Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Third Day
(Խաչն կենարար որ եղեւ)
Translated by: V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan
The life-giving cross, which became salvation for us—through it, we all sing your praise.
Radiating on earth as light from the Father of light, and a scepter of power for the faithful—through it, we all sing your praise.
In a brilliant effusion, it was shown to us miraculously for relief against the enemy. Through it we all sing your praise.
O Word of God, you are seated upon the throne of glory; you humbled yourself from the paternal bosom; you took body from the Virgin, restoring our earthen nature in place of the fallen light.
You erected your cross in the middle of the earth, and through it you opened to the first-created the gate to paradise, guarded by the Seraphim, raising him to life after he ate the fatal fruit.
And by the power of your cross, O Christ, you founded the catholic church as a dwelling for the holy Trinity, enlightening the nations in her through rebirth.
To you, O Christ, who gifted the catholic church with the triumphant, precious, God-pleasing holy sign, we offer hymns of praise always in the highest.
By your will, O Christ, and on the wings of the all-powerful holy Spirit, and in a choir of angels, it soars and comes upon Mount Varag to dwell in us.
Come, people, let us venerate this divine and holy sign. Together, lift up your hands in holiness and let us always glorify the one who dwells upon it.
Called “tree of knowledge,” it removed and exiled us from life. Through it Mother Eve transgressed and deceived the forefather.
But the life-giving wood of your cross is a scepter of power for the life of mankind and hope of creation. It became our guide to life eternal.
You gave us a triumphant sign, your holy cross, so that through it we might enter by the narrow gate to the restricted path, for which the earthly sons of mankind have yearned.
Acrostic Hymn (“Stepanos”)
[S] You gave your holy cross as holy of holies to the church, O Lord, for with your immaculate hand extended upon it with nails, you gathered to yourself all races of rational beings. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[T] The luminous holy sign was previously shown as a vision of the mystery beyond words; for the blazing, fiery Seraph surrounded it in the midst of splendid and majestic Paradise. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[E] It was displayed as a stairway to heaven, creating a perceptible path for the sons of mankind to enter through the door to life. For it was displayed as a symbol of Jacob’s miracle, allowing the descent and ascent of the of the heavenly host. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[P‘] The marvelous wise one called it the tree of life by means of the Spirit. For the creator of creatures was lifted upon it. And drops of his incorruptible blood, flowing from his side, erased the sins of the one born from the side [of Adam]. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[A] By the radiance of the vision of a column, it was shown to be a guide for the people of Israel. An intense strike of the scepter parted the mountainous swells of water, transforming it into solid rock. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[N] Working wonders, Moses lifted up his hands in the form of a cross against the Amalekites, and he defeated Beliar in battle. And he who was sealed upon a solid mass, with it, subdued and vanquished [Beliar]. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[N] By the sign of your cross, O Lord, the darkness that swallowed up the world dispersed with a shudder. For you crowned with that all-conquering holy sign the man who had sinned by transgressing against the wood of life, crucifying him with you. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[O] The wondrous sign, which, at the end of that brief day extinguishes [the day’s] condensed, supposed light, yet radiates from heaven with its tremendous rays; and all the companies of the infidels lament, groaning. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
[S] By the intercession of the holy Mother of God, accept our requests, Lord, when, you rise in the East with wonder beyond words, making the triumphant, holy cross your forebear. We beseech you, Lord, protect us under the shadow of your holy cross.
Rejoice today, O holy church and celebrate your feast, O daughter of Sion. For the Lord God was pleased to dwell in you, the God of our fathers.
Rejoice, Queen, daughter of Sion, and exult O supernal Jerusalem, for Christ the king of heaven is coming to you, Lord, God of our fathers.
Rejoice, Sion, mother church, for upon you the divine ray from the Father of light has shone, Lord, God of our fathers.
Bless the Lord and highly exalt him forever.
He crowned the holy church today with the sign of his cross. Bless the Lord and highly exalt him forever.
He enlightened the race of the sons of mankind by rebirth of the holy font. Bless the Lord in song. Highly exalt him forever.
Rejoice, Mother of God, exalted by the Seraphim. Light shined forth from you upon us and you became the mother of Him who stretches out [the heavens]. Races and tribes magnify you.
You became the foundation of the church. You became the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit [and are]served by the angels. Gabriel heralded to you the good news. Races and tribes magnify you.
We see the terrible, wondrous mystery revealed. Having conceived by the Holy Spirit, you gave birth to the Word of God in the body. Races and tribes magnify you.
You established your church by your word, O Christ, upon the apostolic rock, in order to sing spiritual songs in her.
The altar of holiness was erected in her. [Christ] distributes his body and blood and from this he gives us renewal for the forgiveness of our sins.
In a dove-like appearance, the Holy Spirit descends upon the body and blood of the Lord for the healing of our spirits.
Shine, Jerusalem! Adorn your fortress, for the heavenly groom has come near you. Granting you salvation, he has crowned you with his wondrous glory.
Today Christ, the sun of righteousness has shone on you, O Queen, the daughter of Sion. And the grace of the Holy Spirit has been spread about you plentifully with gifts.
Rejoice today holy Sion, mother church. Brighten your children like the sun, for Christ the king has filled you with inexpressible glee.
The only-begotten descended from the Father and the light of glory with him. Voices have resounded in the abysses of hell.
Seeing the great light, Patriarch Gregory joyously recounted it to the faithful king.
Come let us build the holy tabernacle of light. For in it light has shone on us in the land of Armenia.