that You had risen from the dead O Christ Our God, bestowing Your mercy upon the world evermore.

 Apolytikion for the Veneration of the Holy Cross

Σώσον Κύριε…
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios

Μέγαν εύρατο έν τοίς κινδύνοις…
The world found in you a great champion in dangers a victor who could turn the nations back! As you restrained Levi in the arena, you also inspired Nestor to courage! Therefore, holy, great martyr, Demetrios, entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy!

Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal Fourth Mode

Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ…
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

 Saints and Feast Days

Third Sunday of Lent– The Holy Cross

On this Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the veneration of the honorable and Life-Giving Cross, and for this reason: inasmuch as in the forty days of fasting we in a way crucify ourselves…and become bitter and despondent and failing, the Life –Giving Cross is presented to us for refreshment and assurance for remembrance of our Lord’s Passion, and for comfort…. We are like those following a long and cruel path, who become tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task…Or, to give another example: when a king is coming, at first his banner and symbols appear, then he himself comes glad and rejoicing about his victory and filling with joy those under him; likewise, out Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to show us His victory over death, and appear to us in the glory of the Resurrection Day, is sending to us in advance His scepter, the royal symbol-the Life-Giving Cross-and it fills us with joy and makes us ready to meet, inasmuch as it is possible for us, the King himself, and to render glory to His victory… All this in the midst of Lent which is like a bitter source because of its tears, because also of its efforts and despondency… but Christ comforts us who are as it were in a desert until He shall lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection.. for the Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is the tree that was planted in Paradise, and for this reason our fathers have planted it is the midst of Holy Lent, remembering both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived of it, remembering also that partaking of this Tree we no longer die but are kept alive…

(taken from the synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross)

Shine, Cross of the Lord, shine with the light of thy grace upon the hearts of those that honor thee. With love inspired by God, we embrace thee, O desire of all the world. Through thee our tears of sorrow of death have been wiped away; we have been delivered from the snares of death and have passed over to unending joy. Show us the glory of thy beauty and grant to us thy servants the reward of our abstinence, for we entreat with faith thy rich protection and great mercy.

Hail! Life-giving Cross, the fair Paradise of the Church, Tree of incorruption that brings is the enjoyment of eternal glory: through thee the hosts of demons have been driven back; and the hierarchies of angels rejoice with one accord, as the congregation of the faithful keep the feast. Thou art an invincible weapon, an unbroken stronghold; thou art the victory of kings and the

glory of priests. Grant us now to draw near to the Passion of Christ and to His Resurrection…

(read more.. The Lenten Triodion)

The Lenten Prayer of St. Epraim the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life!

Take from me the spirit of sloth,

Faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity,

humility, patience, love to Thy servant.

Yes, O Lord and King!

Grant me to see my own errors

And not to judge my brother;

For thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

Epistle Reading

St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:1-6

BRETHREN, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Gospel Reading

Mark 8:34-38; 9:1
Sunday of the Holy Cross

The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with   power.”