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The Consecration of the Church of the Holy Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre)

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September 13

Reading:

The church that is honoured far above all others is that of the Holy Resurrection, which Saint Constantine the Great constructed at the place of Golgotha, where our Saviour was crucified and buried. For a long time this place had been purposely buried beneath the earth by the Jews and heathen; furthermore, during the reign of Hadrian (117-138), a temple dedicated to Aphrodite was built over the site so that this sacred place might be even further desecrated and fall into utter oblivion. It was here that the Cross was hidden. However, at the command of the pious Emperor Constantine, excavations were made and the tokens of the saving Passion were found. It was here, then, that the very great and magnificent temple named in honour of Christ God's Resurrection-the Anastasis-was built under the supervision of the blessed Helen, while Dracilian was Eparch of Palestine and Macarius was Archbishop of Jerusalem. It was the latter, also, who exalted the venerable Cross and performed the consecration of this temple in the year 336.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Thou hast shown the earthly beauty of the holy tabernacle of Thy glory to be like unto the splendour of the heavenly firmament, O Lord. Strengthen it for ever and ever, and accept our prayers which we unceasingly offer therein unto Thee, through the Theotokos, O Thou Who art the Life and Resurrection of all.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

The Church is shown to be a many-lighted heaven that doth shine a guiding light upon all them that do believe; wherein while standing we cry aloud: Do Thou Thyself now establish this house, O Lord.