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The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at the Ecumenical Patriarchate

In an atmosphere of reverence and solemnity , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated at the Holy Center of Orthodoxy.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, presided at the Divine Liturgy which took place on Wednesday, 14 September 2022, co-presiding along with Their Eminences, Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia and Metropolitan Andrea of Saranta Ekklesies.

The Divine Liturgy of the feast day was celebrated by, according to Church tradition and order, by the Grand Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Archimandrite Very Rev. Father Gregorios, along with the Undersecretary, Deacon Father Bosporios.

After the service of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, His All-Holiness, according to tradition, distributed flowers and basil stems to the Hierarchs, to the clergy of the Patriarchal Court, to the Archons of the Great Church of Christ who came to venerate, and to the Consul of Greece, Mr. Stavros Christodoulidis.

Clergy, Archons, and a multitude of believers from the City of Constantinople and abroad attended the church.

On Tuesday, the eve of the feast, His All-Holiness, according to tradition, officiated at the Holy Vespers which were conducted at the Holy Church of Saint Nicholas, Topkapi.

The Homily was delivered by Father Kallinicos. Immediately after the Vespers, in the hall of the Community, His All-Holiness was addressed by His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Sylivria.

In His response, the Patriarch emphasised, among other things:

“Constantinople and the Church of the first throne understood and experienced, and experiences, more than any other city and Church, the meaning and message of the Cross – to the point that the Holy Great Church of Christ becomes known as the “crucified Church”, which, however, goes beyond the Cross and proclaims the resurrection!”

He continued, saying:

“The crosses of our lives should by no means discourage us, but instead make us strong like steel. We and our will and our determination to remain firm and immovable, ‘never moved by debt’!  The creator charts our path again as follows: ‘simple and humble, meek and unyielding. So go your way even if you are burdened with your cross. You will find insults, mockery, beatings… yes, maybe… But don’t bend, don’t kneel in the mud, if the cross falls to the ground, don’t let it go’.

This is the cross-resurrection tradition of the Great Church and you are all its successors, it is all of us. If you fill your mind and heart with light, you will have grasped the hope and joy of the Resurrection and you will have experienced, as true and genuine children, the meaning of this year’s feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. With stability, therefore, with faith, with dignity and with a high attitude, let us continue the struggle of life, concerning the leader and perfector of the faith, Jesus, both as people and as a community of the City of Constantinople”.

More Photos: Νίκος Παπαχρήστου / Ecumenical Patriarchate