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.