On August 1st the Church celebrates the feast of the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Holy Cross of the Lord.
In the Greek Horologion of 1897 the derivation of this Feast is explained:
“Because of the illnesses that occur in August, it was customary, in former times, to carry the Venerable Wood of the Cross through the streets and squares of Constantinople for the sanctification of the city, and for relief from sickness. On the eve (July 31), it was taken out of the imperial treasury, and laid upon the altar of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia (the Wisdom of God). From this Feast until the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos (August 15), they carried the Cross throughout the city in procession, offering it to the people to venerate. This also is the Procession of the Venerable Cross”
Apolytikion in the First Tone
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Lifted up on the Cross by Your free will, Christ God, grant mercies to the new commonwealth that bears Your name. Gladden our faithful rulers by Your power, giving them victories over their adversaries. May Your alliance be for them a weapon for peace, an invincible standard.
Relic of the true Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ treasured in Mount Athos