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Sunday of the Holy Cross

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March 23

Reading:

With the help of God, we have almost reached the middle of the course of the Fast, where our strength has been worn down through abstinence, and the full difficulty of the labour set before us becomes apparent. Therefore our holy Mother, the Church of Christ, now brings to our help the all-holy Cross, the joy of the world, the strength of the faithful, the staff of the just, and the hope of sinners, so that by venerating it reverently, we might receive strength and grace to complete the divine struggle of the Fast.

Apolytikion in the First Tone

Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Now the flaming sword no longer guards the gates of Paradise; * it has been mysteriously quenched by the wood of the Cross! * The sting of death and the victory of hell have been vanquished; * for You, O my Savior, * did come and cry to those in hell: * "Enter again into Paradise."