Katavasia of the Cross

Tone 8


Ode 1.  Inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross upon the waters, /

Moses marked a straight line before him with his staff and divided the Red Sea, /

opening a path for Israel who went over dry-shod.  /

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.


Ode 9.  O Theotokos, thou art a mystical Paradise, /

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.