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.