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Veneration of the Cross

From the Book of Divine Worship - The Proper: First Part - Good Friday

After the general intercessions, the veneration of the cross takes place.

Pastoral demands will determine which of the two forms is more effective and should be chosen.

First Form of Showing the Cross

The veiled cross is carried to the altar, accompanied by two ministers with candles. Standing at the altar, the priest takes the cross, uncovers the upper part of it, then elevates it and begins the invitation: This is the wood of the cross, etc. He is assisted in the singing by the sacred ministers or, if convenient, by the choir. All respond: Come, let us worship.

At the end of the singing all kneel and venerate the cross briefly in silence; the priest remains standing and holds the cross high.

Then the priest uncovers the right arm of the cross, lifts it up, and again begins the invitation: This is the wood of the cross, and the rite is repeated as before.

Finally he uncovers the entire cross, lifts it up and begins the invitation: This is the wood of the cross a third time, and the rite is repeated as before.

Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, the priest then carries the cross to the entrance of the sanctuary or to another suitable place. There he lays the cross down or hands it to the ministers to hold. Candles are placed on each side of the cross, and the veneration follows as below.

Second Form of Showing the Cross

The priest or deacon, accompanied by the ministers or by another suitable minister, goes to the church door. There he takes the (uncovered) cross, and the ministers take lighted candles. They go in procession through the church to the sanctuary. Near the entrance of the church, in the middle of the church, and at the entrance to the sanctuary, the one carrying the cross stops, lifts it up and sings the invitation: Behold the wood of the cross, etc.

All respond: O come, let us worship. After each response all kneel and venerate the cross briefly in silence as above.

Then the cross and candles are placed at the entrance to the sanctuary.

Invitation

V - This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.
R - Come, let us worship.

Veneration of the Cross

The priest, clergy, and faithful approach to venerate the cross in a kind of procession. They make a simple genuflection or perform some other appropriate sign of reverence according to local custom, for example, kissing the cross. During the veneration the antiphon We glory in thy cross, the reproaches, or other suitable songs are sung. All who have venerated the cross return to their places and sit.

Only one cross should be used for veneration. If the number of People makes it impossible for everyone to venerate the cross individually, the priest may take the cross, after some of the faithful have venerated it, and stand in the center in front of the altar. In a few words he invites the People to venerate the cross, and then holds it up briefly for them to worship in silence. After the veneration, the cross is carried to its place at the altar, and the lighted candles are placed around the altar or near the cross.

Anthem 1

We glory in thy cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify thy holy resurrection;
for by virtue of thy cross joy hath come to the whole world.

God be merciful unto us, and bless us,
and show us the light of his countenance,
and be merciful unto us;
That thy ways may be known upon earth,
thy saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise thee, O God;
yea, let all the peoples praise thee.
We glory in thy cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify thy holy resurrection;
for by virtue of thy cross
joy hath come to the whole world.

Anthem 2

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

If we have died with him, we shall also live with him;
if we endure, we shall also reign with him.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Anthem 3

O Savior of the world, who by thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us:
Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

The hymn "Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle," or some other hymn extolling the glory of the cross, is then sung.

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