To brand, to identify a Catholic from a non-Catholic. 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. Brand ourselves on the forehead like what they do on Ash Wednesday every year? Some "non-Roman Catholic" Christians do make the sign of the Cross; even some "Protestant" and other non-Roman Catholic Clergy do. How Do Catholic Practices Contradict the Bible. Executive News Absolutely nothing is wrong with making the sign of the cross! There are slight differences in how it is made between the various rites of the Church, but they are all legitimate. I would tactfully ask the priest if something was wrong with his right hand; that might explain some of it, at least. Is the Date of Easter Related to Passover. Place the small cross first on your forehead, then on your lips, then on your breast. There is no wrong time to pray The Sign Of The Cross. INC Kids, INC Music Videos And, well, what we read, it’s a good sign, they said. THE cross is loved and respected by millions of people. Stories Of Faith First of all, let me make it clear that making the sign of the cross is not a commandment of God. And you can also view our programs on the Iglesia Ni Cristo Media Facebook page. When my grandmother kneaded the dough for bread, the last thing she would do was to make a cross on the dough with the side of her hand. Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross? Almost all of us do it or have done it. Almost all of us do it or have done it. The same way, the Sign of the Cross is … The cross is a sign of humility and victory! QUESTION: What awaits those people who possess, or brand themselves with the sign of the cross on the forehead and the right hand? They said. Touching the right shoulder first, and touching it higher up than the left shoulder, indicates the fulfillment of Christ's promise. One of the first questions we might ask is, Who decided that the cross was to be the sign of Christianity? First-century Christians began making the sign of the cross as a reminder and renewal of what happened to them when they were baptized. 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. We’re going to honor that? It’s both—that they make the symbol using the right hand, and the first place it goes is to the forehead. He seemed to think this made making the sign of the cross wrong. We invoke the name of the triune God: Father, son, and holy spirit. The sign of the cross is an action taken after saying a prayer. According to the book on the catechism of the Catholic Church, making the sign of the cross is … 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. 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. This one is entitled My Catholic Faith, written by authoritative writer of the Catholic Church, the Bishop Louis La Ravoire Morrow. The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. Let’s take a look. This tradition of wearing a cross does not come from the Bible or the practices of the New Testament Church. What does it demonstrate? It still works the same way for us. We begin and end our prayers with the Sign of the Cross, perhaps not realizing that the … Get to Know Us The cross is a sign of humility and victory! They said, it’s a good sign. Those Christians are known as Catholics and Orthodox. ThoughtCo. Brother Bob: So they claim that that symbol, the right hand to the forehead, is an inseparable symbol. There is no one right method of making the sign of the Cross, so employ whatever method is most comfortable to you. To use the left hand, that would be incorrect. So, Ivy, it shows  that it is a sign found—it is a sign made inside the Catholic Church. 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. 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 … An indulgence of 300 days for making the sign of the cross, with holy water. Why doesn’t the Church Of Christ use the sign of the cross? Ten Prayers Every Catholic Child Should Know, How and Why Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross, 10 Things to Know Before Attending a Traditional Latin Mass, Major Changes Between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo, How to Make an Advent Wreath (In Seven Easy Steps). Making the sign of the cross, or blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity. We’re going to venerate that? 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. 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. A sign: from the right hand or the forehead. But one wonders in this particular case whether it makes a difference to Our Lord. Catholics should not even be doing it because it is wrong. Christ sacrificed himself on the cross for the salvation of humankind, and in the process, conquered death. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”, [Revelation 14:9-11 New King James Version]. 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. 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? But it actually goes all the way back to the Apostles. How to Make the Sign of the Cross How do we make the sign of the Cross? Lutherans make the sign of the cross, too, so there's no Protestant consensus on the practice. When we make it over ourselves, we are asking for God's blessing. Some make the Sign Of The Cross each time they pass by a Catholic Church to acknowledge the presence of Jesus there. Using our right hand to make that sign of the cross that identifies a person as Catholic? Let’s take a look. It’s what identifies them as a Roman Catholic. In this Q&A, we will explore the true history of the “Christian” cross. In the Catholic Church, it’s the right hand and the forehead. The rabbi introducing Biden was not aware at … The sign of the cross is an action taken after saying a prayer. The sign of the cross was made from forehead to chest, and then from right shoulder to left shoulder with the right hand. 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 ). 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]. 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. Credit: adriatikus, Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5) Iglesia De Cristo Mundo QUESTION: What else do they say about the sign on the forehead and right hand? Send your videos to: [email protected] 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 Encyclopædia Britannica calls the cross “the principal symbol of the Christian religion.” Nevertheless, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. 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. Let’s continue. Brother Bob: That’s clearly a sign that is recorded in the Bible. What else have they said? In fact it is a very very good thing. 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 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. The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. Well, dear friends. Most Catholics know, of course, but it can’t … In the next installment, we will discuss the origin of “making the sign of the cross.” The cross was used to murder our Lord Jesus! 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. 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. That would not be the proper procedure. We’re going to worship that? 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. Let’s continue: “Nothing in the Church is begun, carried out, or completed, without the sign of the cross. Catholics often make the Sign of the Cross casually, just as a nice gesture for beginning and ending their prayers. 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? But one wonders in this particular case whether it makes a difference to Our Lord. 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. 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]. Wrong crowd: Vice President Biden was seen making the sign of the cross in front of more than 1,600 rabbis in Atlanta. 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? 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. So first off, we can notice it’s how it’s they begin all their prayers; it’s how they end all their prayers. To identify themselves, among the other reasons, some of which were also mentioned here. Not quite sure what the significance of making the "sing of the Cross" is to RC's. 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. Narrator: We begin with what is, perhaps, our earliest personal religious memory and practice: the sign of the cross. 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. 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. Learn Religions. Granted we are in the West; however, that does not really make us right and the East wrong. After all is said, it is good to encourage kids to use their right hands when making the sign of the cross. That’s in the Bible It is the symbol of those that are to be tormented in the lake of fire forever. From the earliest times Christians have made the sign of the cross. ... 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. It’s the sign of those to be tormented. "Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross?" Some of the first Christians to bless themselves formed a cross with their thumb and index finger and placed it on their forehead. 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. 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. I always make the sign of the cross from right to left. 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. From the earliest days of the church, Christians made the sign of the cross, but some reformers condemned it as a form of idolatry. I would tactfully ask the priest if something was wrong with his right hand; that might explain some of it, at least. When the “Pledge of Allegiance” is said, don’t you instruct them to place their right hand over their hearts? Christ sacrificed himself on the cross for the salvation of humankind, and in the process, conquered death. I always make the sign of the cross from right to left. When seen in the public market burqas and clerical shirts draw eyes and subtle shifts of the head. The cross and all that it stands for are central to our tradition and the heritage of all Christians. It is used in their ceremonies, they said. The crucifix, which was used as weapon against Christ by men, was transformed by Christ into a weapon against the devil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. INC International Edition And we all understand and agree on what the Cross means (on the surface, at least). Brother Bob: Dear friends, is it a good sign? Some of the first Christians to bless themselves formed a cross with their thumb and index finger and placed it on their forehead. 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. The sign of the cross traces its roots to ancient Christianity. God’s children are hidden with Christ in God, and no one can take us from God’s hand. 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. 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. Should we all be identifying ourselves as a member of the Roman Catholic Church by placing that symbol on our forehead? For what purpose? > Why don't Christians make the sign of the cross when they pray? . The reader is right: Neither way is right or wrong. Absolutely yes. INC Giving Today, Roman Catholics make the sign with the same hand shape before the Gospel reading at Mass. Place the small cross first on your forehead, then on your lips, then on your breast. Same page: “The sign of the cross is the most common way of confessing our faith. Amen." But we shake with the right hand and that’s just the way it’s done. They are a member of Roman Catholic religion, and it was one of their doctrines. The God we have come to meet and the God whose life we share. Making the sign of the cross on the forehead is a good way of doing it because it is less likely to be taken as a priestly blessing. So we can also see here how important it is to them. The thief on His right was the "good thief" (traditionally known as Saint Dismas) who professed faith in Christ and whom Christ promised "This day you will be with me in paradise." –the sign made with the right hand to the forehead. 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. Personally, I like it! An important reason is that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross. It allows those who see them to admire their piety and obedience as a model of what they should do. It still works the same way for us. Both actions remind us of the two thieves who were crucified alongside Christ. Today, Roman Catholics make the sign with the same hand shape before the Gospel reading at Mass. It’s very important to them. 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. "Is There a 'Right' Way to Make the Sign of the Cross?" Basil the Great tells us that the apostles themselves taught the sign of the cross. The use of the sign of the cross traces back to early Christianity, with the second century Aposto… Here’s what they had to say in another one of their books. Right hand to the forehead is the method they teach. Faith and Family, Faith Speaks Those who are in holy orders bless by making the sign of the cross in the air toward the persons or things to be blessed, but layfolk bless others only by using their finger, usually the thumb. 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