It is made by touching our forehead, our breast, and our shoulders, left to right. To make the sign of the cross in both the Latin Rite and Eastern Rite, use your right hand to touch first the forehead, then the chest, abdomen, or navel, next one shoulder, and finally the other shoulder, while intoning the names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. Lv 7. How to Cross Yourself It is customary to cross oneself when invoking the Trinity, before and after prayer, and at other times, which you can learn by observing other people in your church. Receive the sign of the holy cross both upon your forehead and upon your heart to mark you as redeemed by Christ, the crucified.?? Tidbits . The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity. The way you make the sign of the cross is that you put the first two fingers of your right hand together (the two natures of Christ) and fold the thumb over to touch the other two fingers (the Trinity), and go from your forehead to your right breast, ending on the left breast just over the heart (since the Holy Spirit lives in your heart). Therefore, the parishioners, putting on the sign of the cross … St. John Vianney said a genuinely made Sign of the Cross “makes all hell tremble.” Today those in the Roman Catholic Church make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand, all the fingers pointing up, in recognition of Christ’s five wounds on the Cross. The responses you find here should not be considered the final word on the topic, but rather as useful guides to be considered with sensitivity to the local context. Altar servers are expected to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes before the church service begins. Amen. Doing so helps us to invoke the names of the triune God of all creation--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--over our waking and our sleeping. From that point forward, that person lives their life ?under the cross of Christ? You can also cross yourself when you need to pray but you are at a loss for words. Iota and Chi in a Circle-- Iota and chi are the first letters in the Greek for Jesus Christ. In the 16th and 17th centuries, some Protestant Reformers rejected the sign of the cross as being a Catholic practice. The Sign of the Cross should always be used before our chief actions and undertakings in order to sanctify them and obtain God's blessing. And as also was pointed out there are other variations within the Latin Church, In the Latin Churches I frequent in particular Latino/Hispanic parishioners, and others, use the hand shape where the thumb crosses over the index finger forming a cross and they kiss that “cross” at the end of making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies. 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. After a Lutheran service is over, altar servers extinguish the candles. 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. In his Small Catechism (in the Concordia Triglotta) he included this preface to the Morning Prayer: “In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The practice is a reminder of our Baptism (the words ''recieve the sign of the cross'' are spoken during the Lutheran Rite of Holy Baptism, and the pastor traces the sign of the cross on the forehead of the person being baptized with his thumb) and the way in which we are to live as baptized Christians. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. Making the sign of the cross is something we are free to do or not to do. The sign of the cross is a practice in the Catholic faith. First, the sign of the cross is just the that: the sign of the CROSS, the cross upon which Christ's blood was spilled in atonement for our sins and to redeem us. The priest, looking at the parishioners, blesses from left to right. It is made with the first two fingers and thumb pursed together (as in the trinity). The Use of the Means of Grace , The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s set of priorities for the practices of word and sacrament, says of this gesture: As a result, many Evangelical (Lutheran) Christians do so during Gottesdienst (Divine Service) much as R. Catholics and Anglicans. The sign of the cross is a reminder of our baptismal promise. We make if from right to left to mirror the actions of the priest when he blesses us. Amen.” It is the custom to make the sign at the invocation, end of the Creed, after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, and at the Benediction. Needless to say, a Christian may make the Holy Sign at any time that his devotion suggests in the routine of daily life. 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. Lutherans and making the sign of the cross In The Small Catechism , Martin Luther suggested that Lutherans make the sign of the cross both in the mornings and the evenings when we pray. Credit: adriatikus, Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5) October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, an important date in the history of the United Church and … The ruminations of a Lutheran cleric on liturgy and the Divine Service, Lutheran culture, sermons, devotional writing, tidbits from some of the projects I am working on. Luther, in the Small Catechism, tells us to make the sign of the Cross as a reminder of our Baptism into the life and death of Jesus. 1 decade ago. Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. The rosary starts and ends with The Sign Of The Cross. 2 Before Services. Second, in a Catholic mass, when the sign of the cross is made, accompanying it is usually the phrase, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." This particular symbol has circles on the arms, representing eternity. Some, however, make the sign of the cross from left to right because we ought to go from misery to glory, like as Christ also passed from death unto life and from the place of darkness to paradise, the more so, they sign both themselves and others in one and the self-same manner. Granted we are in the West; however, that does not really make us right and the East wrong. The sign of the cross, whether traced over the body or on the forehead, is a sign and remembrance of Baptism. Therefore, Christians do make the sign of the cross. The history of the sign of the cross goes back as far as Tertullian, the early church father who lived between A.D. 160 and 220. Frequently Asked Questions. Martin Luther would be happy with your practice of the sign of the cross. ? Lazarus Spengler, to whom Luther wrote his interpretation below, sent Luther a drawing of this seal. The worship staff receives a number of similar inquires on worship-related topics from across the church. This is perhaps, in part, why many Protestant traditions don't make the sign of the cross. I always make the sign of the cross from right to left. However, Lutheranism has utilized the sign of the cross in much of its liturgy (e.g. Sign of the Cross in Protestantism. The two letters in the circle (the symbol for eternity) remind us that Christ offers us eternal life. Fingers in the position of making the Sign of the Cross in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Catholicism is a branch of Christianity. Mass also begins and ends with The Sign Of The Cross. That's powerful in and of itself. KLAUS: Yes, when I was in Turkey the last time, somebody who was not a Christian came up and said, "Do you want a plain cross or do you want a cross with a little body hanging on it? Answer: The practice of tracing the sign of the cross is most prominent in the Roman Catholic Church but is also practiced in the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Episcopalian churches. Greek Cross--The Greek Cross has arms of equal length. [Changed to a simple partial indulgence, since 1968]. ANNOUNCER: A crucifix depicts the body of Jesus hanging on the cross. However, I find it helpful and this article on why Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a German Lutheran Pastor who opposed Hitler during WWII) made the sign of the cross is a good explanation of why. 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. 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. The second thing we ought to do is explain the differences between a cross and a crucifix. Sometimes people even pray The Sign Of The Cross when they see something terrible or shocking or when an ambulance goes by. Indulgences are given of 50 days for making the Sign of the Cross saying the words, and 100 days for the same when using holy water. ... they should bow toward the altar or make the sign of the cross over their chest. The Luther seal or Luther rose is a widely recognized symbol for Lutheranism.It was the seal that was designed for Martin Luther at the behest of John Frederick of Saxony in 1530, while Luther was staying at the Coburg Fortress during the Diet of Augsburg. 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 the great things Jesus has done for us. The act of "Placing the cross on oneself" is a request for a blessing from God. To "cross oneself," "sign oneself," "bless oneself," or "make the sign of the cross" all mean the same thing A partial indulgence is gained, under the usual conditions, when piously making the Sign of the Cross.. Footnotes: 1 The use of "bless" here refers to a parental blessing -- i.e., a prayer for God's grace for a child. ( Lutheran Worship , p. 199)? that is, they live as a child of God, made acceptable to Him through faith in Christ?s work on the cross. Above all else, Blog My Soul is a very personal endeavor, so 'professional' pieces will appear along side pictures of the grandchildren, commentary, and eclectic bits of life lived out as a child of God praying "Come, Lord Jesus." But it is agreed that we sign them from left to right. 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