Holy tradition tells us that the Lord, when aware of his impending crucifixion, gathered his disciples together and said: “Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing an hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us.” He bade them therefore make as it were a ring, holding one another’s hands, and himself standing in the midst he said: “Answer Amen unto me.” He began, then, to sing an hymn and to say:
Glory be to thee, Father.
Glory be to thee, Word:
Glory be to thee, Grace.
Glory be to thee, Spirit:
Glory be to thee, Holy One:
Glory be to thy glory.
We praise thee, O Father;
we give thanks to thee, O Light,
wherein darkness dwelleth not.
Now whereas we give thanks, I say:
I would be saved, and I would save.
I would be loosed, and I would loose.
I would be wounded, and I would wound.
I would be born, and I would bear.
I would eat, and I would be eaten.
I would hear, and I would be heard.
I would be thought, being wholly thought.
I would be washed, and I would wash.
Grace danceth. I would pipe; dance ye all.
I would mourn: lament ye all.
The Ogdoad singeth praise with us.
The Dodecad danceth on high.
The Whole on high hath part in our dancing.
Whoso danceth not, knoweth not what cometh to pass.
I would flee, and I would stay.
I would adorn, and I would be adorned.
I would be united, and I would unite.
A house I have not, and I have houses.
A place I have not, and I have places.
A temple I have not, and I have temples.
A lamp am I to thee that beholdest me.
A mirror am I to thee that perceivest me.
A door am I to thee that knockest at me.
A way am I to thee a wayfarer.
Now answer thou unto my dancing.
Behold thyself in me who speak,
and seeing what I do,
keep silence about my mysteries.
Thou that dancest, perceive what I do,
for thine is this passion of the manhood, which I am about to suffer.
For thou couldest not at all have understood what thou sufferest
if I had not been sent unto thee, as the word of the Father.
Thou that sawest what I suffer sawest me as suffering,
and seeing it thou didst not abide but wert wholly moved,
moved to make wise.
Thou hast me as a bed, rest upon me.
Who I am, thou shalt know when I depart.
What now I am seen to be, that I am not.
Thou shalt see when thou comest.
If thou hadst known how to suffer,
thou wouldest have been able not to suffer.
Learn thou to suffer, and thou shalt be able not to suffer.
What thou knowest not, I myself will teach thee.
Thy God am I, not the God of the traitor.
I would keep tune with holy souls.
In me know thou the word of wisdom.
Again with me say thou:
Glory be to thee, Father;
Glory to thee, Word;
Glory to thee, Holy Spirit.
And if thou wouldst know concerning me, what I was,
know that with a word did I deceive all things
and I was no whit deceived.
I have leaped:
but do thou understand the whole,
and having understood it, say:
Glory be to thee, Father.
THE ADORATION OF THE CROSS
Thus, my beloved, having danced with us the Lord went forth. And we as men gone astray or dazed with sleep fled this way and that. I, then, when I saw him suffer, did not even abide by his suffering, but fled unto the Mount of Olives, weeping at that which had befallen. And when he was crucified on the Friday, at the sixth hour of the day, darkness came upon all the earth. And my Lord standing in the midst of the cave and enlightening it, said: John, unto the multitude below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But unto thee I speak, and what I speak hear thou. I put it into thy mind to come up into this mountain, that thou mightest hear those things which it behoveth a disciple to learn from his teacher and a man from his God.
And having thus spoken, he showed me a cross of light fixed, and about the cross a great multitude, not having one form: and in it was one form and one likeness. And the Lord himself I beheld above the cross, not having any shape, but only a voice: and a voice not such as was familiar to us, but one sweet and kind and truly of God, saying unto me: John, it is needful that one should hear these things from me, for I have need of one that will hear. This cross of light is sometimes called the word by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men: but that which it is in truth, as conceived of in itself and as spoken of unto you, it is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, and indeed wisdom in harmony. There are of the right hand and the left, powers also, authorities, lordships and demons, workings, threatenings, wraths, devils, Satan, and the lower root whence the nature of the things that come into being proceeded.
[From the Acts of Saint John (“The Mystic Cross” XCVII & XCVIII)].