Friday, 8 May 2009

The Finding of the True Cross in Jerusalem

Between the 6 and 7 May, the Latin Christians of Jerusalem celebrate the feast of the finding of the Cross. This commemorates the day when St Helen, the mother of Constantine, aided by the bishop of Jerusalem, St Macarios, found the cross on which hung our Blessed Lord.
Before First Vespers the Custos is solemnly received at the Basilica of the Anastasis to the chant of the Te Deum. Following this he presides over First Vespers.
At midnight a solemn procession forms to the chapel of St Helen where the Holy Cross was found. Part of the night is spent in Vigil.
In the morning the Custos presides over Lauds and a Solemn Mass in the chapel of St Helen which is decorated in fine damasks for the day. After Mass the byzantine relic of the true cross is taken in solemn procession around the Basilica for three times and people are blessed with the relic for three times, at the Holy Sepulchre after the third round, at the altar of the apparition to St Mary Magdalene and at the chapel of the apparition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, where the Most Blessed is reserved.
The faithful venerate the sacred relic with a kiss, just like Christians do on Good Friday.
Second Vespers is sung in the afternoon.

1 comment:

BillyD said...

Beautiful photos. What's in the baskets held by the two little girls?