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In keeping with a tradition of hierarchical services for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada came to Holy Trinity Monastery and presided at the All-Night Vigil. The main highlight of this feast took place after the Great Doxology, when a cross containing a piece of the True Cross, decorated with flowers, was brought out and Archbishop Gabriel led the rite of the Exaltation of the Cross. This rite involves special petitions, followed by pouring fragrant water over the cross while the choir sings “Lord Have Mercy” continually. On Saturday morning, Archbishop Gabriel led the Divine Liturgy.

In reference to the service of the Exaltation of the Cross, St Andrew of Crete provides an explanation for the pouring of water over the cross. He states, "Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. Christ is the Living Water."

Also, according to the ancient typicon the original Cross was washed with fragrant water when it was exhumed.

Exaltation of the Cross

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Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary
PO Box 36
Jordanville, N. Y. 13361
Telephone: (315) 858-0945
info@hts.edu