On Sunday, September 14, Orthodox Christians will celebrate the great feast of The Universal Elevation (Exaltation) of the Cross (See accompanying article). That weekend, and for eight days (through September 21), the Cross will be highly decorated with flowers and placed in the center of the Church for veneration, as the main sign of Christ's victory over death. As we prostrate ourselves before the instrument of our salvation we will sing both during and after divine services the following hymn: "Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master; and Thy Holy Resurrection, we glorify."
Coinciding with this feast a number of significant Pan Orthodox activities will take place in Dallas, open to the public, Sunday - Tuesday, September 14 - 16.
First, members of the entire Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America have been invited to concelebrate at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, September 14, at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral. Thus far, His Eminence Archbishop Nikon of New England (our locum tenens), His Eminence Archbishop Alejo of Mexico, and His Grace Bishop David of Alaska have accepted the invitation. It may be that His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of the OCA Romanian Episcopate will also be present. Other members of the Synod will undoubtedly be at their respective Cathedral's for this important feast day.
In light of this gathering of Hierarchs at our Dallas Cathedral, I would like to encourage members and friends of St. Barbara's to participate in the Festal Liturgy onSeptember 14 at St. Seraphim's. Our own parish, St. Barbara's will remain open that day for the celebration of the feast. It may be nice, however, for people to take advantage of this opportunity to hear and receive a blessing from members of our Holy Synod visiting from other regions of the country and Mexico.
Furthermore, on Monday, September 15, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States will convene in Dallas for its Annual Meeting. A possible total of 53 Hierarchs will be present. **
According to the official Assembly website: "The gathering will commence with a pan-Orthodox Doxology and Clergy-Laity Gathering on the evening of Monday, September 15, 2014. All local DFW clergy and laity are invited to join in prayer during the Doxology, scheduled for 7 pm at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. Following the Doxology, a panel of bishops will answer questions related to the work of the Assembly. Fellowship will follow.
"This is the second Assembly-sponsored clergy-laity event; the first was held in Cleveland, Ohio, in October 2013. The gatherings serve as a valuable opportunity for hierarchs to present the work of the Assembly to the faithful and allow for the exchange of ideas and concerns. The event is open to the public."
Additionally, on Tuesday morning, September 16, at 8 am, Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. For more information please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Basil or see: assemblyofbishops.org. You may also call Holy Trinity Church at (972) 991-1166 for schedules and times.
** The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is a body of all active, canonical Orthodox bishops in the US. There are currently 53 bishops in the Assembly, representing the following archdioceses and dioceses in the US: Albanian, American Carpatho-Russian, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Greek, Orthodox Church in America, Romanian, Russian, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Serbian, and Ukrainian. The Assembly was established to address the pastoral needs of Orthodox faithful, present a common and unified witness of the Orthodox Faith, and manifest the unity of Orthodoxy."