The Week of the Cross: March 27 - April 2
Sunday, March 27, was the middle Sunday of Great Lent, known as the Sunday of the Veneration of the Precious and Life-giving Cross. On this Sunday, and all during this week, we are reminded of the purpose of our Lenten journey and our destination: the passion, life-giving death and glorious resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Cross is the sign of our Lord's victory over death, accomplished by Him upon the Cross for our salvation. Throughout this week, the cross, decorated with flowers, remains in the center of the church and is venerated at the end of each service. Many of the hymns we sing at the services this week are tied to the theme of the Cross. At Tuesday's Orthros service, we sang:
"Great and most merciful art Thou, O Lord, for Thou hast given us for veneration Thy life-giving Cross, on which Thy hands and feet were nailed; and Thy Blood flowed upon it from Thy most pure side, as a fountain of life for us."
And at Wednesday's Orthros:
"O sign of joy, unconquerable weapon, rampart of the Church, glory of martyrs, adornment of apostles, firm support of bishops, strengthen my sickly soul, and count me worthy to venerate thee and to sing thy praises, crying: O ye works of the Lord, praise ye the Lord and exalt Him above all forever."
By the might of the precious and life-giving Cross, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us!