September 14… the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross of Christ…
The Cross is the weapon of righteousness that dispels all darkness. Defeats all satanic attacks. Provides life to anyone who embraces it, picks it up, and carries it. For we glory in the Cross of Christ for indeed it is the very wisdom of God. Fear not the chaotic and insanely crazed times in which we live. These birth pangs of unrest are a sign… things are moving exactly as our Lord foretold. Do not fear. Do not fret. Do not worry. Join yourself to Christ’s Body, the Church, find hope, solace, and strength within Her for anything and everything that is coming, and that will come.
An Explanation of the Traditional Orthodox Three-bar Cross
(also called the Eight-pointed Cross)
Worshipping the crucified Lord are two flying angels, with the inscription between them: “Angels of the Lord” (in Slavonic: Ангели Господни). In some depictions of the Cross the Angels are bearing an image of the Holy Trinity, but traditions vary in allowing this; usually the Angels are simply holding towels, indicating their position as messengers who serve the Lord and who wait on Him.
Through the Cross came our Salvation. We are constantly reminded that Christ died for us when we see the Image of the Cross (depicting the crucified Lord), and we are reminded that He rose from the dead when we behold the Image of Christ “Not made by hands” (Slavonic: Нерукутвореному образъ) on the towel (depicting the Lord risen frem the dead).
The top bar of the Cross is the title-board which Pilate ordered to be hung in mockery over Christ’s head. On this board was inscribed: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (abbreviated to the Greek initials ‘INBI’, or the Latin initials ‘INRI’ in the Western tradition). This has been replaced with the Christian inscription: “King of Glory” (Slavonic: Царь славы), placed below the knees of the angels. [Note that while the use of the inscription ‘І.Н.Ц.І.’ does not usually appear in the Russian tradition, examples of its occurrence are occasionally found on newer Russian Crosses.] On the title-board is inscribed the initials ‘IC XC’, being the first and last letters of Christ’s name in Greek (Greek: Iisous Khristos; Old Rite Slavonic: Ісоусъ Христосъ; New Rite Slavonic: Іисусъ Христосъ). In addition, just above Christ’s arms we see the inscription: ‘NIKA’, which in Greek means: “He conquers” or “He is victorious.” [Frequently, especially on the Greek and New Rite Russian prosphora seal, we see these last two inscriptions together with the simple two-barred Cross: ‘IC XC NI KA’, meaning: “Jesus Christ is victorious” (i.e., over death and sin). Note that in the proper Orthodox tradition the Saviour does not wear a crown of thorns (as in the Western tradition), nor is He portrayed alive on the Cross, nor in any aspect of suffering, but in a state of humble and peaceful repose, with inclined head. Also note that His feet are nailed with two nails.]