March 19, 2023
Third Sunday of Great Lent
Adoration of the Holy Cross
In the middle of Lent, the church sets before us the Cross of Christ. On two other occasions during the year, September 14 and August 1, the cross is presented for our remembrance and veneration. Both these feasts link the Adoration of the Cross to historic events. However, the remembrance of the cross on the third Sunday in Lent prepares us for the commemoration of the crucifixion which is soon to follow in Holy Week, and at the same time, it reminds us that the whole of Lent is a period when we are crucified with Christ. The dominant note on this Sunday, as on the two Sundays preceding, is one of joy and triumph. No separation is made between Christ’s death and His resurrection, but the cross is regarded as an emblem of victory on Calvary as seen in light of the Empty Tomb.
Hebrews 4:14-5:6: Brethren, since we have a great High Priest, Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession. For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to sympathize with our infirmities, but one Who has been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest, being taken from among the people, is appointed on behalf of the people in things pertaining to God, that he may offer up both gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on the ignorant and on those who are erring, since he himself also is encompassed with infirmity. Because of this he is bound, as for the people so also for himself, to offer up for sins. And no one takes the honor upon himself, but as being called by God, as was Aaron. So Christ also did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest, but it was by the One saying to Him, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.” As He says also in another place, “Thou art a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Mark 8:34-9:1: The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”
Troparion of the Resurrection: Thou didst shatter death by thy Cross; thou didst open paradise to the thief; thou didst turn the mourning of the ointment-bearing women into joy, and didst bid thine Apostles proclaim warning that thou hast risen, O Christ, granting the world Great Mercy.
Troparion of the Holy Cross: O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance, granting to thy people victory over all their enemies, and by the power of thy Cross preserving thy kingdom.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion of the Sundays of Lent: To thee the champion leader, I thy servant offer thanks for victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me form terror. As thou hast power invincible, free me from every danger that I may cry unto thee: Rejoice, O bride without bridegroom.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, March 19 (Adoration of the Holy Cross)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education