To: Clergy and People
From: The Bishop
4th March, 2016
The Veneration of the Cross
In the seventh century, the Church in Rome adopted the practice of Adoration of the Cross from the Church
in Jerusalem, where a piece of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross had been venerated every year on Good
Friday since the fourth century. According to tradition, a part of the Holy Cross was discovered by St. Helen,
the mother of the emperor Constantine, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Since then, on every Good
Friday, Christians have been venerating the Holy Cross. A fifth century account describes this service in
Jerusalem. A coffer of gold-plated silver containing the wood of the cross was brought forward. The bishop
placed the relic on a table in the chapel of the Crucifixion and the faithful approached it, touching brow and
eye and lips to the wood as the priest said: ‘Behold, the Wood ofthe Cross.’
The practice of the veneration of the cross is an act in which we adore what the cross represents. In
kneeling before the crucifix and kissing it we are paying the highest honour to our Lord’s cross as the
instrument ,of our salvation. We cannot separate the Cross from the sacrifice of Jesus, from God’s act of
redemption which sets us free from the power of evil and sin. Therefore, in reverencing the Cross we, in
effect, adore Christ. As stated in the liturgy for Good Friday page 246 in the Book of Common Prayer, CPWI:
‘We adore you, 0 Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.’
The same God who gave the Commandment which states that you shall not make any idol and bow down to
it nor worship it (Exodus 20:4-5) is the same God who said to Moses, ‘Make a poisonous~ serpent, and set it
on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.’ 9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put
it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and
live. (Numbers 21:8-9).
Let us not be caught by the power of a word. We can bow down and worship someone or something
without bending the knee or lowering the head. In any society people must be free to state their views and
opinions on any matter, whether it is to state ones disagreement with a statement made by the Prime
Minister, Opposition Leader, Parliamentarian, Bishop or member of the Clergy, Head of Department,
Manager or whoever, and there is no need for such disagreement to be aggressive, raucous or boisterous.
In a similar manner any leader who constantly reacts to such disagreement with acrimony, hostility and
disapproval is tantamount to be asking others to bow down to him and worship him.
Just as the people did not worship the poisonous serpent yet it was of great significance to them, neither are
we worshipping the Crucifix/Cross when we venerate it, we do so because it has great significance for us. It
is the symbol of our redemption. It all lies in the intention behind why we do, what we do. ‘We adore you,
0 Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.’
Out of Diocese
I hope to be out of the Diocese to attend meetings of the House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the
Church in the Province of the West Indies and to attend the Ordination and Consecration of the eight Bishop
of Guyana from Sunday 7th March, 2016. The Rev’d Canon 0 Samuel Nichols will be representing the
Diocese at the meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee and along with The Venerable J Everton
Weekes and the Rev’d Dr. Thomas Mayers will also be attending the Ordination and Consecration of the
Bishop of Guyana. During my absence the Venerable Christian Glasgow will have oversight of the Diocese.
I ask your prayers for Mr. Jerome Me Barnette who is not well, he was recently discharged from the hospital
in Grenada. Mr. Me Barnette was the Choir Master at the St. George’s Parish Church, for over forty years,
he has been a member of the Parochial Church Council, Island Church Council and Synod Representative of
the Parish of St. George for several years. Mr. Me Barnette also served as secretary to the Anglican
Education Central Board of Management.
The Rev’d Eleanor Glasgow has informed me that following her surgery she has to do radiotherapy in
Barbados beginning the last week in March, which means that she will be out of the parish for an extended
period to the end of June, 2016. As such The Rev’d Canon Belmontes has agreed to extend his time in the
parish of St. James, Layou with St. Mary’s Buccament, St. Vincent and the Grenadines until the 31st May,
2016. I ask your continued prayers for Archdeacon Christian Glasgow, Rev’d Eleanor Glasgow and family.
I also ask your prayers for Mr. Wayne Bubb his wife Susan and Family. He was discharged from the hospital
but is undergoing physio and speech therapy.
With every good wish and God’s blessings!
The Rt. Rev’d C. Leopold Friday
Bishop of the Windward Islands