Katavasiae for the Exaltation of the Cross

Ode I

Tracing an upright line with his staff, /
Moses divided the Red Sea /
for Israel which was travelling on foot; /
and striking it a transverse blow, /
he brought the waters together over the chariots of Pharaoh, /
thereby inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross. /
Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, /
for He hath been glorified.


The rod of Aaron is taken to be an image of the mystery, /
for by its budding forth it chose one priest over others; /
and for the Church, which before was barren, /
the tree of the Cross hath now budded forth, /
for her might and confirmation.

Ode IV

I have heard, O Lord, /
the mystery of Thy dispensation; /
I have considered Thy works, /
and have glorified Thy divinity.

Ode V

O thrice-blessed Tree, /
whereon the King and Lord was crucified, /
and whereby he who beguiled mankind by the tree did fall, /
beguiled by thee, /
when God was nailed in the flesh, /
Who granteth peace unto our souls.

Ode VI

Stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross /
in the belly of the sea monster, /
Jonah clearly prefigured the saving Passion. /
And, issuing forth after three days, /
he foreshadowed the transcendent resurrection of Christ God, /
Who was nailed in the flesh /
and enlightened the world by His rising on the third day.


The mad command of the impious tyrant, /
breathing forth threats and blasphemy hateful to God, /
cast the people into confusion. /
Yet the three children feared not the fury of the wild beasts, /
nor the roaring blaze; /
but, in the midst of the fire, /
when the dew-bearing wind blew upon it, they sang: /
O all-hymned God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!


We praise, we bless, we worship the Lord, /
praising and supremely exalting Him unto all the ages. O children equal in number to the Trinity: /
bless ye God, the Father and Creator; /
hymn ye the Word Who came down and transformed the fire into dew; /
and the all-holy Spirit, Who giveth life unto all, /
exalt ye supremely forever!

Ode IX

O Theotokos, thou art a mystical paradise, /
which, untilled, did put forth Christ, /
by Whom the life-bearing tree of the Cross was planted. /
Wherefore, worshipping it as it is now raised aloft, /
we magnify thee.