We Adore Your Cross?


#1

In the Maronite liturgy we sing “we adore your cross”. I thought we adore God alone?


#2

The Cross is the instrument of our salvation. It is the wood of the cross that Our Lord and God Jesus Christ was nailed and hung upon to be the propitiation for our sins. An instrument of death was made holy by the shedding of blood. The holy cross has been venerated since the beginning of Christianity. We are marked with the sign of the cross at baptism and confirmation (chrismation). We sign ourselves frequently during the Mass or Divine Liturgy. We adore the cross because Our Lord gave himself up on it for our redemption which we see re-presented at every Holy Mass.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Adoremus te Christi et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctem crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

O crux Ave, spes unica!


Latria - Worship and adoration reserved to God alone (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)

Hyper Dulia - Veneration reserved to the Most Holy Theotokos the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dulia - Veneration reserved to the Angels and Saints


#3

You are right, while we venerate the Holy Cross very highly we give adoration to God alone.

Perhaps this is just a poor English translation? It is true that in everyday English the word "adore" is used to mean something much less than true adoration, just like the word "worship" is used for something much more than the common ordinary worship we give to all worthy creatures. The English language is always changing. I would think we would want to stick to old theological definitions of these words especially on so important a subject, but perhaps whoever wrote or translated the line you quote insisted on using colloquial language.


#4

It is in worship, praise, and prayer that we could get into trouble.

You can adore your wife, but don't worship her.

You can adore your kids but don't pray to them.

Of course the word praise can be used in different ways but we don't want to praise created things. But for example we can sing someone's praise, or praise someone for a job well done.


#5

[quote="Augustine3, post:1, topic:316679"]
In the Maronite liturgy we sing “we adore your cross”. I thought we adore God alone?

[/quote]

The Maronite Rite is a beautiful one! Just wanted to state that lol :D

We worship God alone. Adore and worship are two different things. ;)

Adore: 1: to worship or honor as a deity or as divine
2: to regard with loving admiration and devotion
3: to be very fond of

Now of course a cross is not a deity or divine so #1 would not apply.


#6

#7

I asked my confessor about this last year. The Cross is bathed, saturated in Christ's Blood. The Cross has always represented Christ. Kissing the Holy Cross is to symbolically kiss Jesus. This is why in the new order of "imago" we can kneel before a statu without committing idolatry. The honor rendered to the image (in this case, the Cross) passes beyond the image itself to the one whom it represents. So in adoring the Cross, we render that latria to Jesus. See the CCC for this. Dont't remember the number .


#8

[quote="aidanbradypop, post:5, topic:316679"]
The Maronite Rite is a beautiful one! Just wanted to state that lol :D

We worship God alone. Adore and worship are two different things. ;)

Adore: 1: to worship or honor as a deity or as divine
2: to regard with loving admiration and devotion
3: to be very fond of

Now of course a cross is not a deity or divine so #1 would not apply.

[/quote]

Actually, adore in technical speak is indeed the worship of latria, i.e. the worship due to God alone. The word is used not just in the Maronite church but even in the Roman Rite, in both the Liturgy of the Hours (Sept. 14) and the Stations of the Cross. In the official U.S. English of the Liturgy of the Hours, we sing, "We worship your Cross O Lord..." It's not an error, we are indeed offering worship to the Cross.

In fact, it is #1 that applies, because we do offer the cross the worship of latria, i.e. the worship due to God alone. But we do so not because the Cross is divine, and neither do we worship it as wood, but because the Cross, by virtue of its contact with Christ and being the instrument of our salvation, has become, as it were, an image of him, and that the worship (latria) we offer it or any image of him is in fact offered to Christ.

This is why in the Roman church for example, we genuflect to the Cross, just as we do to the Blessed Sacrament. This is not because the Cross is the Real Presence as the Blessed Sacrament is, but because we offer it the worship due to Christ alone.

Summa Theologica (III, 25, 3; III, 25, 4) newadvent.org/summa/4025.htm


#9

Great input guys, thanks very much!

I guess in my heart I knew the answer, but with the help of you guys I think I can articulate it. It occurred to me if all adoration is due to the holy Trinity alone then why did the people in the bible worship Jesus in the flesh or why do we adore Jesus in the holy Eucharist? Because God is substantially present in these forms, just like God is substantially present in the cross. Someone said in a manner of speaking the cross is the image of Jesus. I will expand and say it’s an image of his perfect love for us. The cross played an essential role in offering a divine sacrifice pleasing to the Father. In a sense the cross had been fused onto Jesus in this divine action.


#10

We say something similar in the Byzantine Rite:

“Before Thy Cross we bow down in worship, Master, and we glorify Thy Holy Resurrection.”

The Cross is the symbol of Christ our God. What we do to the Cross is actually being done to Christ. Think of the Cross as being the seal of our monarch, Christ. :slight_smile:


#11

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