Exaltation of the Holy Cross Ramsho


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as we begin and until we conclude.
May mercy and compassion be poured forth upon us
in this world and the next.
O Lord, our God, to you be glory forever. Amen.

O Christ our God,
may we honor the memory of your cross,
by which you have granted us victory over evil and sin.
On this evening may we venerate it with faith and celebrate
it with joy
in order to be able one day to praise its triumph in heaven,
where we shall glorify you, forever. Amen.

Peace be with the Church and her children.

Glory to God in the highest,
peace on earth and good will to all.

Praise the Lord, all you nations,
glorify him, all you peoples!

For steadfast is his mercy toward us,
and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever,
and peace on earth and good will to all.

Lord, have mercy on us and save us.
Christ our Savior,
may your cross be our powerful weapon and our supreme honor;
through it we shall dive away our enemies,
and by it our weakness will become strength.
May it be our companion in this life
and we shall follow you in carrying the sign of your shame,
so as to merit being numbered among your disciples.
May we understand that our strength lies
not in combat and the sword, but in love and sacrifice.
We shall glorify you,
now and forever. Amen.

Antiphon: O Lord, my rock,
my fortress, my deliverer.

Psalm 18: 2-4, 7-10, 14, 17-26
I love you, O Lord, my strength,
O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!

Praised be the Lord, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.

In my distress I called upon the Lord
and cried out to my God;

From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

The earth swayed and quaked;
the foundations of the mountains trembled
and shook when his wrath flared up.

Smoke rose from his nostrils,
and a devouring fire from his mouth
that kindled coals into flame.

And he inclined the heavens and came down,
with dark clouds under his feet.

And the Lord thundered from heaven,
the Most High gave forth his voice;

He reached out from on high and grasped me;
he drew me out of the deep waters.

He rescued me from my mighty enemy
and from my foes, who were too powerful for me.

They attacked me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord came to my support.

He set me free in the open,
and rescued me, because he loves me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my justice;
according to the cleanness of my hands he requited me;

For I kept the ways of the Lord
and was not disloyal to my God;

For his ordinance were all present to me,
and his statutes I put not from me,

But I was wholehearted toward him,
and I was on my guard against guilt.

And the Lord requited me according to my justice,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

Toward the faithful you are faithful,
toward the wholehearted you are wholehearted.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

Antiphon: O Lord, my rock,
my fortress, my deliverer.

Lord, have mercy on us and save us.
O Lord,
your cross is a sign of the life of the world,
and the wood on which you have shed your blood is the vessel
of salvation.
We thank you, O Lord, for having ransomed us by your cross.
We beg you, this evening, to enlighten us by the light of your resurrection,
Instead of by thee disappearing sun.
We shall glorify you with the universal Church,
now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 141:1-4
O Lord, to you I call; hasten to me;
harken to my voice when I call upon you.

Let my prayer come like incense before you;
the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice.

O Lord, set a watch before my mouth,
a guard at the door of my lips.

Let not my heart incline to the evil
of engaging in deeds of wickedness

With men who are evildoers;
and let me not partake of their dainties.

Psalm 142
With aloud voice I cry out to the Lord;
with a loud voice I beseech the Lord.

My complaint I pour out before him;
before him I lay bare my distress.

When my spirit is faint within me,
you know my path.

In the way along which I walk
they have hid a trap for me.

I look to the right to see,
but there is no one who pays me heed.

I have lost all means of escape;
there is no one who cares for my life.

I cry out to you, O Lord:
I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land
of the living.”

Attend to my cry,
for I am brought low indeed.

Rescue me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.

Lead me forth from prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

The just shall gather around me
when you have been good to me.

Psalm 119:105-112
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.

I resolve and swear
to keep your just ordinances.

I am very much afflicted;
O Lord, give me life according to your word.

Accept, O Lord, the free homage of my mouth,
and teach me your decrees.

Though constantly I take my life in my hands,
yet I forget not your law.

The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but from your precepts I have not strayed.

Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.

I intend in my heart to fulfill you statutes
always to the letter.

Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!

For steadfast is his mercy toward us,
and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
In expectation and trials, our souls praise you.
Like the five virgins, behold our lamps.
Our faith, our hope and our love are wounded;
the wind lashes at our burning lamps.
O desire of my soul, it is to you that I cry:
When will the bridal party come?
Already my spirit is weakening.

Praise, glory and honor to the heavenly Father, who sent his
beloved Son for our redemption;
to the Savior, who has accomplished our redemption by the
powerful rampart of his cross;
to the Holy Spirit, who strengthened the apostles and preachers of the gospel,
allowing them to plant the standard of the cross in the universe, so that all the nations might bow before him.
To the Good One is due glory
now and forever. Amen.

Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior,
today we commemorate your cross of life.
Through it you have erased the debt of our sins
and have rendered all things new.
The cross is the foundation of victory and triumph;
the hope of believers and the source of life;
it is the key of heaven and the wood of salvation;
the cross is the light of the universe and the torch to the
right path.
The cross is the foundation of the Church and the emblem
of our victory;
it is our power and our honor,
the strength of the apostles and the language of the preachers; the cross is the assurance of faith, the joy of hope and the
perfection of love.
We are marked by the cross at baptism and we walk in the way
of salvation.
By the cross our sacrifice is rendered perfect and our sins
are forgiven.
By the cross the priestly service is accomplished
and by it we are blessed.
By the cross our sick are healed and our souls are enlightened.
And now as we celebrate in joy an victory of the cross,
we cry out:
“There is neither happiness nor glory, save in the cross of Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In it the apostles, martyrs and confessors rejoice;
from it they drew strength for their struggles,
they bear it on their bodies and show it forth to the world
which considers it folly.
May it console us in our trials, heal our wounds, and be for us a weapon in the arena.
May it help us in our weakness and give us joy in sacrifice.
May the blessings of Christ our Savior come upon us
and we shall adore him, his Father who sent him, and his Spirit who sanctifies us.
We ask him to reveal himself to us each day by his cross,
so that we might be able to contemplate him one day carrying
his glorious cross of light.
We shall go to meet him with joy,
entering in the procession of the saints and singing glory,
forever. Amen.

Blessed is the cross; through it peace reigns between the heights and the depths, the light shines over the world.

Blessed is the cross; it has washed way our sin and has become the standard of honor and glory.
O believing Church, celebrate the feast and lift high the cross; through it may the entire world be blessed.

Let us mark ourselves with the sign of the cross, let us imprint it on our hearts, by it we are saved from death.

O Lord,
accept this incense and our prayer which we offer you
on the feast of the exaltation of your glorious cross.
May it always be before our eyes
so that with you we may go to death and to victory
and with you we shall celebrate your final triumph
when we shall glorify you, forever. Amen.

The cross of Christ guards the Church and is the wood
of salvation for the world.

Praise the Lord, all you peoples, for the cross of Christ
guards the Church; glorify him, for the cross is the
wood of salvation.

O God, you accepted the prayers of our ancestors,
accept our prayers and have mercy on us.

Today’s feast is one of the greatest feasts of the Eastern Churches. It is frequently mentioned in ecclesiastical writings and always has as its object the triumph of Christ, his resurrection, and the veneration of the holy cross, the sign of his victory over death. The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was first instituted in order to commemorate the dedication of the Church of the Resurrection on September 13, 335. The Emperor Constantine built this church an the one in Bethlehem and they are both in existence today. The Church of the Resurrection had five naves and in the interior a circular structure covered by a dome which protected the sanctuary of the sepulcher or tomb of Christ. The date of September 13 was chosen in order to supplant the pagan feast of the Temple of Jupiter in Rome.
The second historical event which is the source of our present feast was the return of the holy cross of Jerusalem under Emperor Heraclius. The wood of the cross had been preserved in the Church
of the Resurrection until May 4, 614 when the Persians captured Jerusalem, burned the Church of the Resurrection and carried off the cross. After the victory of Emperor Heraclius over the Persians, the cross was returned to Jerusalem on September 14, 628. It is said that the Emperor, dressed in his royal vestments, carried the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. He was stopped by the Patriarch who demanded that he remove his splendid vestments in order to become more like the scorned Christ. The Emperor agreed and walked through the streets bare footed. A crowd of the faithful accompanied him and prostrated before the holy cross.
On this day the Maronite Church celebrates the Rite of the Cross, which is a service of adoration of the cross, the sign of our salvation. This feast which comes at the end of the annual liturgical cycle is also directed toward the second coming of Christ, who carries his cross of light and triumph. It is this theme which is the object of the readings and prayers of the seven weeks which follow and which close the liturgical year. Adoration and honor to the cross of our Savior! Glory and praise to Christ our God, forever. Amen.
A Reading from the Book of Proverbs
Proverbs 29: 2-26
When the just prevail, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan. He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who consorts with harlots squanders his wealth. By justice a king gives stability to the land; but he who imposes heavy taxes ruins it. The man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net under his feet. The wicked man steps into a snare, but the just man runs on joyfully. The just man has a care for the rights of the poor; the wicked man has no such concern. Arrogant men set the city ablaze, but wise men calm the fury. If a wise man disputes with a fool, he may rage or laugh but can have no peace. Bloodthirsty men hate the honest man, but the upright show concern for his life. The fool gives vent to all his anger; but by biding his time, the wise man calms it. If a ruler listens to lying words, his servants all become wicked. The poor and the oppressor have a common bond: the LORD gives light to the eyes of both. If a king is zealous for the rights of the poor, his throne stands firm forever. The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a boy left to his whims disgraces his mother. When the wicked prevail, crime increases; but their downfall the just will behold. Correct your son, and he will bring you comfort, and give delight to your soul. Without prophecy the people become demoralized; but happy is he who keeps the law. By words no servant can be trained; for he understands what is said, but obeys not. Do you see a man hasty in his words? More can be hoped for from a fool! If a man pampers his servant from childhood, he will turn out to be stubborn.
An ill-tempered man stirs up disputes, and a hotheaded man is the cause of many sins. Man’s pride causes his humiliation, but he who is humble of spirit obtains honor. The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy: he hears himself put under a curse, yet discloses nothing. The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe. Many curry favor with the ruler, but the rights of each are from the LORD.
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke
Luke 16: 1-18
Then he also said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him,
‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.
“The law and the prophets lasted until John; but from then on the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone who enters does so with violence. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of a letter of the law to become invalid. “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

O Lord of night and Master of all time, hear our supplication and have mercy on us.
You reconciled heaven and earth, grant peace to your Church
and keep her children in the light of the cross.
The cross of light appeared to Constantine while he was fighting, and he received from it strength and obtained the victory.
Now the holy Church takes shelter under your cross; may it
be a protective rampart, and keep her from evil.
The believing Church celebrates the feast of your cross; may it receive strength and honor. The sheep of Christ are happy,
yes, most happy over the gift made to them. Your Cross of
life guards them and pure priests serve them.
May your cross atop standards be a rampart and a source of mercy in this world and the next. Today may the heavens, the earth and all that they contain rejoice with us; may they praise
and thank Christ who has saved us by his cross.
Glory to the Father, who sent his only Son for our salvation; thanksgiving to the Son, who came down and saved us by his
cross; glory to the Holy Spirit. O Holy Trinity, may mercy
and love come upon us at all times and forever.
The Virgin Mary, your Mother and the apostles, prophets and
martyrs intercede for us; O God, through their prayers
strengthen the weak, comfort the sick, grant pardon to our
deceased and forgive the faults of us poor sinners.

Exalt, O Lord, the memory of your Mother and your saints,
through their prayers grant pardon to us and our deceased.
Through the prayers of your Mother, the prophets, apostles
and martyrs, watch over the living, and in your mercy,
forgive those who have died.

Let us confess, adore, and praise the holy and glorious Trinity: Father, Son + and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy

Holy are you, O God;
Holy are you, O Strong One;
Holy are you, O Immortal One;
have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, forgive us and have mercy on us.
Lord, hear us and have mercy on us.
Lord, accept our worship and our prayers.
Lord, come to our assistance and have mercy on us.

Our Father, who are in heaven;
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
O Lord,
the night and the day are yours;
you uphold the light and the sun.
Through your power you direct the sequence of the seasons.
O Lord,
you have brought the day to its close and called forth the night; Be for us that great Day that never ends.
In the evening let your light shine in our hearts,
and in the darkness of the night
enlighten us with the knowledge of your truth.
And so, through all the days of our lives,
we shall praise you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
To you be glory and may your mercy rest upon us,
now and forever. Amen..

Let us thank God for all the graces he has bestowed on us
this day which has passed in calm and peace.
Let us recall our failings against the commandments of God
and the Church in thought, word, deed and omission

We ask for God’s pardon as we pray:

“Forgive us, Jesus!”

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to you, O Lord.
Glory be to you, O Lord.
Glory be to you, O Lord.

Father in heaven,
by your living and holy name,
keep us from evil and lead us not into temptation;
for we call upon you, O Lord, our God, our constant hope,
glory to you forever.
O Lord, our Lord,
may our humble worship be pleasing to you;
may our prayers come before you and our actions give
you honor.
Let you mercy, kindness, help, graces and divine love
be poured abundantly upon us poor sinners,
both in heaven and on the earth
which you have created in your goodness.
O Lord, our God, to you be glory forever. Amen.

Peace be with you.
And also with you.
O God,
through the prayers of your Mother and the saints who have
believed in you;
the prayers of the prophets, apostles, martyrs and confessors; through the prayers of the just, the priests, the holy fathers, pastors and teachers of the truth faith;
and through the prayers of N., Pope of Rome, N., our Patriarch, and N., our Bishop,
forgive your people and have mercy on your flock.
May God bless, forgive, sanctify, purify, and keep each of the faithful united with us in this spiritual office.
May mercy and compassion be upon us and all the faithful who
dwell here.
May peaceful rest be granted to those who have died in the faith.
May the faithful who live here experience the protection
of Christ’s victorious cross.
May we and all his servants, who adore him with bowed heads,
receive the mercy of the holy and glorious Trinity
Father, Son, + Holy Spirit,
to whom be glory now and forever. Amen.
May God forgive your sins,
pardon your failings,
and deliver you from the power of the enemy.
May he grant you the remission of your offenses.
Go in peace, and pray to Christ for me.