Adoration of the Cross
Adoration Of The Cross is respect paid to the cross by bending the knee before it, as practiced in all roman Catholic countries and by the members of the Greek Church. On Good-Friday the ceremony of adoring the cross is performed at Rome, and in all the cathedrals and principal churches of the Catholic communion throughout the world. - After the performance of the usual introductory service, the officiating priest and all his assistants advance to the altar, where a bow more reverential than usual is made to the cross by each of them. They then repeat in a low voice certain prayers, on the conclusion of which they rise up and descend from the altar, a signal having been given by the " master of the ceremonies." "The cushions on which 'they' knelt are then removed, and the choir, as well as the congregation, repeat certain prayers, all kneeling. Again the officiating priest approaches the altar, kisses it, goes through the lessons for the day. in a mumbling voice, receives the cross from the deacon whose duty it is to hand it to him, removes from' the head of it: the veil which covers the entire crucifix, and then elevates it with both hands, singing Ecce lignuma .ctucis (" Behold the wood of the cross"). Instantly the whole congregation start to their feet, and all the ministers at the altar begin to sing In quo salus mundi pependit (": On which the Saviour of the world was extended"). The singers answer, enite et adoremus ("Let us come and adore"). As soon as the last syllable is chanted, all present, except the officiating priest, fall upon their knees and offer silent adoration to the cross. In a few minutes all rise again, and the priest uncovers the right arm of the cross and again elevates it, saying, as before, but in a louder voice, Ecce lignum, etc. Next he approaches the middle of the-altar, and, turning towards the congregation, elevates the cross again, which now he exposes by the removal of the veil from every part of it, and repeats the same words in a still louder and more emphatic voice. A purple cushion is then laid upon the steps of the altar, upon which the priest lays the cross; he then retires for the purpose of taking off his shoes; his attendants do the same; returning barefoot, they reverently approach the piece of wood upon the cushion, and, kneeling down, they meekly kiss it. Then all present, in the order of their rank (the clergy always first), perform the same ceremony of kissing the crucifix, which at last is taken up- by a deacon and placed in an upright-position on the altar.
In Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities of Russia many ceremonies are. performed during Passion week, which are brought to a close about four o'clock on the morning of Easter-Sunday;],by the ceremony of adoring the cross. The members of the Greek Church not only kiss this symbol of the Christian religion, but when the bishop or archbishop holds it forth for the reverence of the worshippers they rush forward, to the imminent risk of many of them, and embrace the crucifix with vehement devotion and. affection. SEE CROSS