Author Topic: Sign of the Cross  (Read 359 times)

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Offline eaden

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Sign of the Cross
« on: February 12, 2017, 01:51:51 PM »
Why does the Oriental Orthodox Church make the sign of the cross from left to right?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 02:05:18 PM by eaden »
"The Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered present on our altars in an unbloody manner." Council of Trent

Offline eaden

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Re: Sign of the Cross
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 02:20:48 PM »
After some search, i found this:


"The story behind it is a EO Convert friend of mine was making fun of the way i crossed myself all the time when we prayed. One time in the presence of an EO priest he told my friend to stop 'cause my way was actually more ancient (whatever that means, as if it mattered to our Lord, anyway). His version of the story is that the Eastern Orthodox, who were heavily offended by the presence of the crusaders in their lands, agreed to start signing themselves in a different manner so as to be visibly distinguashble from the 'western oppressors'! LOL

anyway, will attempt to find all possible litterature ASAP for you, Ben.

yours in Love,
moe"
"The Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered present on our altars in an unbloody manner." Council of Trent

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Sign of the Cross
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »
Why does the Oriental Orthodox Church make the sign of the cross from left to right?

Left to right or right to left, both have ancient pedigrees and neither is better nor worse than the other.  The explanation I've been told about right to left is because Christ sits at the right hand of God.  Left to right focusses on Christ's humility (left side) being raised to glory (right side).
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Online rakovsky

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Re: Sign of the Cross
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 06:55:41 PM »
*subscribed*
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:00:27 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline wgw

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Re: Sign of the Cross
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 12:30:32 AM »
If EO/OO reconciliation results in combined Eastern-Oriental parishes, I propose EOs stand on one side, and OOs on the other, so that by crossing themselves in opposing directions they can iconographically represent and re-enact the Parting of the Red Sea.  :P
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Online rakovsky

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Re: Sign of the Cross
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 10:00:35 PM »
Timothym writes:
Quote
I spoke with an Eastern Orthodox priest who did his Doctorate in Coptic Christianity and he told me that originally Copts and Syriacs also crossed themselves from right to left, but ... we started crossing ourselves from left to right. If I meet him soon, I will ask him for a source on this.
...
Also, of interest is that traditionally in Eastern Orthodox churches, men sit on the right (rather than the left), and women sit on the left rather than on the right as is done in the Coptic Orthodox church. There is a symbolic reason for this as well but which escapes me right now.
http://tasbeha.org/community/discussion/12737/which-sign-of-the-cross-is-correct

Fr. Peter F. writes:
Quote
Bar Salibi, the great Syrian writer, in the 12th century and long before the Catholic Enc. says the Latins changed from Right to Left insists that the correct manner is to cross from Left to Right. It is a taking of the soul from darkness (left)
and setting it in the light (right). It is a taking of the soul from among the goats (left) and setting it among the sheep (right). He writes extensively on the sign of the cross. He is well aware of the Franks but in the matter of the cross does not indicate either that the form of making the cross is a novelty, or that it derives from the Franks. I do not think that the form is so important, but I do not believe at all that there is evidence to show that a change in custom took place....
...
It would seem to me, without further documents to hand, that there was a variety of practice in the early period, but that the Greeks tended to move towards a unity of practice, perhaps that of Constantinople, while the OO continued to use the ancient form they were used to.

Certainly it was the ancient form as far as Bar Salibi was concerned in the 12th century...

http://tasbeha.org/community/discussion/12737/which-sign-of-the-cross-is-correct

It is hard for me to find a definitive answer on what the "original" practice was.
One possibility is that even in the third c. AD there could have been a variety of practices, since there was even a difference on when to celebrate Easter (Quartodecimian controversy).
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20