The Cross in the Light of Jesus Christ: Theology of the Cross in the Maronite Book of Offering



Fr. Armando Elkhoury


The cross is a heinous instrument of execution. Why, then, do Maronites and other Christians venerate it? The cross adorns our necks, for example, and we hang it in our homes, churches, workplaces, etc. At various liturgies, we adore the cross by kissing and bowing to it. We refer to it as the cross of splendor, the cross of wonder, and the cross of glory, and the Church celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Glorious Cross each year, on September 14.

The cross, in and of itself, depicts total defeat and horrendous death. Paradoxically, the cross of Jesus Christ symbolizes victory and life. Why? Precisely because of who Jesus the Nazarene is: he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Crucified One. Hence, in the light of Jesus Christ, let us explore a couple of theological themes about the cross found in the Maronite Book of Offering—henceforth BO.

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Psalm of the Readings – The Exaltation of the Cross (Maronite Divine Liturgy)



Alejandro Landin
Translator


Our Savior, guard Your Church and her children with the Cross of Light because it is the source of life and fulfillment of all mysteries.ܒܰܨܠܺܝܒ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܢܰܛܰܪ ܠܥܺܕܬܳܟ ܘܰܠܝ̈ܰܠܕܶܝܗ̇ ܆ ܕܡܰܒܘܽܥܳܐ ܕܚ̈ܰܝܶܐ ܐܺܝܬܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܆ ܘܫܘܽܡܠܳܝܳܐ ܕܟܽܠܗܘܽܢ ܪ̈ܳܐܙܶܐ ܀
With Your Cross, the power of your divinity, the priest signs Your Body and Blood on the altar and consecrates the mysteries of Your Church.ܒܰܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܪܳܫܶܡ ܟܳܗܢܳܐ ܆ ܦܰܓܪܳܟ ܘܰܕܡܳܟ ܥܰܠ ܡܰܕܒܚܳܐ ܆ ܒܫܘܽܠܛܳܢܳܐ ܕܰܐܠܳܗܘܽܬܳܟ ܆ ܘܰܡܩܰܕܶܫ ܪ̈ܳܐܙܶܐ ܕܥܺܕܬܳܟ ܀
Our Savior, Your Cross, which became a ladder [see Gn 28:10-17] for Your Church, is blessed, and by it, mortals are raised and joined to the Spiritual Beings.ܒܪܺܝܟ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܨܠܺܝܒܳܟ ܦܳܪܘܽܩܰܢ ܆ ܕܰܗܘܳܐ ܠܥܺܕܬܳܟ ܣܶܒܶܠܬܳܐ ܆ ܘܒܶܗ ܡܶܬܥܰܠܶܝܢ ܡܳܝ̈ܘܽܬܶܐ ܆ ܘܡܶܬܚܰܠܛܺܝܢ ܥܰܡ ܪ̈ܘܽܚܳܢܶܐ ܀