:When the true Cross was identified, it was lifted on high for all the people to see, who then continually sang ''Kyrie eleison'', a practice which is still enacted at current celebrations of this [[feast]].
* The recovery of the [[Cross]] on which [[Jesus Christ]] was crucified from the Persians. The Persians had captured the [[Cross|True Cross]] as a prize of war when they sacked Jerusalem in 614 AD. It was recovered by the forces of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire)) in 627 AD, when Emperor Heraclius decisively defeated the Sassanid Persians at The Battle of Nineveh, surrounding their capital Ctesiphon, recovering the [[Cross|True Cross]], and breaking the power of the Sassanid dynasty. The Elevation took place on March 21, 630 AD, when Emperor Heraclius entered Jerusalem amidst great rejoicing, and together with Patriarch Zacharios (609-
633), transferred the Cross of Christ with great solemnity into the [[Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)|temple of the Resurrection]], joyously held up for veneration by the Christian faithful.
This is one of the two feast days which is held as a strict [[fast]]. The other is the commemoration of the [[Beheading of St. John the Forerunner]] on [[August 29]].
This is a holy day of fasting and repentance. On this day the faithful make dedication to the crucified Lord and pledge their faithfulness to him by making prostrations at the Lords feet on the life creating Cross. For the feast, the Cross is placed on a tray surrounded by flowers or branches of basil, and placed in the center of the Church for veneration.
On the eve of the feast, [[Vespers]] is served and contains three [[Old Testament]] readings. The first, from [[Exodus]] 15:22-16:1, tells of the "tree" which made the bitter waters sweet, the symbol of the Tree of the Cross. The second reading is from [[Proverbs]] 3:11-18, which reminds us that the Lord chastens and corrects those whom he loves and that Divine Wisdom is "a Tree of life to those who lay hold upon her and trust in her, as in the Lord." The third reading is from the [[Book of Isaiah|Prophecy of Isaiah]] 60:11-16; it tells of the "city of the Lord" where both Jews and Gentiles will live together and shall [[prostration|prostrate]] themselves at the place of God's feet and "shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob."
Sometimes [[Matins]] is served on the morning of the feast. The four directions of the universe are blessed with the Cross, while the faithful repeat the chant "Lord have mercy." The Matins Gospel reading is from [[Gospel of John|John]] 12:28-36. In it Christ says that when he is elevated on the Cross he will draw all men to himself.
[[Divine Liturgy]] is served on the day on the feast. The normal [[antiphon]]s are replaced by special verses from the [[psalms]]
[[osource:Psalm 21|22 ]], 74, and 99, which have direct reference to Christ's crucifixion on the Cross. A special hymn replaces the [[Trisagion]] hymn, as it is sung, the faithful prostrate. The [[Apostolos|epistle reading]] is from [[I Corinthians]] 1:18-24, and says that "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." The [[Gospels|gospel reading]] is taken from John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, and 30-35 together. This long reading is the passion account.
*[[Sunday of the Holy Cross]]
*[[Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord]]
/en/special/listen_learn_share/exaltholycross /learn/ The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross] - [[GOARCH]] web site
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=102610 The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross] - [[OCA]] web site
*[http://oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=88 Elevation of the Cross] - ''The Orthodox Faith'', by the V. Rev. [[Thomas Hopko]]