Katavasia of the Cross
Ode 1. Inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross upon the waters, /
marked a straight line before him with his staff and divided the
a path for
Then he marked a second line across the waters and united them in one, /
overwhelming the chariots of Pharaoh. /
Therefore let us sing to Christ our God, //
for He hath been glorified.
Ode 3. The rod of Aaron is an image of this mystery, /
for when it budded it showed who should be priest. /
So in the Church, that once was barren, /
the wood of the Cross hath now put forth flower, //
filling her with strength and steadfastness.
Ode 4. O Lord, I have heard the mystery of Thy dispensation: /
I have considered Thy works, //
and I have glorified Thy Godhead.
Ode 5. O thrice-blessed Tree, /
on which Christ the king and Lord was stretched! /
Through thee the beguiler fell, who tempted mankind with the tree. /
He was caught in the trap set by God, /
who was crucified upon thee in the flesh, //
granting peace unto our souls.
Ode 6. Jonah stretched out his hands in the form of a cross /
within the belly of the sea monster, /
plainly prefiguring the redeeming Passion. /
Cast out from thence after three days, /
he foreshadowed the marvelous Resurrection of Christ our God, /
who was crucified in the flesh //
and enlightened the world by His Rising on the third day.
Ode 7. The senseless decree of the wicked tyrant, /
breathing forth threats and blasphemy hateful to God, /
confused the people. /
Yet neither the fury of the wild beast nor the roaring of the fire /
could frighten the three Children: /
but standing together in the flame, /
fanned by the wind that brought refreshment as the dew, they sang: /
‘Blessed art Thou and praised above all, //
O our God and the God of our fathers.’
Ode 8. O ye Children, equal in number to the Trinity, /
bless ye God the Father and creator; /
sing ye the praises of the Word who descended and changed the fire to dew;/
and exalt ye above all for ever the most Holy Spirit, //
who giveth life unto all.
9. O Theotokos, thou art a mystical
who untilled hast brought forth Christ. /
He hath planted upon the earth the life-giving Tree of the Cross: /
therefore at its exaltation on this day, //
we worship Him and thee do we magnify.
[the following is done only on the feast itself]
Today the death that came to man through eating of the tree, /
is made of no effect through the Cross. /
For the curse of our Mother Eve that fell on all mankind /
is destroyed by the fruit of the pure Mother of God, //
whom all the powers of heaven magnify.