As the cross is being carried, the priest or a chanter chants a special duet with the congregation known as Sēmeron Kremātai Epí Xýlou:
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross.
He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the Heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon His face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear.
We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.
When the cross is in position, the brief hymn, ‘The Wise Thief’ is chanted by singers at the foot of the cross. The thief, crucified on Christ’s right hand, repents and finds paradise “in a single moment,” as he discovers the fullness of God’s love, who would take the repentance of a single moment and transform it into life eternal:
The Wise Thief didst Thou make worthy of Paradise,
in a single moment, O Lord.
By the wood of Thy Cross illumine me as well, and save me.
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