'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'
St Matthew 28: 19
Charity No. 282910
But after the crucifixion of Our Lord. It has become a sign of spiritual freedom and a throne of peace. As such it has become a sign of freedom and victory for all Christians. (Ps.2:6-7, 44:4). Christ made peace, through His Cross (Eph.2.15-17).
The Cross, which Constantine, the Great saw in the form of light, shall live as a sign of victory. As St Paul stated, visible and mysterious power of the Cross is foolishness to those who do not believe. (Cor. 1:18). Proclaiming and that the Cross is the power of the cross is the power of God seems to them a scoff.
The Cross of Christ has become an instrument of punishment for death and satan. As St. Yared stated in his hymn for the departed, the Son who created the world drove away His enemy by His Cross.
The faithful through belief in Christ and crossing themselves in the sign of the Cross have been redeemed from destruction, sin, and the worship of idols. By the Cross they overcame the demons, heretics and evil desires. The cross has also become the symbol of Christian arts. The Christians make a symbol of the Cross on their clothings, books and household utensils.
In our country Crosses adorn needle works, embroidery, jewellery. Some Christians tattoo the cross over their foreheads and hands.
The faithful always wear their crosses in their lifetime and is also kept with them after death. A cross made out from wood, metal or stone is planted over their graves. This is done to show that the Cross is not only the symbol of death and suffering, but also a sign of resurrection and life.
Since the icon and the cross occupy a prominent place in the spiritual life of Christians, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church serves the faithful with consecrated icons and crosses.
In the Church service, the cross is used for blessings. Priests always keep the cross with them, give blessings with it and it is kissed by the faithful.
In accordance with this, the church signs and prays as follows:-
“ The Cross is our power,
The Cross is our strength,
The Cross is our ransom,
The Cross is the salvation of our soul,
The Jews denied, but we believed,
We, who believed saved by the power of His Cross.”
As a Psalmist said “ Let us worship at his footstool (Ps:131:7), it is befitting to prostrate, to kneel down to bow for the cross not with adoration but with reverence and grace.
This reverence is also based on the hymn of St Yared (Tsome Digua), which runs “ O Master, we prostrate for Your Cross and praise Your Holy Resurrection.” This is in accordance with the teaching of our Church.
The Cross is highly venerated in the life of the Church.
Prophecy: “ The grape-vine, cut from Hasisson implanted in Golgotha became my cure.” (Songs of Solomon 5:1-2).
“ Thou hast set up a banner for those who fear Thee,
to rally to it from the bow that Thy beloved may
be delivered". (Ps.59:4).
Symbol: The wood with which Noah, built his ark (Gen.7:1-6). The staff of Moses (Ex 4:2-9). The bronze serpent (Num.21:9). All of these are symbols of the Cross.
Before the crucifixion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Cross, was the symbol of penality, curse and humiliation (Deut.21:23; 2Cor.5:21, Gal.3:13).
Archbishop Yesehaq. (1997). The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church. Winston-Derek Pub