As in the Latin Rite, one of the Great Feasts of the Eastern Rite, the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-creating Cross, also known to be the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, commemorates both findings of the true Cross. First is in 326 A.D When Empress Helena, Mother of Emperor Constantine, discovered it in Golgotha after an Ailing Woman was healed and a Dead man given his life after the Cross was put to him. The second is when the Cross was returned in 628 A.D by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius after it was stole by the Persians, Legend has it that when he insist on carrying the Cross back to Jerusalem, he felt a heavy burden at the very entrance of the City Gates. But when he removed his Crown, it weight becomes miraculously light as the Gates was opened. In the Eastern Rite, this day is also a day of fasting and repentance. For the feast, the Cross is place on a tray surrounded by flowers or branches of Basil, a flower which was believed to be found at the very spot where our Lord Jesus Christ is Crucified, and placed in the center of the Church to be venerated by the faithful.
Hymn to the Elevation of the Holy Cross
O Lord, save Thy people, And bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to Thy people over their enemies; And by the power of Thy Cross Preserve Thy habitation.
Before Thy Cross we bow down in worship, O Master, and Thy holy Resurrection we glorify. (Thrice)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.