The Universal Exaltation of the precious and life-giving Cross XVII century – icon from village of Belovo Trqvna region
he Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross (Elevation of the Cross)'s day is feted on 14th of September each year in accordance to the new calendar order, according to old church calendar, the Church celebrated it on 27th of September.
The day is marked by a strong fasting, for short we refer in Bulgarian to this big Church feast as (The day of the Cross / Krystov den). The Holy Orthodox Christian Church does worship the cross 4 times a year on:
Third Sunday after the start of the Great Lent
Holy Friday (Good Friday)
1st of August
14th of September – The Exaltation of the Holy life giving Cross
On this day, we the orthodox christians go to the Church and admirationally bow and kiss the Holy Cross on which our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered for our salvation.Through his cross suffering our Lord has granted to all of us the Christians an unbeatable "weapon" against evil and sin. Through cross Christ has been victorious over sin and death.
According to old Church tradition, on the day Christian people were asking for the priest to go to their homes and do vodosvet (sprinkle their houses with a blessed holy water).Vodosvet is one of the Orthodox Church mystics, there is a specific prayers begging God for forgiveness of sins, asking for good health and blessing. The prayers are being red over a vessel containing clean water. Finally he blesses the vessel with Water with the life Giving cross 3 times (as a symbol of the Holy Trinity). Then the priest uses a the cross and a tiny piece of twig to sprinkle all the people and objects in the house.
On the holy exaltation of the holy cross feast we also celebrate also the following 3 events:
1. The miraculous appearance of the Holy Cross to emper st. Constantine 2. The finding in Jerusalem of the Holy life-giving cross in Golgotha 3. The return of the Life-giving cross from persian captivity On 14th of September, according to Church tradition saint John of John Chrysostom has give away his spirit and joined the assembly of saints of God, however because of the Exaltation great significance, the church holy fathers decided that this is celebrated on 13th of September.
The Antiphon for the Exaltation of the Cross feast is singed and translated from Slavonic its meaning goes like this:
Troparion of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross voice 1 / Тропар на светия Кръст, глас 1
Спаси, Господи, люди Твоя и благослови достояние Твое, победы на сопротивныя даруя, и Твое сохраняя Крестом Твоим жительство.
Troparion voice 1
Save Oh Lord, your people and bless possession, grant us oh Lord a victory over our enemies and save your inheritance with your Cross
Troparion voice 2
You've been lifted willingly on the cross, grant you mercies to your inheritance oh Christ our Lord,
stregthen the spirits of the pious king and to your people,
grant us victory against our enemies,
Surround us with peace and with peace give us unbeatable victory
In the Glorification part of the Holy Liturgy feast service its singed:
We magnify you, oh Christ life giver,
and your Holy cross, because you have saved us from the enemy.
What does the Church tradition says about the finding of the holy cross of Christs sufferings?
After the Church crucifixion of Christ, according to the tradition of that times, the weapon for punishment from this kinds – the cross tree was buried in the ground on the same place, where the punishment was executed. Following the tradition on Gologthas where Christ was crucified was buried the cross used for crucifixion. In later times, emperor Adrian in his attempt to destroy christianity and the place of pilgrimage of Golgotha has issued an order to built a pagan shrine on the same place. Later under the reign of Emperor st. Constantine the cross appeared in the sky in a miraculous way and again under his reign the Golgotha place which means literally translated( the place of the Skulls) was discovered.
Third Sunday after start of the Great Lent – Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross
Today 03.04.2021 we the orthodox are in the blessed period of the Great Lent. It is no coincidence the Church has set this feast on exactly this date. It is set on 3rd week of the 43 days (7 Weeks) that lasts the fasting period on the Eastern Orthodox Christian church because this is a little bit less than the half of the lent period. We know by the experience of spiritual fathers that once we start the job the hardest periods are nearby in 40% once the work is done and in that times it is a desire of the person to leave and quit the job but if he perseveres suddenly when the set goal is progressing this is overcome but then again in the end of the period of the goal to complete we start desiring to quit the started job and loose all energy put together, as a plan of the evil which wants us to always loose energy (both spiritual and physical) and never gain anything. Thus the Church set the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross to give us a way to attain new energy for the cross to be able to goodly continue in the deed of the lent. By the cross and his glorious power hence the spirit of despondency is crashed down and we're strenghtened and rejoice for the great glory our God has given us.
The exaltation of the cross is also a feast of everyone celebrating his own cross. The victory over death and everything was once fulfilled by Christ on the Cross. The humanity is saved already but it is up to everyone's free will to accept this salvation or not. The path is set it is the path of the Cross of Christ, meaning acceptance (humility) of all the unpleasant life events and situations, accepting everydays unexpected changes believing that this is God's providence and cross for each one of us, accepting the pain and suffering that is part of the personal cross we hold, accepting that one day our beloved and friends will pass away from this life, accepting the fact we age and the aging guarantees sufferings of the body but the spirit is refreshed by the grace of God, accepting all and enduring everyhing for the sake of the cross …
The cross is a holder of the Universe and there is no power that will ever overwhelm it as it is said in the Church singings The Cross is the Holder (binds together) the whole universe. It is by the Cross all the evil has been conquered and life eternal has been giving. The path of the cross is the suffering, this is hard for the modern man to accept as we have been set to believe the only measure for success is prosperity, personal well being, physical health, posessing things. On the contrary the Christian says the most blessed and best thing one can have is the cross meaning personal suffering for and with Christ. By the suffering of the Cross Christ has glorified the bodily flesh he was possessing while being on earth in the body. By the Cross Christ has become the one begotten of all the sons of God. By the cross saints has conquered all evils and has sanctified, by the cross we still continue to progress in the goodness. Let with the Holy miracle making power of our Saviour's cross by the prayers of all the Saints and our Theotokos (Holy Virgin Merry) God grant to all of us christians victory of our enemies! Amen
As an Orthodox Christian, striving to know the ancient practies of our Saviour Jesus Christ Church by God's grace some few months ago I was granted to I spend few months of time with an Coptic Oriental Orthodox Christian (Medhat Baky). Before meeting with Baky, I knew not that in Egypt there are Christians at all. The little time I spend with this Oriental Orthodox was very beneficial in spiritual sense. I was amazed of the deepness in which Baky knew Christian faith. Moreover I was amazed by the Grace of this Christian as Christ's joy and presence was very powerful in him. Unfortunately for some reasons historical and political reasons Copts Orthodox are not in official communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Copts rejected decisions of Holy Fathers on all Ecumenical Councils after 3rd one.Interestingly the same Church which has for 20th Pope (Patriarch) saint Anthony the Great which jealously was protecting true Christianity on III-rd ecumenical council did not participated in the rest of the Church ecumenical councils. Because of that in-participation of Copts in ecumenical councils, nowdays there are some dogmatical issues, where we the Eastern Orthodox (in my view incorrectly accuse) copts for being Mia-physits (Monophisits). According to definition Mia Physis The dogmatical problem of Monophisitism, is quite severe, according to our Orthodox Eastern understanding by monophisite we accuse Copts for believing falsely that on the Cross the divine nature of Christ suffered only. Though the Monophisitism issue holds back the true communion re-union between us and copts I believe this whole issue is more on a "phylosophical" than a faith level. Coptic Orthodox nowdays is mostly in Egypt, Ethiopia and Africa and numbers 18 000 000 members. It is interesteng to mention even though, officially they're considered divided from the Only Holy (Apostolic) Orthodox Church because of their reject of Ecumenical Council 4, 5, 6 and 7, Copts spiritual life is still preserved in the early centuries and faith in them is strong. It would be great if this 18 000 000 of Christians the whole worldwide congregation of Orthodox Christians which as of time of writting is estimated from 300 000 000 to 400 000 000 people ! 🙂
Officially Copts Reject the accusation of Chalcedon ecumenical council (for disbelieving the two natures of Christ). Just for the sake of info on the Chalcedon Ecumenical council copts were judged to be heretics. Back in the day copts claim there was a political reason, as there were church fights to abolish the independent Egyptian Pope – which maintained that Church and State should not mingle. Well anyways, I don't know who is right and who is wrong Copts or us, but what I know for sure is nomatter the dogmatical difference between us Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox in essence our faith is alsmost the same.
Coptic Church gave birth of many saints, through years many of this saints are also saints in whole Orthodox realm. Below is a nice videos I found on youtube explaining well, the basics of Copt faith and few interesting facts of their ancient faith.
Christians of the Nile Valley: An Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church – Part 1
Christians of the Nile Valley: An Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church – Part 2
I've personally always hated super markets from the very early days I entered one. Here in Bulgaria we've been somehow partly lucky not to have supermarket due to the different philosophy of the communistic regime in which we lived until 1991. The philosophy of then governing communist back then was to distribute food in local middle size or small stores owned by the government. The food has to be approved by governmental body and heavily checked if it matches the governmental set standards. The variety of food we were offered in the stores was very little. Most of the small stores (which were owned by the government) only contained basic products like;;;
bread, youghurt, milk, meat, butter, lemonade, beer and few more,
This was done probably intentionally and was a result probably of our long years Orthodox Christian faith which (has saved us and preserved over the centuries). Orthodox Christianity has always teached for simplicity. Even though the communist party rejected the faith and even did severe persecution against the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The people on the top elite who were planning the communism had been a descent of an orthodox christian raised up living and therefore the philosophy of simplicity was inherited (even genetically) so the way the COM party behaved based on its leaders and the governing decisions about the nations belonging to communism (Russia, (Yugoslavia) – Serbia Koso , Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt etc.) were in a material expression in conjunction with the Christian tradition of simplicity (i say material because Orthodox Christian Church even visiting back then in the countries was usually prohibited and the Com. party did their best to ruin up the believe in Christ in people).
In communism the local suburb grocery stores, were the only "points" of distribution of food. Since buying and owning a car took at least few years of waiting and big money for it. Not more than 10 to 20% of families owned car and owning a car was considered to be granted mostly to people belonging to the then governing communistic elite or the Communist Party.
The public transportation was encouraged because according to communism so called "geometry" which was a main drive for how the systems in communistic countries should work it was estimated public transportation is cheaper and more environmental friendly than if a car is given to anyone, also public transportation (trains, bus-es) etc. did a good thing in the aim of the party to exersice higher control and surveilance over the population.
Because of that existence of big super-market was scarce and the culture to go and buy from a shop with your own family car was not existing.
The equivalent of nowdays mall shops (big retail stores) was usually located on the city center and the size of this shop was much smaller and the variety of products one can find there was only few. Hence the customer didn't have so much options to choose between, neither had to spend too much of time on choosing, the com party wanted the people to work more and buy less, so spending time in stores was not encouraged.
With the entrance of democracy and the moving up of large super-market food and good retails shops like Metro was among the first ones which entered the "freed" market. It was really a bizarre experience for us the ex U.S.S.R belonging people to enter such a large sized stores and to face such a big variety of choice.
Before that in communism we never saw such stores even on the TV, since the TV was governed by communistic party and only information which was useful for the establishment and protection of the regime was projected on the only available National TV channel.
Sorry to distract a bit from the major topic of this post, but I thought this is necessery to explain before continuing because it is important to understand that unintentinonally the communist gave us an advantage to have a different view on things than Western free world, a view which is in many things contrary and more correct (in terms of hard logic) than to Western Europe.
My first encounter with a super-market was only about 8 or 10 years ago and I believe many people who lived in the province of Bulgaria and other ex-communist countries did for a first time experience super-markets approximate 10y. ago. Though all looked so nice inside the shop and the shop emploees were so nice I always felt something very cold dead inside this big stores. Ptonsnlu my intuition (spirit) if you want has always pointed me out that there is something very wrong with this super markets.
With the increase of products on the market for us people who lived up to our 8 to 12 years (young age) in communism it was a great shock, since we were raised in a society based on some communist false ideology and suddenly the markets were opened and the products variety to choose between become extremely high. All previously said to be good and true in communism time was said to be anti-freedom and many people did their best to destroy as much as possible mostly everything somehow connected with previous communistic time. My homeland Bulgaria as a result of this become a very hard to live place and we were forced to adapt in fast paces and learn things on how we have to live like democrats for a very little short of time. One severe "damage" most of the growing people in Bulgaria in communism had was the hardness and inability to make choices. For many people between the age of 25 to 35 it is very hard to make choices even for small things. This was a direct consequence of a long years (45 years) of communist propaganda, and few generations who lived in a non-freedom respecting regime which conditioned and prepared a specific plan and place for every individual living in the country.
Seeing communism as the ultimate evil and manipulation to make us dependent we didn't know that in the free democratic world the manipulation and conditioning in society was heavy too.
"The Programming" of western society through institutions, stores and order in society was a fact and in a sense the only difference between the Democratic world and communistic world was one of the worlds seemed to have a larger frame in which the individual can work and live, whether the communistic regime seem to be more restrictive. One main thing used to condition people choices and buying behavior and make them over-consume to make the democratic economy constantly growth was big super-markets. Though they were privately owned and not like in communist country, the only drive behind each shop was PROFIT, PROFIT and agian PROFIT.
Higher profits would mean higher consumptions, higher consumptions means higher production and more work places opened as well as more expenses for working individuals would mean bigger necessity to work more and earn more, because though the sallaries incomes were high in the free world. The individual necessities there were even increasing too.
Since the about 1950s 1960s the super-markets started entering the "free" democrat countries world. As a result the small shops which were prior a main food and beverage distribution source started closing, because they couldn't be a concurrence to the big "brothers" super-markets which were able to buy higher quantities of goods in lesser price and therefore sell many of the goods in much lower prices than the little grocery stores.
The result with the years was a huge shift in people buying behavior from local groce and open markets to buy everything from the big super-markets. The big store chains had to be in a fight for customers all the time, so businesses involved started customer wars and tried their best to "steal" customers from each other. In this financial wars a main thing that most super-market chains and malls did was constant optimization of efficiency of both buying and reselling to the end customer. This is a 3 step business process actually.
1;;; They buy from the commodity producer 2;;; They prepare the food for the store (packaging, cleaning up whatever) 3;;; They put it in a certain way in the store and organize the store in a way to always sell more and more
As a result a huge number of tricks were employed by each and every super-market aiming to deceive the customer to ever buy more The deception of the client in store is very tricky and smart organized so it cannot really be called a lie but its rather a tricky smartness.
Since the super-markets entered in my country too and the tiny grocery stores are mostly closing unable to compete with the large super-market 'money making machines'. Even I am sometimes forced to buy stuff from super markets. Since here in Bulgaria the culture of purchasing from super-markets is not so strong yet. In order to be able to consume the little grocery stores. Many large super-markets started investing in making the little groceries their retail shops with their brand or (sometimes a new make up brand). By doing so the little grocery stores loose their authoritarity and independance and become dependant on the big super-market on the type of products they will sell, this obviously means this strategy of the big super-market in the long run will lead the little grocery stores we still have to ruin up. This is obvious because if the small grocery stores start selling the exact same products (brands) of the big super-markets, there will be nothing left to make the little grocery unique. Neither the variety of products choice inside or pricing will be any different from super-market. This will mean the tiny grocer will be no different from the big super-markets in terms of product and prices and therefore. The clients which now are loyal to small grocery stores like me will then have not such big motivation to buy from small super-markets, since everything inside is somehow similar (not to say) the same as with big supermarket the only difference would be the lesser variety which is obviously a good reason why the customer would definitely prefer to buy from the large supermarket …
On the videos you're about to see below, they explain some of the probably thousands of tricks nowdays existing the super-market chains employs to trick us to exponentiolly consume their goods.
Old Tricks of the SuperMarket Trade
As you can see the video is presenting a reality of the tricks which was used in the 1960 and now technology and knowledge in the field has largely increased and since they there are surely many new trick 'developments' which are working for the masses of customers daily. There is even a whole science centered on buying behaviour already existent called buyology!
Here is a short introduction to buyology to give you an idea what its purpose is:
Short introduction video on buyology – The Science of buying part 1 of 2
Short introduction video on buyology – The Science of buying part 2 of 2
Seeing all this is very precious information, since being informed one can escape the bad "tricks and traps" pawn in the markets.
All the information about the communistic regime and the 'shopping system' there was mentioned priorly because I wanted to explain a bit of the difference of then and now to point you to my opinion that the Western buying model and expectation to sell more based on the tricks are probably not working very well here in the ex-communistic countries, especially with the older generations and the one like me which somehow grow a small part of their youth in communism.
The reason is we have a different 'social programming' than westerners. Also the different spirituality (The orthodox Christian faith) plays another role. Also there is a difference in the type of buying behaviour. In Bulgaria there is no culture to buy once or twice per week. People have culture to buy daily, though this is starting to change slowly these days.
The topic is actually very huge and I'm sure what I'm saying is just the 'tip of the iceberg'. As I'm a firm opponent of big industries and large business I'm firmly against the buying from big stores any goods. The reason is that simply by doing so one makes the already RICH people even more RICHER. By increasing the richness of a certain small group of people daily, we as society are un-consciously somehow involuntarily letting them increase the financial control that is already there in some degree to the society. As democracy's main drive is money this means that by helping the large business-es marge and become even BIGGER, we're doing something against ourselves and our interests as society. I don't think that any ordinary citizen in the free world want to live in a fully controlled one World State (one world country), similar to the ex-communism I lived through, so I think people concerned about our freedoms should oppose the big businesses according to the society level they're in. Even if we're not in position to change things with money, we as society are in a position to change ourselves and our understanding of world, our desires and our behaviour. If we change our value system in a way, where money are not a top priority and the highest value the outcome will be positive in both spiritual terms and overall world state.
The modern day however wants us to falsely believe that we're divided, helpless and money dependent. This is a big delusion which we're constanty repeated. Just like with the super-market this big super-market company owners were able to convince us through time that super-market is better than the grocery stores, because of the less money spending advantage. Even if in the past there were possibility to spend less via supermarket nowdays spending less by using the supermarket instead of the small groce-store is a BIG LIE. Even if one spends less in super-market on certain products, the amount of related products he is cheated* to buy in store highly exceed the simply money one would spend on even higher priced products in the small groce. The outcome results from the super-market is also a big waste, as I lived in the west I've seen most of the households are buying more than they need, spending more than they need, cooking more food and more frequently than necessery and throughing large portions of food in the garbage (e.g. a huge amount of food waster).
If it was possible that people were aware they are buying all this non-sense food because of deception, they would have bought less, the super-markets would bought less and distribute less and the food (waster) remaining could be distributed to poor-er countries to help the starving kids and suffering people in Africa. Helping the suffering and starving, we would have helped each other as it is a nowdays well known that even on molecular level the whole world is connected, therefore helping our poorer brothers and sisters is actually helping ourselves ***
It is the first week after Orthodox Christian Easter. This year 2012, the Orthodox Christians Easter date was on fifteen of April. We've not just had a feast of an Eastern, but we actually celebrated the greatest day in all human history that happened 2012 years ago – The Glories Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Death in the Third day!
Some Roman Catholic Christians, might be wondering, why the Orthodox Church is celebrating one week after Jewish Pascha, so in short I will explain in the reason.We orthodox christians do not celebrate with Roman Catholics Easter because Roman Catholics use the gregorian calendar to calculate and decided the day in which the Eastern celebrations should occur, where we the Orthodox Christians use still the old moon calendar (which the jews used too), when Jesus was crucified. The gregorian calendar is very precise from a scientific point of view, however from a Church stand point it is completely wrong because, plainly taking the gregorian calendar math model doesn't take in consideration, that the jews are still celebrating their pascha following the old moon calendar.
The consequence is this year Roman Catholics, celebrated with Jewish. This from our Orthodox Christian point of view is incorrect, because Christ's Cross suffering is the pascha for us christians. We Christians consider that the old God ordained jewish pascha was a prophecy feast, simply to remind jewish people before Christ's coming that Messiah (Christ) will come to say his people. As Jewish rejected their true Messiah and Crucified him on the Cross, they have rejected to accept Christ as being the true pascha lamb slained for our sins.
Hence the Orthodox Christian Church teaches even to this day, that it is not righteous to celebrate Christ's Glorious Resurrection with Jewish Pascha. Prohibition to celebrate Easter and Jewish Pascha on the same day is an Orthodox Church rule, since the early church days. The Holy Fathers in their Church councils Council of Nicaea etc. has established as unchangable Church rule that, Jesus's Resurrection day feath, should never-ever coincide with the Jewish Pascha Celebrations.
The reasons the Church fathers ordered the Church Easter day to be always 1 week after Jewish Pascha is our saviour Jesus Christ ate pascha with his desciples as we can read in the 4 gospels in Holy Bible. After Jesus ate pascha, he was caught mocked, tortured and crucified (killed on a cross shaped trees).
Jesus is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
The Slavonic Paschal Greeting, translated words, we use across the Slavonic dome: ( Bulgaria / Russia / Ukraine, Serbia) is:
Христос Воскресе ! Воистину Воскресе!
According to our Church Tradition, Christians should great each other with the Paschal greeting Hristos Voskrese during the whole "bright week" instead of the usual Hi / Hello phrase.
The current Bulgarian version of Христос Възкресе ! Воистину Воскресе! is
Христос Възкръсна! Наистина Възкръсна!
One great miracle that testifies about the Christ's resurrection each and every year happens on each Orthodox Christian Eastern in Jerusalem in the Temple of Holy Sepulchre (where the saviour's grave cave, before the resurrection used to be). Last year, I've written to great all Christians for the Resurrection with the joyful Paschal Greeting Jesus is Risen and the Miracle of the Holy Fire Pitily, the number of Roman Catholics who heard or know about this amazing miracle are mostly within the clergy. Its very rare a layman Christian in Roman Catholic realm heard of the miracle. Once again as a closure I want to great everyone with the joyful paschal greeting in the manners of Russians which say it three times during the paschal period.
Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе ! Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе ! Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе !
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