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Author Topic: The Sign of the Cross  (Read 8314 times) Average Rating: 0
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St. Anastasia

« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2003, 10:29:36 AM »

"Yet another is the series of small Crosses made by the thumb on the forehead, lips and breast just before the Gospel reading at Mass. The sign on the forehead is to show that we believe the Gospel, the sign on the lips is to show that we respect if and desire to speak of it, and the sign on our breast is to show that we love the Gospel and want it kept in our hearts."


I thought I heard at one point that the prayer that went along with this was to ask the Lord to open your mind, and open your heart to the words of the Gospel.  Don't really remember, but Hypo's sounds good to me   Smiley

Also on this website (haven't checked into its reliability, but it looks normal to me)

"The Sign of the Cross is made thusly: Using two fingers signifying the two natures of Christ (human and divine) or three fingers signifying the Trinity (Eastern Catholic and Orthodox use):

touch the forehead and say (or pray mentally) "In the name of the Father,"
touch the breastbone or top of the belly and say "and of the Son,"
touch the left shoulder, then right shoulder, as you say "and of the Holy Ghost"3

Eastern Catholics and Orthodox go from right shoulder to left and end by touching their right side, above the hip, to symbolize Christ's being pierced by the sword. We send a visible sign to the world and follow the advice of St. Ephrem of Syria (died A.D. 373):

"Mark all your actions with the sign of the lifegiving Cross. Do not go out from the door of your house till you have signed yourself with the Cross. Do not neglect that sign whether in eating or drinking or going to sleep, or in the home or going on a journey. There is no habit to be compared with it. Let it be a protecting wall round all your conduct, and teach it to your children that they may earnestly learn the custom."

I had not heard of/seen the touching of the right side before.  Anyone familiar?


"Forgive me that great love leads me to talking nonsense." Barsanuphius
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2003, 03:12:10 PM »

Perhaps I am remembering incorrectly, but I attended a Coptic Divine Liturgy once and I thought they made the Sign of the Cross the same way the Greek and Russian Orthdox do from right to left.  Any Coptics here?  Perhaps I had my brain on auto-pilot at the Coptic Church and confused things.  Any help would be appreciated.

Mor Ephrem
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"The grace of God has appeared..."

« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2003, 03:54:49 PM »

All Oriental Orthodox Christians make the sign of the Cross from left shoulder to right shoulder.

"...you could not bear, Master, in the compassion of your mercy to watch the human race being tyrannised by the devil, but you came and saved us. We acknowledge your grace, we proclaim your mercy, we do not conceal your benevolence..."
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« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2003, 02:12:45 PM »

One minor point re the Episcopal "Glory to you, Lord Christ." Cranmer's liturgy actually had "Glory to thee, O Lord" and "Praise be to thee, O Christ" before and after respectively, if I remember correctly. This was changed in the 1979 American BCP and in other "Alternative Service Books" and revised Prayer Books adopted around the same time in other parts of the Anglican Comunion. A minor issue, of course.

In Christ,


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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2003, 06:02:48 PM »

MsGuided: I had not heard of/seen the touching of the right side before.  Anyone familiar?

I must admit I have never heard of that either.

I've also never seen anyone in an Orthodox Church do that.

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
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