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Author Topic: Crossing oneself when passing a Church  (Read 2363 times) Average Rating: 0
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JR
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« on: September 01, 2011, 07:52:06 AM »

I am just curious about this.

I live in Athens, Greece.

When I am travelling by public transport, most people Cross themselves every time they pass a Church. Some do it 3 times, others 7 times. why do they do this.

it is funny to watch the ones that do it 7 times because one there is a Church on every street corner, so they just Finnish there 7, then start again.

if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 07:57:13 AM »

It's just a pious custom to show respect and reverance to a house of God.  People in my area do it, too, but only for Orthodox Churches.  They would break their shoulders if they made the sign of the cross at every Baptist, Evangelical, Fundamentalist "source" (that's what the Evangelicals are calling their Churches now...Lord, have mercy!)

When I drive with my priest to a different town, he will cross himself so many times, and there is no Church in site!  Ie tells me he can just barely see the cross on the copula over the brick fence by the highway.  He'll be a saint, I have no doubt of it!
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 07:57:32 AM »

I am just curious about this.

I live in Athens, Greece.

When I am travelling by public transport, most people Cross themselves every time they pass a Church. Some do it 3 times, others 7 times. why do they do this.

it is funny to watch the ones that do it 7 times because one there is a Church on every street corner, so they just Finnish there 7, then start again.

if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?

One time suffices for me. Tongue One proper Cross is better than 7 hasty ones (not that I'm calling those people hasty).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 07:58:31 AM by zekarja » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 08:46:36 AM »

I would do it 40 times just to be safe though.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 09:52:32 AM »

I would do it 40 times just to be safe though.

Is Outrage!

70 x 7 due to its scriptural mention is True Orthodoxy!
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 09:55:56 AM »


if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?

Possibly. Tell you what...

tell your wife/significant other once that you love her. Then, never repeat it even if she asks you why she never hears those words come out of your mouth. Let your answer instead be:

"I told you once. Doesn't 1 time suffice?"
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 10:07:43 AM »


if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?

Possibly. Tell you what...

tell your wife/significant other once that you love her. Then, never repeat it even if she asks you why she never hears those words come out of your mouth. Let your answer instead be:

"I told you once. Doesn't 1 time suffice?"

LOL I'm friends with protestants who believe in having communion once a quarter. They say it's because they don't want to get to familiar with it and take it for granted. I ask them: "Would you tell your wife, I love you, kiss her, etc once a quarter?" Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 10:18:50 AM »

I cross myself once and usually only when I pass an Orthodox Parish (whether EO or OO). To be honest (I know I'm about to get a lot hate for saying this, LOL! laugh) I have recently gotten into the habit of crossing myself whenever I pass the RC parish which is about 10 minutes from my house, because I do believe there is some grace in RCism wherever the distant Orthodox roots remain, but that could just be my own theologumen.
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 10:22:27 AM »

I cross myself once and usually only when I pass an Orthodox Parish (whether EO or OO). To be honest (I know I'm about to get a lot hate for saying this, LOL! laugh) I have recently gotten into the habit of crossing myself whenever I pass the RC parish which is about 10 minutes from my house, because I do believe there is some grace in RCism wherever the distant Orthodox roots remain, but that could just be my own theologumen.

No hate, just odd looks. Wink
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 10:51:44 AM »

I have a related question. How about crossing oneself as a defensive measure?
When I drive to Church I pass a Witness Hall and always cross myself to keep out the bad mojo.

Acceptable?
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 10:55:40 AM »

I have a related question. How about crossing oneself as a defensive measure?
When I drive to Church I pass a Witness Hall and always cross myself to keep out the bad mojo.

Acceptable?
I'd say yes.

And let him come who would test by experience what we have now said, and in the very presence of the deceit of demons and the imposture of oracles and the marvels of magic, let him use the Sign of that Cross which is laughed at among them, and he shall see how by its means demons fly, oracles cease, all magic and witchcraft is brought to nought. - St Athanasios the Great

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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 11:05:22 AM »

I have a related question. How about crossing oneself as a defensive measure?
When I drive to Church I pass a Witness Hall and always cross myself to keep out the bad mojo.

Acceptable?
Speaking of which, do we have any Jehovah Witness posters on OC.net?

EDIT: JR, do the Orthodox Greeks in your area cross themselves whenever they pass an RC parish? Or do they cross themselves only near an Orthodox parish?
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 11:18:16 AM »

I would do it 40 times just to be safe though.

Is Outrage!

70 x 7 due to its scriptural mention is True Orthodoxy!
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 11:23:46 AM »

I have a related question. How about crossing oneself as a defensive measure?
When I drive to Church I pass a Witness Hall and always cross myself to keep out the bad mojo.

Acceptable?
Speaking of which, do we have any Jehovah Witness posters on OC.net?

EDIT: JR, do the Orthodox Greeks in your area cross themselves whenever they pass an RC parish? Or do they cross themselves only near an Orthodox parish?

they cross themselves when they pass the RC cathedral, some even attend on Sundays, but all the other churches, though not many of them are hidden down side roads.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011, 11:26:56 AM »

^Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2011, 11:35:27 AM »

I would do it 40 times just to be safe though.

Is Outrage!

70 x 7 due to its scriptural mention is True Orthodoxy!

 Grin  Masterful.
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 12:01:01 PM »

I cross myself whenever I pass an Orthodox church or an RCC church. Old habit. My mother taught me about genuflecting if you walk in, and if you just pass by and don't go in, the Cross was the way to do that.  angel
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 12:05:29 PM »

I cross myself whenever I pass an Orthodox church or an RCC church. Old habit. My mother taught me about genuflecting if you walk in, and if you just pass by and don't go in, the Cross was the way to do that.  angel
Would you cross yourself when passing an OO parish?
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2011, 12:07:23 PM »

Oh yes.  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2011, 04:59:17 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I am just curious about this.

I live in Athens, Greece.

When I am travelling by public transport, most people Cross themselves every time they pass a Church. Some do it 3 times, others 7 times. why do they do this.

it is funny to watch the ones that do it 7 times because one there is a Church on every street corner, so they just Finnish there 7, then start again.

if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?

Many of us cross ourselves and say a prayer when we pass by an Ethiopian Orthodox parish for two reasons:

a) We connect almost literally the sacredness and symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant/Temple to our Church buildings which contain consecrated altar slabs called Tabot (tabotat in the plural) and we attach all the Old Testament taboos and rituals about the Ark to the Tabot.  Therefore we cross ourselves or just recite a prayer when passing a church to honor and revere the sacred presence of God by consecration of the Tabot held within the altar of that Church.  Usually if folks will even stop and walk up (even if driving by) to kiss the walls/doors in reverence.  To say I visited a church in Amharic is to say, "I kissed the Church."


b) We pray and give thanks that God may bring us in His Mercy to again see and if possible hopefully attend Divine Services within His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Orthodox Church.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2011, 05:51:32 PM »

I wish you guys could see some of the irreverent air-bouzouki that passes for "crossing oneself" amongst the Greeks here.

One half-deliberate sign of the cross surely has to be better than seven random arm flailings.

... (yes, I am judging, but if you had to live with these people) ...
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2011, 05:55:24 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2011, 06:38:43 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?

Here's one. I recall reading that it is an appropriate custom. I can't remeber the source though.
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2011, 06:40:36 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?
I do something similar, whenever I pass a memorial of someone who died in a car crash, I cross myself.
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2011, 06:44:19 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?

Yes and then I pray both for thanksgiving that those sirens aren't for me and also for mercy for those who they are for.

I also cross myself and pray whenever I see the police stopping folks, guilty, innocent or otherwise because a person may being about to go to jail or worse, and because our Lord commanded us to be concerned with those in jail and imprisoned.  Especially the guilty need such prayers and of course the innocent could use it, in Los Angeles even innocent folks sometimes get beat or worse by law enforcement Sad

Prayers all around, for emergencies, for defense, for memorials, for thanksgiving, for celebration, prayer is  rounded experience of daily life to give God place in our routines.

I like this thread, keep up the prayer y'all!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?
I do something similar, whenever I pass a memorial of someone who died in a car crash, I cross myself.

Interesting to hear that I'm not alone with this habit of crossing oneself when passing a memorial. Nearby my apartment is a memorial for victims of Finnish Civil War. One of them was an Orthodox Christian whom I deem as a martyr even though is yet to be canonized so I've had a habit of crossing myself while asking his intercession when passing by it.
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2011, 07:10:35 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?

yes
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2011, 07:12:00 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?
I do something similar, whenever I pass a memorial of someone who died in a car crash, I cross myself.

Interesting to hear that I'm not alone with this habit of crossing oneself when passing a memorial. Nearby my apartment is a memorial for victims of Finnish Civil War. One of them was an Orthodox Christian whom I deem as a martyr even though is yet to be canonized so I've had a habit of crossing myself while asking his intercession when passing by it.

Crossing oneself when passing cemeteries is also Orthodox practice.
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« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2011, 07:22:45 PM »

I cross myself whenever I pass an Orthodox church or an RCC church. Old habit. My mother taught me about genuflecting if you walk in, and if you just pass by and don't go in, the Cross was the way to do that.  angel
Would you cross yourself when passing an OO parish?
I do. There's a Coptic Church about 8 minutes walking distance away from mine.
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2011, 08:09:17 PM »

I cross myself when passing an Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, (even if is not commonly considered canonical, such as separated so called Old Calendar traditionalist and Ukrainian Churches that are under one of the separated eparchy's in Ukraine, as I feel their differences, no matter how aggressively they contend otherwise, are separated due to administrative disputes that will be resolved at some point. I wouldn't cross myself passing a self-proclaimed church which calls itself "Orthodox" with no connection to traditional Orthodoxy).  Crossing myself when passing a church is a practice I picked up from my maternal grandmother.  By the way, in addition to the respect we are showing for passing the House of God, we are passing the Tabernacle (Artophorion) which contains the essence of His Body and Blood, just as if we were passing the Holy Table from within the church.
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2011, 08:38:12 PM »

I wish you guys could see some of the irreverent air-bouzouki that passes for "crossing oneself" amongst the Greeks here.

One half-deliberate sign of the cross surely has to be better than seven random arm flailings.

... (yes, I am judging, but if you had to live with these people) ...

Instead of that German woman who won the air guitar contest, bring on a bunch of pious yiayiades.
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2011, 08:40:06 PM »

I wish you guys could see some of the irreverent air-bouzouki that passes for "crossing oneself" amongst the Greeks here.

One half-deliberate sign of the cross surely has to be better than seven random arm flailings.

... (yes, I am judging, but if you had to live with these people) ...

Instead of that German woman who won the air guitar contest, bring on a bunch of pious yiayiades.

Ah, Orthodox11, you are quickly becoming one of my favourite posters, haha.
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« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2011, 09:35:46 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?
I do something similar, whenever I pass a memorial of someone who died in a car crash, I cross myself.

Interesting to hear that I'm not alone with this habit of crossing oneself when passing a memorial. Nearby my apartment is a memorial for victims of Finnish Civil War. One of them was an Orthodox Christian whom I deem as a martyr even though is yet to be canonized so I've had a habit of crossing myself while asking his intercession when passing by it.

Finns had a Civil War? The War between the Skates ?

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« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2011, 09:54:07 PM »

Does anybody cross himself when an ambulance passes by (if the sirens are blaring of course)?

I do this.
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« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2011, 11:14:50 PM »

Selam Smiley
JR, LOL its so beautiful that the Greeks also do this, the public bus back home is usually packed to the maximum capacity and you are literally supported by the person next to you and yet people do the amazing fit of crossing themselves and attempt to bow despite it all each time they pass a church.
blessed day Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2011, 01:20:16 AM »

From what i saw while in Greece, it was only for Orthodox Churches and Orthodox cemeteries. I never saw anyone cross themselves when they pass non-orthodox places...

Here at home I do it for memorials on the roadside. I should also do it for ambulances though. But when at school I'm literally next to a hospital so I don't.
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« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2011, 04:25:53 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I am just curious about this.

I live in Athens, Greece.

When I am travelling by public transport, most people Cross themselves every time they pass a Church. Some do it 3 times, others 7 times. why do they do this.

it is funny to watch the ones that do it 7 times because one there is a Church on every street corner, so they just Finnish there 7, then start again.

if this is a rule of Orthodoxy, wouldn't 1 time suffice?

Many of us cross ourselves and say a prayer when we pass by an Ethiopian Orthodox parish for two reasons:

a) We connect almost literally the sacredness and symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant/Temple to our Church buildings which contain consecrated altar slabs called Tabot (tabotat in the plural) and we attach all the Old Testament taboos and rituals about the Ark to the Tabot.  Therefore we cross ourselves or just recite a prayer when passing a church to honor and revere the sacred presence of God by consecration of the Tabot held within the altar of that Church.  Usually if folks will even stop and walk up (even if driving by) to kiss the walls/doors in reverence.  To say I visited a church in Amharic is to say, "I kissed the Church."


b) We pray and give thanks that God may bring us in His Mercy to again see and if possible hopefully attend Divine Services within His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Orthodox Church.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Thanks habte selassie

That was interesting.

I never thought about the use of the tabernacle in modern day churches.
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« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2011, 04:31:59 AM »

I cross myself when passing an Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, (even if is not commonly considered canonical, such as separated so called Old Calendar traditionalist and Ukrainian Churches that are under one of the separated eparchy's in Ukraine, as I feel their differences, no matter how aggressively they contend otherwise, are separated due to administrative disputes that will be resolved at some point. I wouldn't cross myself passing a self-proclaimed church which calls itself "Orthodox" with no connection to traditional Orthodoxy).  Crossing myself when passing a church is a practice I picked up from my maternal grandmother.  By the way, in addition to the respect we are showing for passing the House of God, we are passing the Tabernacle (Artophorion) which contains the essence of His Body and Blood, just as if we were passing the Holy Table from within the church.

Hi Basil 320

what are these that you mention? I wouldn't cross myself passing a self-proclaimed church which calls itself "Orthodox" with no connection to traditional Orthodoxy

I have not heard of these before

Thanks

JR
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« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2011, 04:37:13 AM »

Selam Smiley
JR, LOL its so beautiful that the Greeks also do this, the public bus back home is usually packed to the maximum capacity and you are literally supported by the person next to you and yet people do the amazing fit of crossing themselves and attempt to bow despite it all each time they pass a church.
blessed day Smiley

Hi Hiwat, that is an understatement, squashed in like cattle sometimes.

There was an elderly lady  that tried crossing herself while going round a bend, (you know the bus drivers here, full speed ahead even round corners) anyway I had to catch her as was almost flung across the bus.

it is nice to see, never happens in the UK.
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« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2011, 06:32:01 AM »

quote:
"I kissed the Church."
the ethiopians and eritreans are the cutest!
 Smiley
i cross myself when passing all churches  Shocked
ok, some of the newer denominations that don't even use the word church are rather odd, but then you can pray for them 'Lord have mercy' while making the sign of the cross.
 Wink
i don't make the sign of the cross when an ambulance, police car etc. go past, as i live in a big city and work in a hospital, and these things happen every few minutes. also these days it seems you don't have to be very sick to travel by ambulance.
i am moving soon to a small town, so maybe this will change.
it's good to pray for the sick and for the police etc. so you could include them all in your daily prayers.

and i live in the uk and have other friends who make the sign of the cross, so look out for us jr, you may see us one day!
i try to remember to do the sign of the cross the 'other way round' when passing an eastern orthodox church. but there are very few of these within a big radius of where i live, so i tend to forget.
if i go in, i do it the 'right way' for the EO.
nicholasmyra, you live near a coptic church, have you been in?
if not, i would like to invite you on their behalf!
i have been to an antiochian church in the uk, it was lovely.
 Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2011, 08:49:43 AM »

I never thought about the use of the tabernacle in modern day churches.

There aren't any tabernacles in Greek RC churches?
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« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2011, 09:14:12 AM »

I never thought about the use of the tabernacle in modern day churches.

There aren't any tabernacles in Greek RC churches?

Yes of course, but the RC don't cross themselves when walking past.

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« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2011, 10:05:56 AM »

I never thought about the use of the tabernacle in modern day churches.

There aren't any tabernacles in Greek RC churches?

Yes of course, but the RC don't cross themselves when walking past.



Unfortunately, in many RC churches people probably don't know there even is a tabernacle (since it's so often shoved off to some remote corner nowadays).

I try to cross myself when I see those roadside crosses commemorating fatal car crashes.
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« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2011, 10:27:32 AM »

Quote
Unfortunately, in many RC churches people probably don't know there even is a tabernacle (since it's so often shoved off to some remote corner nowadays).

This is very true, in one church I went in to, the Tabernacle was hidden in a small chapel, not easy to find.

It is very sad what is happening with Catholicism.
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« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2011, 03:43:45 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


It is very sad what is happening with Catholicism.

Amen Amen, however if we are to acknowledge the RC as a valid, Orthodox jurisdiction centered around the Divine Mysteries via the Holy Spirit, (as many folks here would either fully agree or vehemently disagree) then we must accept the evolution of worship and ritual within the RC as being part of God's Divine plan.  The Catholic Church has successfully jumped into the 21st century whereas many Orthodox parishes are delightfully living in ages long since past.  While we can be quaint or nostalgic or ideologues about this, the reality is that the future is the future, and God's Church exists then as much as now as much as in the past.  So if God is bringing the Catholic Church forward, we must pray earnestly that the changes are for the best in God's good Grace and Will.

I would hope that the OG Catholic traditions resurface or are revived by various Papal bulls and episcopate orders, however in the meantime, we must accept what happens in the RC as God sent, just as all other aspects of reality we either misunderstand or disagree with.  God is Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omniscient (all-knowing), and Omnipresent (all-existing, that means past, present, and future as well as any particular corner of the present universe) and so He is in full control and further knows fully well what He is doing.
Since I was a boy,  my other always sings this ol Appalachian Baptist spiritual which sings, "Farther along we'll know all about it, farther along we'll understand why, cheer up my brother live in the sunshine, we'll understand it all  by and by.." (ps that's not my momma but I liked this clip)
The RC is adapting for the future, and while we staunchly traditionalists of Orthodox disagree with many changes there, for those who are RC keep the faith, keep in prayer, trust in God.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2011, 04:56:12 PM »


My mother always taught me to cross myself when I pass an Orthodox Church, out of respect to the Holy Gifts (Eucharist) which is rests there.

We also cross ourselves and say a prayer every time we see a speeding ambulance, pass an accident scene or spot someone driving recklessly - that God preserve and save them all from harm.

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« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2011, 03:49:20 AM »

To Reply No. 37, JR, There are "churches" that use the trappings of Orthodoxy, whose "services" are similar, and who call theselves "Orthodox,"  that have sprouted up and have no connection whatsoever to the Holy Orthodox Churches.  (Sometimes, clergy who have been unfrocked by the Orthodox Church, have initiated these types of "churches.")  If you do a Google search for Orthodox Churches, I'm sure some of them will come up.
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« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2011, 05:17:50 AM »

To Reply No. 37, JR, There are "churches" that use the trappings of Orthodoxy, whose "services" are similar, and who call theselves "Orthodox,"  that have sprouted up and have no connection whatsoever to the Holy Orthodox Churches.  (Sometimes, clergy who have been unfrocked by the Orthodox Church, have initiated these types of "churches.")  If you do a Google search for Orthodox Churches, I'm sure some of them will come up.

Or sometimes a Google search has initiated such Church....
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« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2011, 06:08:58 AM »

Thank you for the information Basil 320
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« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2011, 09:20:53 PM »

My understanding was that people do this passing by churches as a measure of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament.
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