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Poll
Question: Do you cross yourself before eating in public?
Always - 19 (47.5%)
Sometimes, because I forget - 14 (35%)
Sometimes, because I'm too shy - 4 (10%)
No, so not to embarrass others - 2 (5%)
No, I'm too shy - 1 (2.5%)
Total Voters: 40

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joasia
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« on: June 14, 2011, 08:33:37 PM »

Hello Forum,

I don't know if this poll was posted already, so please forgive the repitition.  Thanks.  Joanna
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 08:49:16 PM »

Sometimes...
Sometimes I forget, and sometimes I don't just depending on who I'm with. If I'm with family or non-Orthodox friends, I typically don't.

If I'm alone, I usually do, but sometimes I do forget.
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 08:52:25 PM »

I only do it in public, and I'm not kidding. It makes me look even more exotic.
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 08:55:02 PM »

The poll doesn't have a choice for my answer. I follow the "house rules". If I'm in Orthodox company, or if I'm paying for the meal (as in my own house), then I do cross myself. If someone else is paying who isn't Orthodox, and I wouldn't cross myself in his home, then I usually won't cross myself in public in that case. Of course, if it's a non-Orthodox church such as at a wedding or other festive occasion, I won't.
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 09:56:56 PM »

The Spirit is descended!

I cross myself, pray, cross the food...I also cross myself passing an Orthodox Cathoic Church (and even church of the Vatican  Shocked), passing an accident, a memorial cross, etc.

"You, Who are in every season and in every hour and in every place of Your dominion are worshipped and glorified...."
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 03:08:25 AM »

I cross myself and the food.
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 05:09:55 AM »

The Spirit is descended!

I cross myself, pray, cross the food...I also cross myself passing an Orthodox Cathoic Church (and even church of the Vatican  Shocked), passing an accident, a memorial cross, etc.

"You, Who are in every season and in every hour and in every place of Your dominion are worshipped and glorified...."


Amen!

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it is the power of God." [I Corinthains 1:18]



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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 09:43:13 AM »

I stand up, make a prostration to the east, and sing the festal troparion. Then I make the sign of the cross and bless the food.

Wink not really. I typically don't make the sign over my food in public, and I often forget in private as well. When I'm with other Orthodox people it's obviously much easier to remember. More frequently I do so when I see crosses by the roadside and when passing cemeteries.
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 09:50:33 AM »

I usually do, depending on level of hunger.  If I am starving I generally attack the food while it is still in the waitresses hands.  Otherwise, I usually cross myself.  Generally fast and small since the point is not to draw attention to yourself, but I generally cross myself before eating, or when praying in my head in general.
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 09:56:25 AM »

Always myself.  Always have, always will.
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 10:26:58 AM »

My husband and I used to say grace OUT LOUD at restaurants! (Well, we'd kind of mumble it, but still.) We just do a quick sign of the cross now. When we're at home, we'll say a prayer, but not so in public anymore (not trying to look holier than thou).
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 10:39:44 AM »

Never. I don't like praying in public.
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 10:48:20 AM »

My husband and I used to say grace OUT LOUD at restaurants! (Well, we'd kind of mumble it, but still.) We just do a quick sign of the cross now. When we're at home, we'll say a prayer, but not so in public anymore (not trying to look holier than thou).

My wife and I still do (the mumbling) if it's just us.  If we're with other people, esp. non-Christians, it's just crossing ourselves.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 11:03:17 AM »


I stand up, make a prostration to the east, and sing the festal troparion. Then I make the sign of the cross and bless the food.


I want to be you, when I grow up!  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 11:55:47 AM »

In the presence of devout Christians, I only secretly cross myself, so as not to appear "holy."
In the presence of non-Christians, or especially people with a derisive attitude towards Christianity, I cross myself full right in front of them. It can start conversations.
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2011, 12:02:56 PM »

My wife and I still do (the mumbling) if it's just us.  If we're with other people, esp. non-Christians, it's just crossing ourselves.
Mumbling works if both people are doing it! Our prayer used to be one person saying a prayer out loud over the food, sometimes holding hands with the other people at the table (that was more with people from our church, though). I used to have people say "Louder! Louder!" when I was praying. Way to make me feel even more self-conscious!
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2011, 12:21:29 PM »

I stand up, make a prostration to the east, and sing the festal troparion. Then I make the sign of the cross and bless the food.

I do all of this AND I arrange the portions on the plate in the shape of a cross (and add IC XC NIKA if I'm eating alphabet soup. Slacker.

...and even church of the Vatican...

 Shocked  laugh
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2011, 12:38:47 PM »

I stand up, make a prostration to the east, and sing the festal troparion. Then I make the sign of the cross and bless the food.

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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2011, 12:39:25 PM »

Never. I don't like praying in public.

Same here, unless I am eating with my Priest, then I really don't have a choice.
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2011, 12:44:08 PM »

I stand up, make a prostration to the east, and sing the festal troparion. Then I make the sign of the cross and bless the food.

Wink not really. I typically don't make the sign over my food in public, and I often forget in private as well. When I'm with other Orthodox people it's obviously much easier to remember. More frequently I do so when I see crosses by the roadside and when passing cemeteries.


 Wink Wink Is western outrage! No poyasny pokon! Is needed three zemnoy poklony!  ...just kidding....

Our family has always made the sign of the cross before eating, and at our regular Sunday after liturgy Greek diner breakfast, we would say grace as well!
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2011, 12:54:51 PM »

If I am starving I generally attack the food while it is still in the waitresses hands.


Vamrat, perhaps you should do your Cross when you see the waitress heading towards your table.  That way, you can get that in before you attack the waitress.  I hope you leave her a big tip.   Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 01:02:23 PM »

I don't like praying in public either, but I think that prayer over meals is one of those things that the church has us do to begin to immerse us in a constant state of prayer. If we pray in the morning before we start our day's work, then pray over breakfast, lunch and dinner, then maybe even throw in some psalms at the appointed hours, as well as praying before bed, that's a day pretty well immersed in prayer. Not saying that I'm there or anything, I just think that because we don't like doing something doesn't mean we get a pass. But there is the argument to make about only praying in secret. I can respect either position.
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 01:18:40 PM »

I always do, but unobtrusively, not like the priest on the plane in Airport.
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 01:31:49 PM »

Perhaps, I should add my comment to this too, eh?  Actually, now reading the choices, I think the word Most of the time...is better than Sometimes.  So, think of it that way.

For myself, it's most of the time unless I forget.  And actually, I've forgotten, on occasion because I was so hungry.  So, I'm with you there on that one, Vamrat - except attacking the waitress part, of course.  But, I have been shy too.  I also cross my food. 

Thanks for everyone's participation.  It's been very interesting to share these experiences.  Also, after minute thought about crossing ourselves in general....my friend was in Greece, many years ago and travelling with her brother to somewhere.  They were in a car.  And she crossed herself, at one point.  He asked her why she did that and she said she had the urge.  Then he told her that the point where she did that, there had been an ancient church which got totally destroy and now there's nothing there, but His Holy Mysteries are always present on the same spot.  We certainly feel God's messages when our hearts are open to Him.
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 01:44:33 PM »

If I'm in a cafeteria setting and have to carry my food to my table, I try to make an entrance, chanting loudly, "May the Lord our God remember all of you in His heavenly kingdom, always now and ever and unto ages of ages." In Slavonic if the crowd is over 50% Slavic.

If I'm in a restaurant and the waitress brings food to the table, I stand up and receive it from her hands and then make the sign of the cross with the food over the other dining patrons before setting it on the table.

Every meal should be Eucharistic.
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2011, 01:51:57 PM »

To join in the fun:

Next time I will go out, before the waitress approaches my table, I will stand up and yell. "WISDOM! LET US BE ATTENTIVE!" (Saying it in my awful Greek will get bonus points. SOFFFIIIAAA! PROSKOMEN!)

 Cheesy You all are a riot.
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2011, 02:51:50 PM »

I also do the daily reading in a sing-songy reader voice, then put my priest on speaker phone to say "let us be attentive." And then left-over prosphora which I take to every meal has to be passed out to everyone for consumption before the main meal, no exceptions.
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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2011, 03:20:34 PM »

On a more serious note, I try to pray before every meal, whether at home or in public. Sometimes I do forget, like today when my wife, daughter and I were at our favorite Mexican place after our visit to the zoo. My wife took our daughter to change her and I was so hungry that when the food came I just tore into it; mmmmmm chimichanga....
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2011, 03:36:01 PM »

On a more serious note, I try to pray before every meal, whether at home or in public. Sometimes I do forget, like today when my wife, daughter and I were at our favorite Mexican place after our visit to the zoo. My wife took our daughter to change her and I was so hungry that when the food came I just tore into it; mmmmmm chimichanga....

You are right, and I plead guilty to being silly. Sometimes you can't help it though.....I think that it is important to keep the Lord in mind at meals and how we do it in public is something that each of us has to reconcile among our family members. Chimichanga does sound good....
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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2011, 03:46:38 PM »

On a more serious note, I try to pray before every meal, whether at home or in public. Sometimes I do forget, like today when my wife, daughter and I were at our favorite Mexican place after our visit to the zoo. My wife took our daughter to change her and I was so hungry that when the food came I just tore into it; mmmmmm chimichanga....

You are right, and I plead guilty to being silly. Sometimes you can't help it though.....I think that it is important to keep the Lord in mind at meals and how we do it in public is something that each of us has to reconcile among our family members. Chimichanga does sound good....

Nothing wrong with being silly, I had a good laugh reading some of the above post, I just had nothing silly to say   Grin

Many of my friends will catch me if I don't pray over my food because I have done it so much around them. They'll say something along the lines of, "Are you an atheist now?" or "What, Jesus not good enough for you?" even though they don't pray... Good friends, good friends.
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2011, 03:57:01 PM »

For myself, it's most of the time unless I forget.  And actually, I've forgotten, on occasion because I was so hungry.  So, I'm with you there on that one, Vamrat - except attacking the waitress part, of course.  But, I have been shy too.  I also cross my food. 

Hey man, you gotta do what you gotta do!   Grin
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« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2011, 04:38:46 PM »

yes, but a little cross, so as not to show off.
but i want to know if u have drinks first and then a meal 20 mins later, do most people cross themselves before the drink, before the meal or both?
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« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2011, 04:40:15 PM »

It's funny, I don't usually cross for drinks or appetizers. But when I get my full meal, I'm like "Whoops!" and I do a quick sign of the cross.

Don't know why the drinks and apps don't count. :-P
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2011, 06:39:22 PM »

Actually, I thought about the drinks (non-alcoholic) too or my bottle of water afterwards.  I do sometimes, but it's true, I have forgotten to do it then.  I do with my morning cofee though.  As for hard stuff, is it appropriate?
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« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2011, 07:18:55 PM »

Why not for the hard stuff? Once when we were breaking a fast (can't remember which one) a lady brought around vodka cherries which had been blessed with the other food. If you are drinking alcohol with a meal does it not get blessed?
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2011, 07:33:54 PM »

I was thinking more of outside Church meals.
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2011, 07:35:35 PM »

So was I, did God not give us strong drink? Should we not be thankful for every gift we have? In short I don't see why not
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« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2011, 09:48:43 PM »

My priest said he crosses himself even before eating an evening bag of pretzels. When he first told me this I was a catechumen and I laughed as I thought he was joking.  Shocked
He also crosses himself AFTER eating his meals. There is much to aspire to!
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« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2011, 10:25:37 AM »

I thought some might appreciate the following quotes from two recent saints of the Church, St. Seraphim of Viritsa (+1949) and St. Sebastian of Optina (+1966), on making the sign of cross before eating and before getting into a car, bus, etc.  It is significant to remember that these saints lived under an athiest Soviet regime and Christians were openly mocked and persecuted.

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Life-Miracles-Prophecies of Saint Seraphim of Viritsa
The New Saint of the Orthodox Russian Church (1866-1949)

pp. 31-32

Father Seraphim often would say:  “Many times we become sick because we do not pray before beginning our food and we do not seek from God to bless it.  In olden times everything people did they did with prayer.  They prayed when they plowed the earth, in the sewing they prayed, they also prayed when they harvested the fruits.  We today do not know who produces these things we are eating and many times we do not know who is cooking our food.  These people may be cursing and blaspheming, when they are cooking it.  For this reason it would be good before eating our food to throw some holy water on it.

“All these things which we use for food are God’s gifts to people.  Through them all of nature and the noetic world of angels serve man.  For this reason each time we sit down to eat, we should pray with much diligence.”


Elder Sebastian of Optina
by Tatiana V. Torstensen
pp. 339-340

[St. Sebastian] reminded us repeatedly that, upon entering a bus, and airplane, a car, etc., it is essential to silently cross oneself, not paying attention to anyone, even to the laughter of others.  Because of one, two, or three believers others can also be saved from terrible misfortunes. 
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The Elder used to remark about the sign of the Cross, “One must make the sign of the Cross correctly, with fear of God, with faith, and not just by waving one’s hand.  And then bow – then it has power.”

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