On Wednesday the 13th and Thursday the 14th of September, the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helene in Perth, WA.
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea Presided at the Hierarchical Vespers service on Wednesday evening. This service was held entirely in the English language and attracted a crowd that included many young people. In his sermon, His Grace analysed the Theology of the Holy Cross by stating:
Today’s Feast Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the Theology of the Holy Cross outside of the Lenten Period. Firstly, we are reminded that we were created in a crosswise manner. This means that the human person was created by God to have the upward look and to have our hearts and minds fixed on God. This is the meaning of the vertical line of the Cross – always looking towards heaven. The horizontal line reminds us of the importance of loving the people around us – those on our left and those on our right. Thus, we were created to love God and one another. Secondly, we are reminded that we also sinned in a crosswise fashion. After the fall of Adam and Eve, they were then exiled from Paradise and humanity were separated from God; a separation that lasted until Christ’s Incarnation. Shortly after the Fall of Adam and Eve, the relationship between humans also deteriorated rapidly which resulted in Cain murdering his younger brother Abel (Genesis 4:8-16). Thus, we ended up sinning in a crosswise manner and we fractured our relationship with God and those around us . However, let us not forget that we were saved by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Cross. Christ ascended and shed His blood on the Cross for the cleansing of our sins and transgressions. The Holy Cross not only becomes the key for us to enter Paradise again, but the Holy Cross also inspires allowing us not to be influenced by the mindset of the world.
On Thursday morning the 14th of September, His Grace Officiated at the Matins and Divine Liturgy. At the conclusion of the service, the procession and exaltation and veneration of Holy Cross was conducted.
His Grace conveyed to all the faithful the love and paternal blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia and reminded all how this day was a day of strict fasting similar to that of Great and Holy Friday.