Holy Cross Sunday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rEPt2F85xs The kyrie

'Lifting the cross' could easily become the next Protestant liturgical accretion. It is so biblically strong. The festival and activities could take on the kind of routine annual solemnity as (the once thoroughly foreign) 'lighting advent candles', nativity scenes, decorating the cross on Easter Sunday with flowers, etc. The introduction of Christ the King Sunday is perhaps the last ecumenical update that was introduced by Protestants into the worship calendar. Anglicans have Holy Cross feastday - Septembers. However a more developed festival of the cross would be thoroughly appropriate and could be the next liturgical innovation - opportunities for lovely music, prayers and solidarity. Or, maybe not.
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Comments

  • I fear such innovations just give more opportunity for faction.
  • <tongue only partly in cheek> I love how you guys call an "innovation" something we've been doing for over 1000 years.
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    Frankly what that video shows is an unworthy deformation of the Orthodox service for the Elevation/Exaltation of the Cross. Quite apart from being a serious fire risk. Prostrations with candles - NO, and amid chairs - NO, NO.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited January 17
    Innovations as far as we're concerned,., I don't think I'd recommend you folks to start celebrating Reformation Sunday either and for the same reason.
  • Because you don't believe in the cross?
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Because you don't believe in the cross?

    Belief in the cross is not a part of any creed that I recite.
    I think modern sensibilities have move the focus more onto the resurrection and God's triumph over humanity's ' cruelty and away from the blood and gore.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited January 17
    The thing is I do not think you can understand how great God's love is if you do not understand to what he is willing to go through in order to create a good relationship with humanity. A gospel without the horror and scandal of the Cross is a gospel without power. It is a gospel that removes the cost to God of Salvation. It is a gospel which does not say after we have done our worst to God, God still was there for us. It is a gospel that does not assure us that God is willing to step into the bad side of human life. Part of the Gospel is surely facing up to what humanity is and acknowledging that. This is most easily* done through the cross.

    *'easily' because I actually think the resurrection was even more costly because it involved profound forgiveness for humanity before we repented.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    The thing is I do not think you can understand how great God's love is if you do not understand to what he is willing to go through in order to create a good relationship with humanity. A gospel without the horror and scandal of the Cross is a gospel without power. It is a gospel that removes the cost to God of Salvation. It is a gospel which does not say after we have done our worst to God, God still was there for us. It is a gospel that does not assure us that God is willing to step into the bad side of human life. Part of the Gospel is surely facing up to what humanity is and acknowledging that. This is most easily* done through the cross.

    *'easily' because I actually think the resurrection was even more costly because it involved profound forgiveness for humanity before we repented.

    In truth you need one to "make sense of" the other - either way round.
    Can you talk about the "cost to God of salvation" when the God referred to is immutable and therefore incapable of suffering?
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Because you don't believe in the cross?

    Belief in the cross is not a part of any creed that I recite.
    I think modern sensibilities have move the focus more onto the resurrection and God's triumph over humanity's ' cruelty and away from the blood and gore.

    Surely both of the commonly-used creeds aver (directly or by implication) that Christ died, and it is a fairly well-accepted fact nowadays that he died upon a Roman cross? I'm not seeing how this is an optional belief for a credal Christian.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Because you don't believe in the cross?

    Belief in the cross is not a part of any creed that I recite.
    I think modern sensibilities have move the focus more onto the resurrection and God's triumph over humanity's ' cruelty and away from the blood and gore.

    Surely both of the commonly-used creeds aver (directly or by implication) that Christ died, and it is a fairly well-accepted fact nowadays that he died upon a Roman cross? I'm not seeing how this is an optional belief for a credal Christian.

    Belief in the crucifixion, yes.
    Belief in the cross?????
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited January 17
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Belief in the cross is not a part of any creed that I recite.
    I think modern sensibilities have move the focus more onto the resurrection and God's triumph over humanity's ' cruelty and away from the blood and gore.
    Oh dear. What have 'modern sensibilities' got to do with this?
    ... And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the scriptures, ...
    ... Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified dead and buried, He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead, ...
    For each of us, there will be parts of the Christian narrative that resonate more for us. For some it is the cross. For some it is the resurrection. For some it is the nativity. For some it is the teaching. Or whatever. But the whole story is essential and that includes the crucifixion and everything it involves. Whitewashing it out as a medieval embarrassment or 'not suitable for the kiddies' is attempting to turn Christianity into a euphemism for itself.

    I agree with @Jengie Jon and @mousethief
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    @Enoch - yes, you are right about certain parts of the Gospel narrative resonating more than others. The thing that I have found interesting is that the order of priority has changed a bit over the years. I have never been that interested in the nativity except from the point of view of the theological implications of the word became flesh and dwelt among us etc.. The crucifixion and the resurrection are an inseparable pair for me, but I can understand why some might stress the latter over the former, and vice versa.

    I think there is a level on which our personalities or convictions about the nature of human or God influence which school of theology within our tradition, or even the theological tradition to which we belong. I am not an optimist about human beings, for example, and means I favour a theological position that puts the initiative for man's salvation firmly with God. Other folk are more optimistic about humanity (I fail to see why) and embrace theological systems which are synergist.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Belief in the cross is not a part of any creed that I recite.
    I think modern sensibilities have move the focus more onto the resurrection and God's triumph over humanity's ' cruelty and away from the blood and gore.
    Oh dear. What have 'modern sensibilities' got to do with this?
    ... And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the scriptures, ...
    ... Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified dead and buried, He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead, ...
    For each of us, there will be parts of the Christian narrative that resonate more for us. For some it is the cross. For some it is the resurrection. For some it is the nativity. For some it is the teaching. Or whatever. But the whole story is essential and that includes the crucifixion and everything it involves. Whitewashing it out as a medieval embarrassment or 'not suitable for the kiddies' is attempting to turn Christianity into a euphemism for itself.

    I agree with @Jengie Jon and @mousethief

    Not wishing to whitewash it out at all but to set it in context.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    PDR wrote: »
    @Enoch - yes, you are right about certain parts of the Gospel narrative resonating more than others. The thing that I have found interesting is that the order of priority has changed a bit over the years. I have never been that interested in the nativity except from the point of view of the theological implications of the word became flesh and dwelt among us etc.. The crucifixion and the resurrection are an inseparable pair for me, but I can understand why some might stress the latter over the former, and vice versa.

    I think there is a level on which our personalities or convictions about the nature of human or God influence which school of theology within our tradition, or even the theological tradition to which we belong. I am not an optimist about human beings, for example, and means I favour a theological position that puts the initiative for man's salvation firmly with God. Other folk are more optimistic about humanity (I fail to see why) and embrace theological systems which are synergist.

    And I think the theological focus has changed.
    I seem to remember being taught that Christians are the Easter People.
    Its the Resurrection that is unique whereas we all die.
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    The thing is I do not think you can understand how great God's love is if you do not understand to what he is willing to go through in order to create a good relationship with humanity. A gospel without the horror and scandal of the Cross is a gospel without power. It is a gospel that removes the cost to God of Salvation. It is a gospel which does not say after we have done our worst to God, God still was there for us. It is a gospel that does not assure us that God is willing to step into the bad side of human life. Part of the Gospel is surely facing up to what humanity is and acknowledging that. This is most easily* done through the cross.

    *'easily' because I actually think the resurrection was even more costly because it involved profound forgiveness for humanity before we repented.

    In truth you need one to "make sense of" the other - either way round.
    Can you talk about the "cost to God of salvation" when the God referred to is immutable and therefore incapable of suffering?

    This is a very old debate, but is it Biblical to say that God is immutable (impassable might be a better term)? Isn't an impassible God more a product of Greek thought than Hebrew?
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited January 17
    I'm not really certain why we need to invent further 'celebrations' of the Cross, when we already have Good Friday (the obvious one, whether you mark it with the Veneration of the Cross, or not), and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th (or the nearest Sunday)?

    The cross gets plenty of attention in our existing liturgies (I speak of Anglican/Roman/Orthodox*/Lutheran traditions, all of which include Holy Cross Day, or something similar). Indeed, one of the main criticisms of the C of E BCP 1662 Communion Service was that it was rather too heavily cross-centred...this came up during the revisions of the 60s and 70s, IIRC.

    @PhilipV, are you perhaps thinking of using The Cross™ as a sort of common denominator for use at ecumenical services? If so, ISWYM, but the problem there is satisfactorily reconciling very different sorts of churchmanship into one service! I don't doubt it could be attempted, but would involve a great deal of effort on the part of all churches involved.

    (*I think - open to correction here!)
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    Belief in the crucifixion, yes.
    Belief in the cross?????

    I believe you are being overly literal.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited January 17
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I think the theological focus has changed.
    I seem to remember being taught that Christians are the Easter People.
    Its the Resurrection that is unique whereas we all die.

    And the point of having a liturgical calendar is to make sure all of it gets looked at and talked about and sung about, over the course of a year. We don't stop having Good Friday because Easter is more important. We observe them both. And Pentecost, and Ascension, and so forth. It's all part of the story of our salvation. If we start leaving bits out because other bits are more important, then we will no longer be telling the whole gospel, only the parts we like most.
  • @mousethief - is Holy Cross Day (September 14th in western traditions) observed in the Orthodox churches?
  • @mousethief - is Holy Cross Day (September 14th in western traditions) observed in the Orthodox churches?

    Yes, it is one of our twelve great feasts. Same day.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I think the theological focus has changed.
    I seem to remember being taught that Christians are the Easter People.
    Its the Resurrection that is unique whereas we all die.

    And the point of having a liturgical calendar is to make sure all of it gets looked at and talked about and sung about, over the course of a year. We don't stop having Good Friday because Easter is more important. We observe them both. And Pentecost, and Ascension, and so forth. It's all part of the story of our salvation. If we start leaving bits out because other bits are more important, then we will no longer be telling the whole gospel, only the parts we like most.

    Which is why some churches have a liturgical calendar - so that everything gets covered every year.
    I find it deeply significant that the RCC liturgies from Maundy Thursday to the Easter Vigil only have one opening greeting, at the start of the Maundy Thursday Mass and only one blessing and dismissal, at the end of the Easter Vigil. One continuous act of salvation where each element is given equal weight.
  • The problem is a time bound concept of God. Immutability is not just a problem for the Cross but for the nature of a loving God. All my experience of love suggests that to love something is to be changed by it. Therefore for God to love us he must be mutable. Actually if God experiences the World through time he must be mutable. To experience time is to experience change. If there is no change there is no time.

    So if God is immutable then he must be beyond time. That means that the cost of the cross is always part of God. So no problem.

    Sorry it has just got me on one of my weird philosophical thought flights. It is a while since I realised time was always a measure of change. If you want to think about it, imagine that everything stopped in the Universe (God somehow hits the pause button), by everything I mean everything including the spinning of atomic sub-particles. However long that happens for effectively does not exist within the universe. Time is thus a product of the Universe and the fact things are happening in the Universe.
  • I was once in London in Kentish town on Holy Cross day . As I walked to my appointment I passed two separate Orthodox churches. Both of them, when I went in, were full of worshippers.
  • Was that on the actual day (14th September)?

    I'm afraid we Anglicans (well, some of us) transfer it to the nearest Sunday (which, this year, is 13th September).
  • teddybearteddybear Shipmate Posts: 16
    Didn't someone write somewhere, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?" So how could we not?
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    When I survey the wondrous Cross
    On which the King of Glory died,
    My richest gain I count but dross,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.

    (or so I remember it from childhood)
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited January 18
    @mousethief - is Holy Cross Day (September 14th in western traditions) observed in the Orthodox churches?

    I realise it wasn't identified in the opening post but the linked video is from the Orthodox Cathedral of St Irénée in Paris. I think that's Bishop Benedict of Pau celebrating.

    Here is the rite of the elevation of the Cross at the church of Our Lady & St Thiebault last year. This celebration was transferred to the Sunday for pastoral reasons.
  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    The problem is a time bound concept of God. Immutability is not just a problem for the Cross but for the nature of a loving God. All my experience of love suggests that to love something is to be changed by it. Therefore for God to love us he must be mutable. Actually if God experiences the World through time he must be mutable. To experience time is to experience change. If there is no change there is no time.

    So if God is immutable then he must be beyond time. That means that the cost of the cross is always part of God. So no problem.

    Sorry it has just got me on one of my weird philosophical thought flights. It is a while since I realised time was always a measure of change. If you want to think about it, imagine that everything stopped in the Universe (God somehow hits the pause button), by everything I mean everything including the spinning of atomic sub-particles. However long that happens for effectively does not exist within the universe. Time is thus a product of the Universe and the fact things are happening in the Universe.

    This, modulo a change or two, is how I view God and Time.
  • teddybear wrote: »
    Didn't someone write somewhere, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?" So how could we not?

    Isn't it "boast"?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    ‘Boast’ and ‘glory’ are both used in different translations.
  • BF the Exultation of the Cross liturgies which I mentioned were on the 14th September.
    I can't remember which day of the week it was but it was a weekday.
  • All credit to those churches for keeping it so well on The Right Day!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    It appears in the calendar but it's never been part of the actual life of any church community I've belonged to. Does anyone know what it is meant to signify that is different from Good Friday or what the reason is for including it as a separate event?
  • I think it is the finding of the True Cross by St Helena but I am open to correction.
  • The feast follows one earlier in the Roman calendar on 3rd May, somewhat inaptly called in English 'The Invention of the Holy Cross' or better 'The Finding of the Holy Cross' This recalled the finding by St Helen of the Cross of Christ. The later feast on 14th September which became a more important liturgical celebration was called 'The Exaltation of the Holy Cross'' and recalls (well at least originally)) the bringing to Jerusalem by the Emperor Heraclius of that same church which was set up (lifted high) in the church which the Empress Helen had had built for it.

    Occasionally one sees the name of the feast misspelled as 'Exultation' rather than 'Exaltation'. Anyway in the Roman Calendar it is now known as 'The Triumph of the Cross'
    The earlier feast on 3rd May has been abolished.
  • Sorry typo error Heraclius did not bring the church but rather the Cross.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate

    @PhilipV, are you perhaps thinking of using The Cross™ as a sort of common denominator for use at ecumenical services? If so, ISWYM, but the problem there is satisfactorily reconciling very different sorts of churchmanship into one service! I don't doubt it could be attempted, but would involve a great deal of effort on the part of all churches involved.

    (*I think - open to correction here!)[/quote]

    The Nativity is an annual focus. The way of crucifixion is the Easter celebration. There are other perennials. The cross is the ultimate proof of Go's love and of his relationship with us. He let himself be destroyed physically as The Son. In his love, humility and forgiveness, he subjected his universal, supreme will to the particular failing will of the people (who chose Barabas over Jesus). Every Sunday celebrates Easter and the incarnation and the cross and the communion of saints and cetera. It's only an ecumenical puzzle and problem if one choses it so to be.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Forthview wrote: »
    The feast follows one earlier in the Roman calendar on 3rd May, somewhat inaptly called in English 'The Invention of the Holy Cross' or better 'The Finding of the Holy Cross' This recalled the finding by St Helen of the Cross of Christ. <snip>
    There was a time when the English word ‘invention’ (from the Latin invenire) meant finding.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    Forthview wrote: »
    The feast follows one earlier in the Roman calendar on 3rd May, somewhat inaptly called in English 'The Invention of the Holy Cross' or better 'The Finding of the Holy Cross' This recalled the finding by St Helen of the Cross of Christ. <snip>
    There was a time when the English word ‘invention’ (from the Latin invenire) meant finding.

    She was inventive in her exploration and when she came into finding it.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    PhilipV wrote: »
    ... The Nativity is an annual focus. The way of crucifixion is the Easter celebration. There are other perennials. The cross is the ultimate proof of Go's love and of his relationship with us. He let himself be destroyed physically as The Son. In his love, humility and forgiveness, he subjected his universal, supreme will to the particular failing will of the people (who chose Barabas over Jesus). Every Sunday celebrates Easter and the incarnation and the cross and the communion of saints and cetera. It's only an ecumenical puzzle and problem if one choses it so to be.
    I'm sorry. I may be thick but I still don't get this.

    Good Friday is the day of Crucifixion. Easter Sunday is the Day of Resurrection. These are key events ('crucial' if you like) in the church year.

    Every Sunday also remembers and rejoices in the Resurrection. At every Eucharist/Holy Communion/Lord's Supper/Mass/Holy Liturgy/Holy Qurbana/Breaking of Bread Service (choose preferred term) we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Cor 11:26).

    The cross is not a symbol independently of the crucifixion. It is a symbol of Christianity because Jesus was crucified on it. Nor, despite what Jim Packer has sometimes appeared to imply, are the crucifixion and resurrection separate events that stand alone from each other. What are you seeking to add and why does it need an extra occasion?

  • Well, I did ask @PhilipV if perhaps he was thinking of using Holy Cross Day as an opportunity for some sort of ecumenical service, given the cross's prominent place in the Christian theme.

    However, he seems to see the cross as a potential 'ecumenical puzzle', but I, too, don't see why. With all our differences, we at least have the cross in common, IYSWIM.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    It appears in the calendar but it's never been part of the actual life of any church community I've belonged to. Does anyone know what it is meant to signify that is different from Good Friday or what the reason is for including it as a separate event?

    It's quite a different focus, so that it wouldn't have occurred to me to equate the two, although they are, of course, inextricably bound together. Good Friday is our entering into the observance and mystery of the Passion of the Saviour, and part of the observance of the events of his sacred Passion leading to the joy of Pascha. It is a time of penitence and fasting as we worship the Saviour who died for us, anticipating the joy of the Resurrection. The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is a celebration of the means whereby our salvation has come about: the altar of the Cross, on which Christ offered Himself as both priest and victim.

    See, for instance, the preface of the anaphora for the Exaltation:
    It is truly fitting and right, just and profitable for our salvation
    to give You thanks at all times and in all places,
    holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God,
    unspeakable, indescribable, invisible, and eternally the same.

    O extraordinary wonder!
    On this day, the life-giving Tree,
    the most holy Cross, is raised on high.
    All the ends of the earth glorify it
    and the crowds of demons are seized with terror.
    O! what grace you have granted to mortals,
    for through it your Son saves our souls.
    O glorious miracle!
    On this day the Cross carries at its pinnacle
    the very noble and overflowing Cluster of life.
    It is raised from the earth and appears to all.
    Through it we are drawn to You, O our God,
    and death has been swallowed up forever.

    O immaculate wood!
    through which we enjoy the immortal food of Eden;
    O wondrous sign!
    the length and breadth of which encompass the four corners of the heavens.
    By your mercy, O Lord, the Cross sanctifies the universe:
    in it, the nations find peace among themselves;
    through it, the sceptre of your people is fortified.
    O divine ladder!
    through it we ascend to the heavens by exalting You
    with all the visible and invisible creatures, O Creator of the world,
    through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit,
    by crying aloud to You:
    Holy, Holy, Holy, &c.

    So it's a very different liturgical observance from that of Good Friday.

    I believe it was originally the consecration festival of the churches built on the holy sites associated with the Cross and, as with many liturgical observances (particularly those of Holy Week), spread from the Holy Land to other parts of the Church due to the witness of pilgrims returning to their homelands.

    As Forthview rightly says, in most places it eventually came to supplant the Invention of the Cross in May, (which is a pity, as we lose the lovely Alleluias on the antiphons at the Office). and is now seen as a celebration of that event as well.

    (Interestingly, in the Byzantine rite, the Exaltation of the Cross is a unique phenomenon, being one of the greatest of feast days but which, uniquely, is observed by fasting - so a penitential element is present).

    My patron saint had the misfortune of being martyred on the day which was to become the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and now his feast is pushed and pulled hither and yon by various churches, as nobody seems to know what to do with him. We celebrate him on the 16th of September.
  • @Enoch - Perhaps it is this: Good Friday commemorates a hell of a lot. In some traditions the great high priestly prayer (others put this on Maundy Thursday), the agony in the Garden, asking for the cup to pass, the arrest, the deliberations of the Sanhedrin, the trial before Pilate, the carrying of the cross, the mocking and scourging, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion, the Seven Words, the taking down, the entombment.

    On Holy Cross Sunday we turn a laser-like focus to just one part of that momentous day, that perhaps doesn't get so much attention on Good Friday because there are so many other things to focus on. We can talk about things in the OT that prefigure or at least hint at the cross, we can talk about Roman crucifixion in general, about how the cross has been used in Christian belief and piety since. Things we just don't have time to really delve into on Good Friday.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    I think I'm agreeing with Mousethief.

    Good Friday is the darkness of humanity rejecting God; specifically as precursor to the interim of Holy Saturday and the joy of resurrection. A "Holy Cross Feast" remembers that the everlasting love shared with us by God the Father was 'tested' and rejected by humanity so it is a celebration of his forgiveness and trust - which he puts in us. There is always overlap between conventionalised feasts. You could as legitimately question the value of a Christ the King Sunday when it arguably celebrates the same theme as Easter Monday ('He's back"; "Yes, he's really back" But he never left. The destiny of the journey to the cross was always going to demonstrate that God's love always wins. The same love wins from the time of Abraham and Moses. We are involved in the same Bible journey. The cross can more clearly relate us to Israel. Hence the value of a specific separate festival for the cross (though celebrated every sunday). It's a powerful ecumenical theme.
  • Instinctively I react against things that are innovations to me, especially if they echo other things. So, for myself, I see no need for Holy Cross, Corpus Christi, Christ the King, or Bible Sunday. Other people's mileage clearly differs.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    Instinctively I react against things that are innovations to me,

    Others want and need innovation. Christmas and Easter were once innovations.
  • Instinctively I react against things that are innovations to me, especially if they echo other things. So, for myself, I see no need for Holy Cross, Corpus Christi, Christ the King, or Bible Sunday. Other people's mileage clearly differs.

    I'm in a Facebook group of English language mavens. Regularly people will post comments about how some bloody newfangled use of the language has their tits twisted. Currently there's a long discussion about using "milk" to mean liquid produced from plant seeds (nuts, grains, beans). It doesn't matter that it's been used that way since the middle ages. It's new to THEM, so it's bad.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited January 19
    PhilipV wrote: »
    Instinctively I react against things that are innovations to me,

    Others want and need innovation. Christmas and Easter were once innovations.

    Not quite sure what you mean by 'innovation' here. Easter was celebrated by the fledgling Christian church from the very earliest days, though Christmas did become more prominent later on, AIUI.

    They were innovations, I suppose, insofar as the Christian church was an innovation, from a Roman or Jewish religious POV. Is that what you meant?

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited January 19
    Holy Cross Day appeared for the first time (sfaik) in the calendar/lectionary of a Presbyterian church in the 1993 Book of Common Worship of the PC(USA). It was included with certain other days—the Presentation, the Annunciation, the Visitation and Birth of John the Baptist—that were described as days generally not observed among Reformed churches, but their inclusion was commended to “recognize the work of God in these biblical events, and express our solidarity with Christians in other traditions.” The 2018 BCW added the feast of the Holy Name, but omitted the Birth of John the Baptist.

    But I find myself wondering if we have more in common than we recognize. It is true that many Protestants will have some discomfort with things like the video in the OP shows, though not all will. I have experienced a form of the veneration of the cross on Good Friday and Taizé-style prayer around the cross in Presbyterian and other Protestant settings.

    But as I’ve read through this thread, my thoughts have turned to a number of hymns:

    Beneath the Cross of Jesus
    In the Cross of Christ I Glory
    Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
    Lift High the Cross
    When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


    And there are others. Perhaps we already have some common understandings and share a sense of the value and importance of the Cross, but we express those understandings and that sense of value in different ways?

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    PhilipV wrote: »
    Instinctively I react against things that are innovations to me,

    Others want and need innovation. Christmas and Easter were once innovations.

    Not quite sure what you mean by 'innovation' here. Easter was celebrated by the fledgling Christian church from the very earliest days, though Christmas did become more prominent later on, AIUI.

    They were innovations, I suppose, insofar as the Christian church was an innovation, from a Roman or Jewish religious POV. Is that what you meant?

    Is there much evidence - certainly supposition, yes, but evidence - before Egeria?
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