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Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Grand Junction, Colorado

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (AD 73)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (AD 1922)
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver (AD 1979)

METROPOLIS OF DENVER

Procession of the Cross on August 1st

The Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord is commemorated by the Church on August 1. It is the first of the three "Feasts of the Savior" in August. (The second is the great feastday of the Transfiguration, and the third is the Translation of the Image Not-Made-by-Hands on August 16.) Contents [hide]

It became a tradition to carry the wood of the Venerable Cross through the streets of Constantinople for the sanctification of the city starting in the beginning of August. This was done because illnesses were more common in August at that time. On the eve of the feast, it was taken out of the imperial treasury, and laid upon the altar of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia. From this Feast until the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, they carried the relic of the Cross, throughout the city in procession, offering it to the people to venerate.

The Baptism of Rus', was done on this day in 988. So in the Russian Church, the Lesser Blessing of Water has became a part of the celebration of this feast. Celebration of the feast

Currently, this minor feast day may not be liturgically celebrated at many local parishes unless it falls on a Sunday. And even then there may not be a cross set up in the center of the church to venerate, as on the Great Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross on September 14, or the Sunday of the Holy Cross the third Sunday of Great Lent.

Like these two other feasts, the 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 gospel reading is taken from John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, and 30-35 together. This long reading is the passion account.

If there is a Lesser Blessing of Waters, the epistle reading is from Hebrews 2:11-18, and the Gospel is John 5:1-4. Hymns

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Procession_of_the_Cross

Read more at: http://oca.org/saints/lives/2015/08/01/102161

Apolitikion of the Cross (Tone 1) Ἀπολυτίκιον τοῦ Σταυροῦ (Ἦχος α')
Save O Lord, Your people, and bless Your inheritance! Grant victory to the faithful rulers against their adversaries. And protect Your commonwealth, by Your holy Cross. Σῶσον Κύριε τὸν λαόν σου, καὶ εὐλόγησον τὴν κληρονομίαν σου, νίκας τοῖς Βασιλεύσι, κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος, καὶ τὸ σὸν φυλάττων, διὰ τοῦ Σταυροῦ σου πολίτευμα.
Kontakion (Tone 4) Κοντάκιον (Ἦχος δ')
You, Christ our God, Who chose of Your own will to be lifted up on the Cross, grant Your mercies to Your new commonwealth which is called by Your name. In Your power, gladden the hearts of our faithful rulers against those who war against them, having Your alliance as their weapon of peace, an invincible standard. Ὁ ὑψωθεὶς ἐν τῷ Σταυρῷ ἑκουσίως, τῇ ἐπωνύμῳ σου καινῇ πολιτείᾳ, τοὺς οἰκτιρμούς σου δώρησαι, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός. Εὔφρανον ἐν τῇ δυνάμει σου, τοὺς πιστοὺς Βασιλεῖς ἡμῶν, νίκας χορηγῶν αὐτοῖς, κατὰ τῶν πολεμίων· τὴν συμμαχίαν ἔχοιεν τὴν σήν, ὅπλον εἰρήνης, ἀήττητον τρόπαιον.
Synaxarion Συναξάριον
This feast was established jointly by the Greeks and Russians in the time of the Greek Emperor Manuel and the Russian Prince Andrei, as a memorial of the simultaneous victories of the Russians over the Bulgars and the Greeks over the Saracens. In both battles, the soldiers carried crosses, from which a heavenly radiance shone forth, with the army. It was therefore instituted that, on August 1st, the Cross be carried from the Church of St Sophia, first around the interior of the church and then through the streets, to give the people the chance to venerate it, as a memorial of the miraculous help given by the Cross in earlier wars. This was not just any cross, but the true Precious Cross itself, which was kept in the church of the imperial court. On July 31st, the Precious Cross was taken from the imperial court to St Sophia's, and thence carried through the streets, to consecrate the earth and the air. Finally, on August 14th, it was taken back to the church in the imperial palace. Σήμερα η Εκκλησία μας εορτάζει την Πρόοδο του Τιμίου και Ζωοποιού Σταυρού, δηλαδή την έξοδο του Τιμίου Σταυρού από το παλάτι (ή κατ' άλλους από το σκευοφυλάκιο της μεγάλης εκκλησίας) στην Πόλη. Βλέπε σχετικά και προεόρτια την 31η Ιουλίου. Όμως, ο Πατμιακός Κώδικας 266, αναγράφει ότι κατά την 1η Αυγούστου στη Μεγάλη εκκλησία ετελείτο «ἡ Βάπτισις τῶν τιμίων Ξύλων». Τί είναι η "πρόοδος" του Τιμίου Σταυρού και γιατί εορτάζεται κατά την 1η Αυγούστου; Η πρόοδος του Τιμίου Σταυρού (1 Αυγούστου). Πρόκειται για εορτή που συμπίπτει με την πρώτη ημέρα της νηστείας της εορτής της Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου και θεσπίστηκε σε ανάμνηση της απαλλαγής των Βυζαντινών, με τη βοήθεια του Τιμίου Σταυρού, από την επιδρομή των Σαρακηνών επί της εποχής του αυτοκράτορα Μανουήλ Κομνηνού. Στην Κωνσταντινούπολη κατά την εορτή αυτή γινόταν λιτάνευση (πρόοδος) του Τιμίου Σταυρού. Ο Σ. Ευστρατιάδης για το γεγονός αυτό γράφει τα έξης: «Κατά την ημέραν ταύτην εξήγετο εκ του σκευοφυλακίου της μεγάλης εκκλησίας ο τίμιος σταυρός, περιήγετο ανά την πόλιν και εξετίθετο εις διαφόρους ναούς προς προσκύνησιν και αγιασμόν των πιστών και πάλιν απετίθετο εις το σκευοφυλάκιον». Με την ευκαιρία αναφέρουμε επιγραμματικά και τις υπόλοιπες εορτές αφιερωμένες στον Τίμιο Σταυρό: α) Εορτή της Υψώσεως του Τιμίου Σταυρου (14 Σεπτεμβρίου) β) Εορτή της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως (Κυριακή Γ’ Νηστειών). γ) Μνήμη του εν ουρανώ φανέντος σημείου του Τιμίου Σταυρού (7 Μαΐου) την εποχή του Κωνστάντιου (337-361), γιου του Μ. Κωνσταντίνου. δ) Τέλος αφιερωμένες στον Τίμιο Σταυρό, (όλο το έτος), είναι δύο ημέρες της εβδομάδας, η Τετάρτη και η Παρασκευή. Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος α’. Σῶσον Κύριε τὸν λαόν σου, καὶ εὐλόγησον τὴν κληρονομίαν σου, νίκας τοῖς βασιλεῦσι κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος, καὶ τὸ σὸν φυλάττων, διὰ τοῦ Σταυροῦ σου πολίτευμα.

At Saint Nicholas parish, we celebrate the “Agiasmó” (“Ἁγιασμό”), or “Small Blessing of Water,” following the Divine Liturgy on this day.

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