Traditionally celebrated on 14 September every year, the “Holy Cross Exaltation Day” was celebrated with special rites in Orthodox Churches in Hatay.
Sacred Rites held in İskenderun, Antakya and Samandağ Greek Orthodox Churches were held within the framework of pandemic rules and with limited participation.
Father Yusuf Nicholas Papasoğlu conducted the service in the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Iskenderun, Fathers Dimitri Doğum and Can Dellüller conducted the service in the Antakya Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, Fathers Trifon Yumurta and Dimyan Yakupoğlu conducted the service in the Samandağ Saint Elias Greek Orthodox Church.
During the rites, the “Holy Cross”, placed on a tray decorated with flowers and leaves, was ceremonially passed in front of the members of the congregation who participated in the liturgy. Congregation members also greeted the Holy Cross with prostration and prayers.
At the end of the rituals in which the Bread and Wine were blessed and distributed, the flowers and leaves decorated with the Cross were also distributed to the members of the congregation.
According to the belief, the parts of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified found by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena as a result of the searches near Jerusalem in 325. For this reason, this holy event is celebrated in all Orthodox Churches with special rites held on September 14 every year. (SAT-7 Türk/İlyas Edip TERBİYELİ-İskenderun)