God’s children are hidden with Christ in God, and no one can take us from God’s hand. Eye ‘N See The cross is the symbol of those to be tormented in the lake of fire forever! Should we all be identifying ourselves as a member of the Roman Catholic Church by placing that symbol on our forehead? It totally misunderstands the saving work of Jesus Christ. ThoughtCo. If that’s what a person sees for their future—if that’s what a person wants for their future, then that sign, given by the Pope to all Catholics—then that’s a good sign for them. For what purpose? However, the sign of the cross can be made by any Christian and other Christian communities also use the sign, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. That is not assigned from God. "Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross?" When a Catholic makes the sign of the cross it is a remembrance of the cross and a prayer to the trinity. Pray. Praying the sign of the cross is so common that we often rush through it without thinking much about it. The cross is a sign of humility and victory! What more have they said about their symbol, the sign of the cross? The reader is exactly right, however: Eastern Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox) make the Sign of the Cross by touching their right shoulder first. Let’s continue. Face the Truth To use the left hand, that would be incorrect. The sign of the cross is an inseparable symbol of the Catholic faith.”, [1000 Questions and Answers on Catholicism by Philip O’Reilly, p. 240]. –the sign made with the right hand to the forehead. Like all prayers, the Sign of the Cross should be said with reverence; we shouldn't rush through it on the way to the next prayer. What does the Bible have to say about the sign of the cross? Is the cross—by the way, dear friends, isn’t it that the cross was the instrument that was used to murder our Lord Jesus Christ? (This is also signified by the slanted crossbar under Christ's feet in an Eastern crucifix--the bar slants from left down to right as we look at the crucifix, since the left is the side of Christ's right hand.). It brings the power of Christ’s cross to us and can be a powerful help against temptation and an excellent way of reminding us of … It’s very important to them. When we make it over ourselves, we are asking for God's blessing. Lots of Christians actually do make the sign of the cross when they pray. Many also touch their right shoulder up higher than their left shoulder. It’s not a good sign, dear friends. Why doesn’t the Church Of Christ use the sign of the cross? God’s Message Podcast It’s their sign. EMAIL QUESTION: Why doesn’t the Church Of Christ use the sign of the cross? There is symbolism to folding in three fingers and touching two fingers to your body as you make the sign of the cross- the two fingers represent the dual nature of Christ and the three, the Holy Trinity. Today, Roman Catholics make the sign with the same hand shape before the Gospel reading at Mass. Narrator: We begin with what is, perhaps, our earliest personal religious memory and practice: the sign of the cross. From the earliest times Christians have made the sign of the cross. But, even considering all of that, we have to base our correct understanding and our correct faith and correct instructions from our Creator upon what’s recorded here in the Bible, of course. First of all, let me make it clear that making the sign of the cross is not a commandment of God. INC International Edition In the same way making the sign of the cross cam be a tool for this as well, whether in a restaurant before a meal, or even out on the street making a prayer for somebody. "Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross?" So, let’s turn to the Holy Scriptures and pose some questions about the sign that they have presented, the sign of the cross. What does it show when the members of the Catholic Church are always using this sign. Brother Bob: That’s clearly a sign that is recorded in the Bible. The sign of the cross was made from forehead to chest, and then from right shoulder to left shoulder with the right hand. Most Catholics know, of course, but it can’t … An indulgence of 300 days for making the sign of the cross, with holy water. One way to connect ourselves to our forebears in the faith is to say the Name of the Holy Trinity in Latin while making the sign. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The sign of the cross traces its roots to ancient Christianity. Faith and Family, Faith Speaks They said. . Executive News I know its not in the bible but i think it was handed down through tradition and i think it had always been the right hand ever since. We turn back again to the answer of the Bible. Blessed Moments In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It is the sign and symbol of Catholicism. The Message https://www.learnreligions.com/make-the-sign-of-the-cross-3970761 (accessed January 26, 2021). (2020, August 25). The mystical aspect aside, tracing the sign of the cross is neither right nor wrong and can be positive if it serves to remind a person of the cross of Christ and/or the trinity. We can see the cross on their worship buildings, we can see the cross on the rosaries that they always use. I always make the sign of the cross from right to left. Almost all of us do it or have done it. There are slight differences in how it is made between the various rites of the Church, but they are all legitimate. From this it follows that the making of the cross is equally unbiblical. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians . Stories Of Faith El Mensaje Thank you for that. Catholic.com explains the action as, The sign of the cross was made simply with the fingers (the index or the thumb) on the forehead or lips or breast (as Latin-rite Catholics do at the beginning of the Gospel lesson) or with the whole hand over the torso. Place the small cross first on your forehead, then on your lips, then on your breast. INC News World What did we just read? Even non-Christians recognize it. Source: https://www.youtube.com/CatholicChicago. Eastern Christians, both those who are members of the Orthodox Churches and Byzantine or Eastern Catholics in union with Rome, all make the sign of the Cross. Narrator: As often as we make the sign of the cross, repeating at the same time these words: [On-screen graphic] An indulgence of 100 days is granted for making the sign of the cross and saying the words. This tradition of wearing a cross does not come from the Bible or the practices of the New Testament Church. Beginning prayers, end prayers, fifty-one times. This is in reference to something I wrote in the section on the Sign of the Cross in Ten Prayers Every Catholic Child Should Know: I didn't write that touching their right shoulder before their left is a "mistake," though it's understandable why the reader got that impression. An important reason is that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross. Source: https://www.youtube.com/DominicanAllSaints. After all is said, it is good to encourage kids to use their right hands when making the sign of the cross. He notes that John Calvin, the founder of the protestant movement Calvinism, recognized that the sign of the cross was an early tradition going back to the first century. Sometimes Catholics may make a quick Sign of the Cross when receiving bad news, or when sirens pass, as a way of praying for those involved. When a bishop or priest makes the blessing sign from left to right, it feels natural to mirror that sign by moving from right to left. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/make-the-sign-of-the-cross-3970761. It’s what identifies them as a Roman Catholic. Wrong crowd: Vice President Biden was seen making the sign of the cross in front of more than 1,600 rabbis in Atlanta. Following the same penitential act, when we fail to strike the breast at all, we make the sign of the cross for no good reason. Brother Bob: Thank you very much, Ms. Ivy Armenton for your email question. We begin and end our prayers with the Sign of the Cross, perhaps not realizing that the sign is … The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. How to Make the Sign of the Cross How do we make the sign of the Cross? Iglesia De Cristo Mundo It allows those who see them to admire their piety and obedience as a model of what they should do. Learn the small cross. Using our right hand to make that sign of the cross that identifies a person as Catholic? The sign of the cross is an ancient Christian practice, dating from at least the early third century or before. In this Q&A, we will explore the true history of the “Christian” cross. However, Catholic children in the Latin Rite should be taught to make the Sign of the Cross in the Western manner--just as Catholic children in the Eastern Rites should be taught to touch their right shoulder before their left. Because that’s a sign that you’ll be tormented. Let’s take a look. The teachers might be under the misunderstanding that there are iron-clad rules about using the right hand. In the next installment, we will discuss the origin of “making the sign of the cross.” 13:16: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, [Revelation 13:16 New King James Version]. Is it a good sign? Let’s continue: “Nothing in the Church is begun, carried out, or completed, without the sign of the cross. > Why don't Christians make the sign of the cross when they pray? The crucifix, which was used as weapon against Christ by men, was transformed by Christ into a weapon against the devil. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act. It’s the sign of those to be tormented. In a book they have written entitled Externals of the Catholic Church, page 218, let’s take a look at what they have written about the cross: “The ordinary method of making the sign of the cross is that which every Catholic learns in early childhood – the putting of the right hand to the forehead…”, [Externals of the Catholic Church, p. 218]. In fact, what else do they have to say in their religion about that sign on the forehead and the right hand? To brand, to identify a Catholic from a non-Catholic. Is the Date of Easter Related to Passover. So it’s very important to them. We can see the cross in so many places and it has become such a prevalent visual symbol and everyone is convinced that that is a good symbol. At Mass alone it is used fifty one times.”. It’s what they have given upon the forehead of all their members. Narrator: As often as we make the sign of the cross, repeating at the same time these words: An indulgence of 100 days is granted for making the sign of the cross and saying the words. So, Ivy, it shows  that it is a sign found—it is a sign made inside the Catholic Church. Catholics should not even be doing it because it is wrong. The Solution. But we shake with the right hand and that’s just the way it’s done. When a bishop or priest makes the blessing sign from left to right, it feels natural to mirror that sign by moving from right to left. First-century Christians began making the sign of the cross as a reminder and renewal of what happened to them when they were baptized. It is the symbol of those that are to be tormented in the lake of fire forever. That is a sign identifying one having been deceived by the deceiver, and he is branding them to be tormented in the lake of fire. The earliest formalized way of making the sign of the cross appeared about the 400s, during the Monophysite heresy which denied the two natures in the divine person of Christ and thereby the unity of the Holy Trinity. Brother Bob: Dear friends, when you’re ready to learn more about this and so many other important fundamental truths here in the Holy Scriptures—the teachings found, taught here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit incmedia.org. What did I miss? It still works the same way for us. But it actually goes all the way back to the Apostles. One of the first questions we might ask is, Who decided that the cross was to be the sign of Christianity? Revelation 14:9, 10 and 11: “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worship the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, learnreligions.com/make-the-sign-of-the-cross-3970761. Blogs When we sign ourselves we are declaring that in baptism we died sacramentally with Christ on the cross and rose to a new life with him (see Rom 6:3-4 and Gal 2:20 ). What have they themselves said, in fact, about the importance of that sign that they have branded or let’s say they have given upon their people? QUESTION: What awaits those people who possess, or brand themselves with the sign of the cross on the forehead and the right hand? and you can also learn how the Church is interacting with our communities: Check out the Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates Facebook page for all of that. What awaits the people who possess or brand themselves with the sign of the cross on the forehead, or on the right hand, or both for that matter. It is used in innumerable blessings and ceremonials of the Church. The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. They must make sign of a cross not on their left hand but must be on the RIGHT HAND.. (not unless maybe you have a problem with your left hand..) Personally, I like it! And that those in Christian traditions that bodily act out the sign of the cross do so in joy or in sorrow, in confidence or in fear. That’s in the Bible This would definitely make me think twice about visiting there again…but then again, I tend to avoid parishes that don’t offer the Mass in Latin, given the option. So let’s turn to the pages of the Holy Scriptures asking this question: Is it a good sign, yes or no? Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross? Since my wife and I spent two years in an Eastern Rite Catholic parish, I find myself on occasion making the Sign of the Cross in the Eastern manner, especially when praying prayers that I learned in the Eastern Church or when venerating icons. Making the sign of the cross is so uniquely Christian it would never be used by a non-Christian. Catholic.com explains the action as, The sign of the cross was made simply with the fingers (the index or the thumb) on the forehead or lips or breast (as Latin-rite Catholics do at the beginning of the Gospel lesson) or with the whole hand over the torso. The same way, the Sign of the Cross is … Same page: “The sign of the cross is the most common way of confessing our faith. Since such a means of execution made the person “a curse,” it would not be proper for Christians to decorate their homes with images of Christ on a cross. But the sign of the cross is an ancient tradition with deep theological meaning. They said, it will bring God’s blessings into the one who receives that sign—or makes the sign of the cross, it will bring God’s blessing in their life. The earliest formalized way of making the sign of the cross appeared about the 400s, during the Monophysite heresy which denied… the unity of the Holy Trinity. Get to Know Us We’re going to worship that? I do wish non-Catholics would do it the "sign". If you do not want to be tormented, and who in their right mind would want to be tormented, right? Learn Religions. The use of the sign of the cross traces back to early Christianity, with the second century Aposto… ThoughtCo. Catholics should not even be doing it because it is wrong. First of all, let me make it clear that making the sign of the cross is not a commandment of God. The rabbi introducing Biden was not aware at … Brother Bob: So they claim that that symbol, the right hand to the forehead, is an inseparable symbol. An almost ubiquitous practice of making the sign of the cross at one particular point in the Mass seems to have cropped up without good reason. There is no evidence that for the first 300 years after Christ’s death, those claiming to be Christians used the cross in worship. Absolutely yes. Send your videos to: answers@incmedia.org. I noticed in reference to the Sign of the Cross, you state a "mistake" many children make is touching the right shoulder before the left. ... Not because it's wrong, or for Scriptural reasons but because there's really no good motive to do so and because it just plain shows common decency to respect the traditions of others, so long as they are not anti-Christian, or anti-God. When we sign ourselves we are declaring that in baptism we died sacramentally with Christ on the cross and rose to a new life with Him (see Rom 6:3-4 and Gal 2:20). It’s not a sign—don’t brand yourself with that sign: the sign of the cross. Brother Bob: So, dear friends, what they’ve written in their book then, is that it’s a sign to only be used with the right hand—the right hand to the forehead. When the “Pledge of Allegiance” is said, don’t you instruct them to place their right hand over their hearts? Let’s take a look. When Christians use it, in continuity with ancient Christian practice, it continues to be a personal reminder that we belong to Christ. They had capital punishment back then, and they used the cross to punish our Savior Jesus Christ. That would not be the proper procedure. Brother Bob Pellien, Minister of the Gospel. Making the sign of the cross, or blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity. The sign of the cross is an action taken after saying a prayer. Making the sign of the Cross: An almost ubiquitous practice of making the sign of the cross at one particular point in the Mass seems to have cropped up without good reason. Certainly it is customary to make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand; that comes more naturally to most people. Certainly it is customary to make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand; that comes more naturally to most people. How Do Catholic Practices Contradict the Bible. Some of the first Christians to bless themselves formed a cross with their thumb and index finger and placed it on their forehead. The teachers might be under the misunderstanding that there are … This would definitely make me think twice about visiting there again…but then again, I tend to avoid parishes that don’t offer the Mass in Latin, given the option. Brother Bob: So, Ivy, it’s clearly a sign that the members of the Catholic Church have made for themselves, and well, we can see it everywhere in their religion. It is used in their ceremonies, they said. According to the book on the catechism of the Catholic Church, making the sign of the cross is a prayer for deliverance from their enemies. What does it demonstrate? Brother Bob: Dear friends, is it a good sign? He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. However, Catholic children in the Latin Rite should be taught to make the Sign of the Cross in the Western manner–just as Catholic children in the Eastern Rites should be taught to touch their right shoulder before their left. However, Catholic children in the Latin Rite should be taught to make the Sign of the Cross in the Western manner–just as Catholic children in the Eastern Rites should be taught to touch their right shoulder before their left. So, in this post, we explain specifically how and when Christians in the Orthodox Church make the sign of the Cross. What else have they said? In fact it is a very very good thing. Christ sacrificed himself on the cross for the salvation of humankind, and in the process, conquered death. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. . The sign of the cross is a powerful way of making us mindful of the Trinity and inviting God into our prayer and into our daily lives. And any time you would like to send us a video question, please email them to answers@incmedia.org. Some of the first Christians to bless themselves formed a cross with their thumb and index finger and placed it on their forehead. According to the book on the catechism of the Catholic Church, making the sign of the cross is … By it we can know Catholics from non-Catholics. Is that not the way it was originally done and is still done in the Eastern Catholic communities? It still works the same way for us. We’re going to honor that? Some make the Sign Of The Cross each time they pass by a Catholic Church to acknowledge the presence of Jesus there. Bow down and say prayers to things of the cross? Almost all of us do it or have done it. The cross is a sign of humility and victory! The cross and all that it stands for are central to our tradition and the heritage of all Christians. And, well, what we read, it’s a good sign, they said. Credit: adriatikus, Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5) But one wonders in this particular case whether it makes a difference to Our Lord. Let’s take a look at a couple of video clips here that show, first of all, how this is being done inside the Roman Catholic Church, and then together, let’s take a check of what the Bible actually has to say in response to all of that. Protestants may use it with several meanings; for instance, they might "make the sign of the Cross" while giving thanks to God. In fact, they use it fifty-one times in the Mass. There is no wrong time to pray The Sign Of The Cross. QUESTION: What have they themselves said about the importance of that sign they have given to their people? Catholics often make the Sign of the Cross casually, just as a nice gesture for beginning and ending their prayers. INC Kids, INC Music Videos Both actions remind us of the two thieves who were crucified alongside Christ. It’s their symbol. As it happens, we do have families and students from a variety of backgrounds, and when we’ve had folks come in from Lutheran or Anglican backgrounds where making the sign of the cross was as normal and pious as saying Merry Christmas or the equivalent of raising hands in prayer or worship (as is common in other traditions), we’ve assured those folks that … From the earliest days of the church, Christians made the sign of the cross, but some reformers condemned it as a form of idolatry. What is the meaning of it and is making the sign of the cross Biblical? The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. Today, Roman Catholics make the sign with the same hand shape before the Gospel reading at Mass. Granted we are in the West; however, that does not really make us right and the East wrong. Fingers in the position of making the Sign of the Cross in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. To identify themselves, among the other reasons, some of which were also mentioned here. ThoughtCo. Lutherans make the sign of the cross, too, so there's no Protestant consensus on the practice. This is very interesting, what he wrote: “We usually begin and end our prayers with the sign of the cross.”, [My Catholic Faith by Louis La Ravoire Morrow, p. 392]. Well, dear friends. He seemed to think this made making the sign of the cross wrong. Absolutely nothing is wrong with making the sign of the cross! When we make it over ourselves, we are asking for God's blessing. I always make the sign of the cross from right to left. Why not? The crucifix, which was used as weapon against Christ by men, was transformed by Christ into a weapon against the devil. Making the sign of the cross, while certainly not required, can be a very helpful practice and carries with it a great deal of theological significance. First-century Christians began making the Sign of the Cross as a reminder and renewal of what happened to them when they were baptized. INC Giving This blessing is made by the tracing of an upright cross or + across the body with the right hand, often accompanied by spoken or mental recitation of the trinitarian formula: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. facebook.com/IglesiaNiCristoNewsandUpdates. I don't understand this viewpoint. We invoke the name of the triune God: Father, son, and holy spirit. In The Small Catechism, Martin Luther encouraged Christians to retain the practice of making the sign of the cross.The Missouri Synod, following Luther’s advice, has encouraged Christians to continue making the sign of the cross, notably at a number of places during the Divine Service. A sign: from the right hand or the forehead. So first off, we can notice it’s how it’s they begin all their prayers; it’s how they end all their prayers. Since we make the Sign of the Cross before and after all of our prayers, many Catholics don't realize that the Sign of the Cross is not simply an action but a prayer in itself. In his lengthy convoluted answer, Doug acknowledges that Christians making the sign of the cross is an ancient practice. The Encyclopædia Britannica calls the cross “the principal symbol of the Christian religion.” Nevertheless, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. We turn to the book of Revelation, chapter 13—first of all, where we can ask this question: does the Bible make any mention of that sign at all in the first place? The earliest formalized way of making the sign of the cross appeared about the 400s, during the Monophysite heresy which denied the two natures in the divine person of Christ and thereby the unity of the Holy Trinity. We’ll see you again next time here on That’s in the Bible. But one wonders in this particular case whether it makes a difference to Our Lord. Pray. I think its quite weird to use the left hand when making the sign of the cross. In another book, this one entitled 1000 Questions and Answers on Catholicism, on page 240, this is stated: “What is the significance of the sign of the cross? Part of the question mentioned the sign of the cross. Place the small cross first on your forehead, then on your lips, then on your breast. I think people who are even lefties use their right hand in making the sign of the cross. What does the Bible have to say about the sign of the cross? Whatever the reasons might be, I am sure it has more to do with the left hand being literally unclean in so many cultures. So we can also see here how important it is to them. Some use all four fingers. Ivy. Not all Christian religions use the sign of the cross, so why make the gesture? This is shown by the fact that the earliest mentions of the sign of the cross speak of it as an already established custom and simply encourage the faithful to make it correctly. The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured with the same honours. The cross is the sign of our salvation. Should we all be making that sign of the cross? It is also wrong to believe that the sign of the cross is something magic that protects you from harm. Following the same penitential act, when we fail to strike the breast at all, we make the sign of the cross for no good reason. The God we have come to meet and the God whose life we share. The earliest formalized way of making the sign of the cross appeared about the 400s, during the Monophysite heresy which denied the two natures in the divine person of Christ and thereby the unity of the Holy Trinity. I would tactfully ask the priest if something was wrong with his right hand; that might explain some of it, at least. It is a basic and useful prayer and it is used often. The sign of the cross is an action taken after saying a prayer. We’re going to venerate that? Basil the Great tells us that the apostles themselves taught the sign of the cross. The sign of the cross was made from forehead to chest, and then from right shoulder to left shoulder with the right hand. We begin and end our prayers with the Sign of the Cross, perhaps not realizing that the … Priest: In the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. They have that sign of the cross placed in ashes right there on the forehead, saying, “I’m a Catholic, I’m a sign of the cross maker, I’m branded with that cross.” That’s the instrument that was used to murder our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The sign of the cross was made from forehead to chest, and then from right shoulder to left shoulder with the right hand. Blueprint But when we learn to take this act seriously, signing ourselves frequently with faith and reverence, remarkable results can take place. It is a reminder that in all things, “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23) and that the Christian life is one of bearing the cross (Matthew 16:24). They are a member of Roman Catholic religion, and it was one of their doctrines. This one is entitled My Catholic Faith, written by authoritative writer of the Catholic Church, the Bishop Louis La Ravoire Morrow. One for sure was that. Page 392 in his book. Before we turn to the Holy Scriptures for the Bible’s response, of course, to your question, for the sake of our viewers and even many other Christian-professing religions that—well, they may not yet know for sure what’s really meant by that whole “sign of the cross”. Are always using this sign. transformed by Christ into a weapon against Christ by,. Was originally done and is still done in the lake of fire forever our faith this case! Presence of the cross? the Church, it shows that it stands for are central to Lord!: that ’ s turn to the forehead: so they claim that symbol... 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