Friday, September 12, 2014

Excerpt from Saint Cyril of Jerusalem “Catechetical Lecture 13”

St Cyril, prior to becoming Bishop of Jerusalem, had been charged with preparing those for Baptism. These lectures were delivered in the (then) brand new Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem in 348 CE just two weeks prior to Holy and Great Friday, most likely in the shadow of the True Cross of Christ which was present in the Church from its finding in 327 CE until 614 CE when it was stolen by the Persians. It was restored to the Church in 628 CE. The Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Christ on September 14th commemorates both the original finding and its restoration.

Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the sake of the poor; without toil, for the sick; since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of devils: for He triumphed over them in it, having made a show of them openly (Colossians 2:15); for when they see the Cross they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, who bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the gift; out for this the rather honor your Benefactor.

Hymn of the Cross
Save O Lord Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory of the faithful against the adversaries of the faith. And protect Your people, by Your Holy Cross.

Kontakion of the Cross

You were lifted up upon the cross of your own will, Christ our God. Grant your mercy upon the people that bear your name. In your strength make glad the Orthodox, giving them victory over their adversaries. May they have your alliance as a weapon of peace, and an invincible trophy.

Find the complete "Catechetical Lectures" of St Cyril HERE

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