why do we make the sign of the cross

1. The practice of crossing one’s self is an ancient practice and is derived from such passages as Deuteronomy 6:8, Ezekiel 9:4, Revelation 7:3, 9:4, and 14:1. It … Bert Ghezzi is the author of numerous books, most recently “The Sign of the Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer” (Loyola, 2006). Why do we have to make the Sign of the Cross physically? Why do we make the Sign of the Cross? By making it, we profess the central truths of our faith: that God became one of us, with a human body and soul; that he died on the cross to save us; and that our own bodies and souls share in the same power of the Savior whereby we are freed from sin and death and brought to the resurrection and the life of heaven. As Hispanic Catholics say when they make the sign of the cross, “By the sign of the holy cross, from our enemies, deliver us, O Lord!”. We also use it, in both large and small versions, to bless others or things, such as a rosary. It is the countersign of the Christian. By tracing the cross on our bodies, we are denying that we belong to ourselves and declaring that we belong to Him alone (see Lk 9:23). Instead, the Lord surprised him with an ignominious defeat (see 1 Cor 2:8). This method is more common in the Western Catholic Church, and in Protestant traditions that support the sign of the cross, including most Anglican and Lutheran churches. What does the Bible have to say about the sign of the cross? A mini-creed. It would be great if this custom could be revived. When He was still on the earth, Lord Jesus talked and taught the people about the Cross the following: Because we are both body and soul (a human being is not one or the other; a human being is both! Unfortunately, such is not always the case, and many people simply go through the motions of the ritual of signing themselves without a knowledge of why they do it. The sign of the cross speaks and confesses. When we make this sign of the cross, in any form, it’s an outward act to profess our inward faith in the Trinity. By make the sign of the cross, we acknowledge that he has redeemed us, and that through baptism we have … As this invocation is made, an increasing number of Lutherans trace the sign of the cross over their bodies from forehead to lower chest, then from shoulder to shoulder and back to the heart; and others trace a small cross on their foreheads. When we make the sign of the cross, what we are doing is A) remembering our Baptism; B) Remembering Jesus’ death for our sins; C) Confessing to the world that I am not ashamed to be known as a disciple of Jesus; and D) Holding up the cross of Christ as the central core of my identity. It announces our cooperation with Jesus in the indomitable advance of the kingdom of God against the kingdom of darkness. The signum crucis, the sign of the cross, is powerful because it marks us as children of God who have thrown off the slavery of Satan and embraced the Cross of Christ as the way to salvation.The Cross destroyed death and hell, and through it, Jesus redeemed the world. It is a Prayer we say - when words fail us (example in times of an emergency - and i need a result - quick!!). Those who are in holy orders bless by making the sign of the cross in the air toward the persons or things to be blessed, but layfolk bless others only by using their finger, usually the thumb. First, sign yourself professing your faith in God. Why do we make the sign of the cross at Mass after the procession, entrance chant, and the veneration of the Altar? Many other hand shapes are also in use. The sign of the cross is used in several Christian traditions, but it is most prominent in Catholic and Orthodox tradition. From the first Easter morning through the present, the Sign of the Cross makes the devil cower and flee. Sign of Grace, Sign of Glory. The Church Fathers used the same word for the Sign of the Cross that the ancient world employed to indicate ownership. When we sign ourselves we are making ourselves aware of God’s presence and opening ourselves to His action in our lives. The prayer remains the same. Now, all religions have gestures that express a devout attitude before the divine or heavenly beings they invoke, but the gesture that is most expressly Christian, and used only by Christians, is the sign of the cross. Because the sign of the cross has been so associated with this Trinitarian formula, when we sign ourselves, we are also marking ourselves as orthodox Christians who worship and love the Triune God. After moving from top to bottom they move from left to right. Both actions remind us of the two thieves who were crucified alongside Christ. Why do we have to make the Sign of the Cross physically? Sometimes Catholics may make a quick Sign of the Cross when receiving bad news, or when sirens pass, as a way of praying for those involved. But when we learn to take this act seriously, signing ourselves often with faith and reverence, remarkable results can take place. The reason for making a cross during this period of the Mass is to highlight the importance of the Word of … Some may make the sign as they drive past a cemetery as a quick prayer for the dead who are buried there. If we do not respect this connection, we are open to all kinds of dangers — psychological, physiological, and spiritual. There are several reasons why we make the sign of the cross physically. The Sign of the Cross and Our Baptism. From the earliest times Christians have made the sign of the cross. This kind of spiritual attack involves not only an increasingly common psychological pathology, but also illustrates that our minds and bodies are connected. In the New Testament, the word fleshsums up all the evil inclinations of our old nature that persist in us even after we die with Christ in baptism (see Gal 5:16-22). When we sign ourselves we are declaring that in baptism we died sacramentally with Christ on the cross and rose to a new life with Him (see Rom 6:3-4 and Gal 2:20). As such the body is united in the prayer of the soul though a physical action. Jeremy Driscoll O.S.B, writes, “A solemn and more meaningful beginning cannot be imagined.” 1 In thinking of the actual sign of the cross itself Fr. Making the triple Sign of the Cross like this before the Gospel is a longstanding tradition. Surprisingly, though, there is nothing in the rubrics about the laypeople making this sign. But when we learn to take this act seriously, signing ourselves frequently with faith and reverence, remarkable results can take place. Signing ourselves recognizes that we are Christ’s sheep and can count on His care; His soldiers, commissioned to work with Him in advancing His kingdom on earth; and His servants, dedicated to doing whatever He tells us. We are announcing our faith in what God has done — the creation of all things, the redemption of humanity from sin and death, and the establishment of the Church, which offers new life to all. It is thus that the ox and the horse browse on the sweet flowers hidden in the meadow grass, unconscious that they are there. Second, powerful symbolic gestures, when examined up close, say more than one thing. It serves as an abbreviated form of the Apostles’ Creed. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. There is nothing superstitious or rote about making the sign of the cross. So, no matter how strongly we are tempted, we can use the Sign of the Cross to activate our freedom in Christ and conquer even our besetting sins. Crossing oneself is an act of sanctification.. Our souls, our bodies, and our lives are sanctified—set … When used in this way,the large Sign of the Cross is made in the air. Third, make the sign to declare that you belong to Christ as His disciple and will obey Him. From the first Easter morning through the present, the Sign of the Cross makes the devil cower and flee. WHY WE MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. So when we mark our bodies with the sign, we are embracing whatever pain comes as a consequence of our faith in Christ. Christians who practice making the sign of the cross believe it is an acknowledgment of God’s … Our protection is not the cross, but the Name of God which is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and are saved. So, let us recognize the power of what we do when we pray, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The reason for making a cross during this period of the Mass is to highlight the importance of the Word of … Nowhere in the Bible, God teaches us that we should make the sign of the cross. Making the sign of the cross says something, and when it is done in public (for example, at the blessing before meals in a public place) it is also an act of faith. Now, all religions have gestures that express a devout attitude before the divine or heavenly beings they invoke, but the gesture that is most expressly Christian, and used only by Christians, is the sign of the cross. What is the sign of the cross, and why do we make it? If we use an open hand with all five fingers extended, we express an openness to Christ and symbolize his five wounds. If we do not respect this connection, we are open to all kinds of dangers — psychological, physiological, and spiritual. So, let us recognize the power of what we do when we pray, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In a way, when we combine this gesture with a vocal prayer, we make two prayers. They said, it will bring God’s blessings into the one who receives that sign—or makes the sign of the cross, it will bring God’s blessing in their life. They said, it’s a good sign. Second, mark yourself remembering that you died with Christ in baptism. Scripture, the Church Fathers and saints, and Catholic teaching offer six perspectives on the Sign of the Cross that reveal why making it opens us to life-transforming graces. In his book “What Happens at Mass,” Fr. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. It still works the same way for us. Christians, like followers of all other religions, practically always pray by the position of the body—say, kneeling or standing—and of the arms and hands—for example, praying with hands outstretched or folded in front. The thumb is often bent to touch the ring finger in the two-finger position. The reader is exactly right, however: Eastern Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox) make the Sign of the Cross by touching their right shoulder first. The gestures remind our bodies as the words remind our minds of what we believe and what we are doing. Notes: There are slight variations of the triple sign of the cross which are less complicated. By making it, we profess the central truths of our faith: that God became one of us, with a human body and soul; that he died on the cross to save us; and that our own bodies and souls share in the … A. Man is composed of a soul and a body. We make the Sign of the Cross, we sit attentively to the Word, we stand at attention for the Gospel, we bow during a section of Creed, we kneel during the Consecration, and so on. Answer: The right hand, probably in part due to the fact that most people are right-handed, is traditionally the hand of blessing and greeting in many cultural settings, a convention found in Scripture and Tradition. Edward McIlmail, LC. The Sign of the Cross is primarily a blessing. It is also wrong to believe that the sign of the cross is something magic that protects you from harm. After moving from top to bottom they move from left to right. We make it when we begin and end our prayers; we make it when we enter and leave a church; we start each Mass with it; we may even make it when we hear the Holy Name of Jesus taken in vain and when we pass a Catholic church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle. Why do we use our right hand instead of our left hand to make the sign of the cross? It’s something that keeps cropping up in Christian Worship. Signing ourselves also announces another significant truth: with St. Paul, we are celebrating that our afflictions as members of the body of Christ contribute to the Lord’s saving work of perfecting the Church in holiness (see Col 1:24). All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins. Many worshippers make the sign of the cross with an open hand, their five fingers reminding them of the five wounds of Christ. If we hold three fingers together while making the sign of the cross, they symbolize the trinity, and the two other fingers together represent Christ’s two natures, that he is fully man and fully divine. The reader is exactly right, however: Eastern Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox) make the Sign of the Cross by touching their right shoulder first. Every time we listen to the Gospel Jesus is knocking at the door of our heart, waiting to get in. 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