Monday, September 28, 2009

The Raising of the Cross

Every year, the Raising or Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated throughout Orthodox Churches. It is celebratory of the continuation of Christianity when Helen, the mother of Emporer Constantine found the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem where it was buried. The raising up of the cross from its burial place in the 4th Century was a monumental moment that was symbolic of the rising of Christianity beyond the persecuted minority that would not be diminished. In the 4th Century, the first of the Church councils was convened and the Nicene Creed was formalized becoming the Symbol of Faith for Christians throughout the world.

In our mission parish, we have a procession with the altar cross. A four fold blessing in the four directions is said with the cross in the midst of the chapel.
From the Ma'de'dono - the Book of Church Festivals:
+ O Son of God, Who by Your Cross, delivered Your Church, grant her Your peace and keep her children by the Cross of light.
+ May the peace, which reconciled the heavenly hosts and the dwellers on earth, bring peace to Your Church and keep her children by the Cross of light.
+ The Wood of the Cross went up from Jeruslaem, and was honored in all the places through which it passed.
+ Glory to the Father Who hid the Cross from the oppressors,
+ Worship to the Son, Who revealed it and showed it to Constantine.
+ Thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit, Who handed it down to us by Helen, under its arms keep us, O Lord, from all harm.

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian
  • Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    Prayers of Blessing for the Academic Year

    At the last Sunday before classes began, students received a special blessing at the mission. Pictured are two college students and three high school students.

    May the Lord guide our students with the light of Truth, helping them to walk in His ways, that they may be successful in all their endeavors at school+ Amen.

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian
  • Ge'ez~Ahmaric Prayers Now Monthly

    Starting this summer, three young men have taken leadership for Saturday evening prayers and devotional songs in Ge'ez~Ahmaric at the chapel. Brhne, Mengist and Elias will be rotating leadership. Everyone is welcome. Pictured here at the devotional singing, Achen and Christopher are learning how to participate. Teresa Kochamma took these pictures at the August prayers.

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian
  • Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    More Summer 2009 Mission Activties

    Derek, Francine and their son, Yohannes, visted. They are converts to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and enjoy visiting and supporting our mission efforts. Derek is orginally from Barabados. Francine, from the island of Dominica in the Caribbean. Yohannes was born in Chicago, where they travel from to grace our mission. Some may remember Derek gave a presentation for our mission on the Orthodox Church in the Caribbean a few years ago.

    Another activity of the summer in Madison area, is moving. Being the home of a major university, it makes sense that by the end of summer hundreds, maybe thousands, actually change theior residence or move to Madison from somewhere else. In Holy Orthodoxy, we practice the blessing of homes. One blessing of a home was for Brhne and Rahel's new home (above).

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian
  • More Transfiguration Festival 2009

    More pictures from our Transfiguration Festival
    Censing during the blessing of fruit....
    which has become the beginning of our picnic....
    Zerzghi, an elder carries the cross for us on such events....
    Father is wearing the gift of a hand-embroidered Ethiopian priest stole at the picnic.

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian
  • Thursday, September 03, 2009

    Transfiguration Festival 2009

    The blessing of first fruits at Transfiguration Festival 2009.

    God truly blessed us on an unusual summer day in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a cloudy day with 90 degree temperature and thunderstorms predicted. The clouds remained, but the cool breeze from the lake kept the festival very comfortable - and the rain waited until we were packing the cars to go home!

    GOD BLESS YOU+ Pray for us+

  • Holy Transfiguration Publications: books by Fr John Brian