Celebrating the Feastday of the Elevation of the Holy Cross - 09/14/14

On Sunday, September 14th, we celebrated the feast of The Elevation of the Holy Cross.  This is one of the Great Feasts of the Church, commemorating two things --- the finding of the true Cross by Empress Helen in 326 A.D., and the recovery of the Cross from the Persians in 627 A.D. by Emperor Heraclius.

Legend has it that Empress Helen discovered the hitherto unknown flower, Basil, on the same spot, covering the cross.  The basil plant provides a sensory reminder of the feastday.    This year, several parishioners took on the project of growing Israeli Basil.  (And met the challenge with success!)  They received some cuttings from Holy Cross G. O. Church last September and tended to it over the year.   Our first picture shows the basil plants next to the sacramental table.

There is a unique feature to the Cross that we use for this service.  Embedded inside the cross is a sliver of the True Cross.  It was a gift made to Fr. Constantine's grandfather.  The cross now has its home at St. John the Divine.

September 17th is the nameday of Sophia & her 3 daughters, Faith, Hope, & Charity.   It just so happens that the name, Nayda, (that of our dear matriarch of St. John the Divine), translates in English to Hope.   We surprised Nayda with flowers, a lenten cake, and the singing of 'God Grant You Many Years'.   Especially for Nayda, Reader Zak sang the song one time in Russian!


Sacramental Table with Basil
Entrance with the Holy Cross
Seeing Double
The Service Continues
Fr. Constantine with the Basil
Distributing the Basil
Distributing the Basil
Flora, after the Service
Celebrating Nayda's Nameday
A special cake for Nayda's Nameday