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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:18 pm 
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ledaub1 wrote:
Could someone explain the correct way to do this? A link (especially to a site with pictures) would be ideal.

I read that the thumb and 1st 2 fingers should be touching each other while the ring and pinkie finger should point away from the body (tucked in towards the hand)and from the forehead to the solar plexus to the left and right shoulders. However, on Sunday I noticed that no one did it exactly that way. I saw whole hands used and whole hands in which only the middle finger touched the body.


I was taught that that is actually the correct way to do it. The three together to remind us that God is one undivided Trinity. The two to remind us that Jesus is both True God and True man.

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I also noticed that some did it while genuflecting and some didn't. Which is correct?


I noticed that hardly anyone does it the way I learned either. My opinion; I think people were justtaught the different ways depending on their tradition.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:21 pm 
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IgnatiusOfAntioch wrote:
I was taught that that is actually the correct way to do it. The three together to remind us that God is one undivided Trinity. The two to remind us that Jesus is both True God and True man.

It is not the "correct" way, if you mean the way to do it to the exclusion of all others. It is "a" way to do it, not "the" way to do it. Most Catholics use a cupped hand to make the Sign of the Cross.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:28 pm 
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dcs wrote:
IgnatiusOfAntioch wrote:
I was taught that that is actually the correct way to do it. The three together to remind us that God is one undivided Trinity. The two to remind us that Jesus is both True God and True man.

It is not the "correct" way, if you mean the way to do it to the exclusion of all others. It is "a" way to do it, not "the" way to do it. Most Catholics use a cupped hand to make the Sign of the Cross.


Dcs, it's an Eastern Catholic way. So do Orthodox Christians. According to Saint Michaels Byzantine Catholic Church, that is the way:

Why is everyone making the Sign of the Cross opposite than me? How should the sign of the cross be made in a Byzantine Catholic Church?
• It is made by holding the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand together and with them making the sign of the cross from the forehead to the breast, to the right shoulder and then the left shoulder. The three fingers are held together as an act of faith in the Trinity, while the two remaining fingers remind us of the two natures of Christ. This way of blessing oneself is very ancient and was in use in the west until the middle ages.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:30 pm 
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lbt wrote:
Dcs, it's an Eastern Catholic way. So do Orthodox Christians.

I know what it is, I was simply pointing out that it is not "the" way to do it. Yes, it is correct but it doesn't mean that the other ways are incorrect.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:07 pm 
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Where on your chest do you touch?

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:13 pm 
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INsearch wrote:
Where on your chest do you touch?


Fairly long down. It's something that I think will come naturally with time. Think of it as "drawing" a crusifix on yourself if that helps with how to make it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Custos wrote:
It is an Italian and Spanish/Hispanic custom to kiss the thumb after making the sign of the cross -- there is apparetly a reason for doing this, but for me this falls into the category of We Never Did This Where I Came From.


There might be a parallel in a practice common in England ca. 1400-1580. During the Elevation, it was a common devotional practice to kiss one's own flesh, typically on the thumb as that was most conducive to making the Sign of the Cross, in commemoration of the Incarnation as well as the mystery of the Eucharist. Source for that is Eamon Duffy's excellent work on traditional religion in England 1400-1580. So perhaps the practice you mention arose out of the same pious instincts. But OnTheRock's explanation works just as well. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:02 am 
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viking wrote:
kneeling on one foot. Before we go to sit in the pews, you genuflect on your right knee to show respect to Jesus who is in the tabernacle in front of you.
But is it not also acceptable if you are physically unable to kneel to bow ?


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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:09 pm 
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FWIW I feel I should point out that for ministers and altar boys there is more proper protocol. For instance, one serving Mass should not cross himself as he genuflects or kneels. They are distinct liturgical actions.

In the Roman rite it is made thus:

"Place the left hand extended under the breast, hold the right hand extended also. At the word Patris raise it and touch the forehead; at Filii touch the breast at a sufficient distance down, but above the left hand; at Spiritus Sanctus touch the left and right shoulders; at Amen join the hands if they are to be joined"

Since the hand is to be extended, the Eastern manner would be incorrect for a minister or server in the Roman rite.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:30 pm 
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This has probably been asked before, but I couldn't find any answer, so...
Today at Mass I noticed how some people did the Sign of the Cross in a strange way after a certain prayer (cannot remember which one, though), as if they were rubbing their forehead, then the chest and so on.
Can anyone please explain the meaning of this particular gesture and how to do it? Is there a standard way to do it?


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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:38 pm 
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mtvester wrote:
This has probably been asked before, but I couldn't find any answer, so...
Today at Mass I noticed how some people did the Sign of the Cross in a strange way after a certain prayer (cannot remember which one, though), as if they were rubbing their forehead, then the chest and so on.
Can anyone please explain the meaning of this particular gesture and how to do it? Is there a standard way to do it?

I assume it was right before the Gospel?

The deacon (or priest) is instructed to sign the book once and then himself thrice before the Gospel. The servers and those attending sign themselves as well.

The first sign is on the forehead, the second on the lips, the third on the heart.

The right way to do it is with the right hand, fingers together and opened (the hand should be extended not closed), one makes a cross on the forehead with their thumb, then on the lips and then heart. The left hand is held beneath the breast during this. Some will do it with a closed hand, but still with the thumb. This isn´t a big deal at all, especially among the laity, but it should be open-handed.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:34 pm 
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A with kiss.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
A with kiss.

With a kiss? That might be a pious custom among the laity, but it isn´t part of the gesture in the Mass itself (iow whether it is the triple small sign of the cross, or the regular crossing the ministers and servers NEVER kiss their hand or thumb=). Lay people may as their own personal gesture

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Just responding to Options A-D post.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:48 pm 
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mtvester wrote:
This has probably been asked before, but I couldn't find any answer, so...
Today at Mass I noticed how some people did the Sign of the Cross in a strange way after a certain prayer (cannot remember which one, though), as if they were rubbing their forehead, then the chest and so on.
Can anyone please explain the meaning of this particular gesture and how to do it? Is there a standard way to do it?


As PED said, a small "tau" or "t" or Sign of the Cross is made.

May the Gospel remain in my mind, on my lips and in my heart.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:48 pm 
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ledaub1 wrote:
Could someone explain the correct way to do this? A link (especially to a site with pictures) would be ideal.

I read that the thumb and 1st 2 fingers should be touching each other while the ring and pinkie finger should point away from the body (tucked in towards the hand)and from the forehead to the solar plexus to the left and right shoulders. However, on Sunday I noticed that no one did it exactly that way. I saw whole hands used and whole hands in which only the middle finger touched the body.

I also noticed that some did it while genuflecting and some didn't. Which is correct?

Any help would be appreciated.

I never understood this, why do we have to do it in the first place?


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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:48 am 
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It's the seal of the Holy Cross. It's a devotion to Christ Crucified, and used as a blessing, an invocation, an exorcism, etc. The position of the fingers...index and middle fingers extended with the thumb tucked behind them is the sign of the Holy Trinity. (That's how I do it, anyway. There are other forms, but basically the same meaning.)

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:38 am 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
It's the seal of the Holy Cross. It's a devotion to Christ Crucified, and used as a blessing, an invocation, an exorcism, etc.


Will you give more information on this? The Sign of the Cross is something I always feel like I'm supposed to do. It isn't meaningful to me yet, but I want it to be...

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:10 am 
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I was reading a short story yesterday. One of the characters is described as feeling he needed to make the sign of the cross -- then remembering that he was Methodist and stopping himself.

The gesture seems to have much meaning, even among non-Catholics.

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 Post subject: Re: Sign of the Cross
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:02 am 
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HA! or ah-HA... perhaps that's part of my problem. I was raised United Methodist.

I think because it is one of the most prevalent gestures of the Church, there is part of the old protestant in me that equates it to the false charge of the Catholic faith being overly religious and not spiritual (whatever that really means).

What does this devotion mean when you do it? Is it simply remembering the Holy Trinity? Isn't it a prayer in itself? Is it similar to saying "In Jesus' name I pray"?

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