O Christ, God,
We beseech Thee, Lord, who wast nailed to it,
Deliver the human race from dangers,
Through the Virgin by whose intercession Adam was recalled
The Most High planted in the middle of Paradise
The thrice blessed wood, the gift of life for us,
In order that, in approaching it,
Adam might find eternal and immortal life;
But he did not strive earnestly to know this life,
And he failed to attain it, and instead revealed death.
However, the robber, seeing how the plant in Eden
Had been beautifully transplanted in Golgotha,
Recognized the life in it and said to himself:
“This is what my father lost formerly
Under the shadow of the Cross,
Let us exult with joy.
Sinners, let us live soberly, Paradise is opened up:
The robber is the guard
Of Paradise. Christ chose him on the Cross,
Let us not close up what is not closed;
The friend of Christ is established.
The very sympathetic and friendly robber is host to newcomers.
Let us honor the Cross, guardian of our life,
For it is the defender of our life in Heaven;
It defends all men from the wicked one and from his assault.
Those who have this seal have confidence in entering
Thou hast become the son of Mary, O Son of God, our Savior,
And Thou hast been nailed to the Cross,
Though Thou art God incarnate,
In order that Thou might save those in affliction;
And take pity on sinners,
Since Thou art powerful and good;
Grant rest to all those who put their hope in Thee;
They hope to serve Thee zealously in psalms and prayers.
With the robber we cry out to Thee as though we were on the cross,
“Remember us in Thy kingdom.”
Consider all of us worthy of Thy choir of saints, O Christ,
Since we have taken the seal of Thy Cross for union
from the kontakion for the Adoration of the Cross
St. Romanos the Melodist, 6th century
icon and troparion at: http://www.comeandseeicons.com/phn44.htm