Adoration of the Cross

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Veneration of the Holy Cross
Adoration of the Cross

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Let us venerate the tree of life, the Holy Cross, whose Divine fruit nourishes us, at The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church this Sunday.

Divine Liturgy — 10:00 am

Join us in celebrating the Divine Liturgy on this third Sunday of Lent.

O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance; grant victory to the faithful over their adversaries. And protect Your commonwealth, by the power of Your Cross. 

No longer does the flaming sword guard the gate of Eden, for a marvelous quenching is come upon it, even the Tree of the Cross. The sting has been taken from death, and the victory from Hades. And, You, my Savior, has appeared unto those in Hades saying: Enter again into Paradise.

Participating from Home

Welcome to our first live-streamed Divine Liturgy at The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church in Melbourne, Australia.

  • The Liturgy is due to start at 10:00 am AEDT on Sunday 22nd March 2020.
  • Serving at the altar is our Parish Priest, Fr. Geoff Harvey, alongside Dcn. Nicholas Fraser.
  • Delivering the sermon is Dr Jonathan Zecher, a member of our parish, blessed by Fr. Geoff to do this.
  • Thank you to the members of our choir who have been invited to participate.

To make the most of this live-stream we encourage you to treat it like a live church service and give it your full attention for your spiritual benefit. We don’t consider it to be like an episode of a favourite TV show, a sporting match or something playing in the background whilst you do other things. We would encourage you to fully participate in the Divine Liturgy as if you were physically present in the Religious Centre.

  1. Tune into the live-stream from our Facebook page or YouTube channel.
    Like our Facebook page, click on Going or Interested for the Event. ​
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel – then you will receive an email when there is a new live-stream.
  2. Work out where you are going to experience the Liturgy e.g. smart TV, icon corner, somewhere quiet.
  3. Consider using a second device to view the service book on the Khouria app.
    Help: Instructions for accessing the Khouria app.
  4. Alternatively, PDF icondownload and print the variables sheet.
  5. Send in your prayer requests using this form.
  6. Prepare for Holy Communion with prayers and fasting.
    See: Preparing for Holy Communion.
    Dress respectfully to help be in the right frame of mind. 
  7. When the Liturgy starts, stand, cross yourself, bow, sing and say the responses just as you would if you were there.
  8. Contribute to the collection, by sending us your tithe or donation through online banking, our details are here.
  9. After the Liturgy, break your fast and enjoy lunch at home.
The Holy Cross decoration featured in the Liturgy today appears below. We hope this beauty brightens your day.

Photo of the Holy Cross flower decoration featured in the Divine Liturgy todayPhoto of the Holy Cross flower decoration featured in the Divine Liturgy today

Have a blessed day.

About the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross

As we have “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24), and will have mortified ourselves during these forty days of the Fast, the precious and life-giving Cross is now placed before us to refresh our souls and encourage us who may be filled with a sense of bitterness, resentment, and depression. The Cross reminds us of the Passion of our Lord, and by presenting to us His example, it encourages us to follow Him in struggle and sacrifice, being refreshed, assured, and comforted. In other words, we must experience what the Lord experienced during His Passion - being humiliated in a shameful manner. The Cross teaches us that through pain and suffering we shall see the fulfilment of our hopes: the heavenly inheritance and eternal glory.

As they who walk on a long and hard way and are bowed down by fatigue find great relief and strengthening under the cool shade of a leafy tree, so do we find comfort, refreshment, and rejuvenation under the Life-giving Cross, which our Fathers “planted” on this Sunday. Thus, we are fortified and enabled to continue our Lenten journey with a light step, rested and encouraged.

Veneration of the Holy Cross Icon

Veneration of the Holy Cross

Or, as before the arrival of the king, his royal standards, trophies, and emblems of victory come in procession and then the king himself appears in a triumphant parade, jubilant and rejoicing in his victory and filling those under him with joy, so does the Feast of the Cross precede the coming of our King, Jesus Christ. It warns us that He is about to proclaim His victory over death and appear to us in the glory of the Resurrection. His Life-Giving Cross is His royal sceptre, and by venerating it we are filled with joy, rendering Him glory. Therefore, we become ready to welcome our King, who shall manifestly triumph over the powers of darkness.

The present feast has been placed in the middle of Great Lent for another reason. The Fast can be likened to the spring of Marah whose waters the children of Israel encountered in the wilderness. This water was undrinkable due to its bitterness but became sweet when the Holy Prophet Moses dipped the wood into its depth. Likewise, the wood of the Cross sweetens the days of the Fast, which are bitter and often grievous because of our tears. Yet Christ comforts us during our course through the desert of the Fast, guiding and leading us by His hand to the spiritual Jerusalem on high by the power of His Resurrection.

Moreover, as the Holy Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is placed in the middle of the Fast, as the ancient tree of life was placed in the middle of the garden of Eden. By this, our Holy Fathers wished to remind us of Adam’s gluttony as well as the fact that through this Tree has condemnation been abolished. Therefore, if we bind ourselves to the Holy Cross, we shall never encounter death but shall inherit life eternal.


The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church, located in Clayton, Melbourne, is a living witness to the power of the Gospel and the fullness of the Christian Faith in modern, secular Australia.

We are a vibrant Australian Christian community under the direction of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

The Church of Antioch is the continuation of the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul. The Patriarchate of Antioch is the oldest of the ancient Patriarchates constituting the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

All services are in the English language and are streamed online via Facebook and YouTube