History for Crossing Yourself

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  hermanopedro 9 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #1123

    Victor
    Member

    Anyone know the reasons/history for crossing yourself 4 times before the priests reads the Gospel? Also, what about the way in which one crosses? Thumb only? 3 fingers? 4 fingers?

    ~Victor

    #5375

    Benedict
    Member

    [u:aweopykt]The Sign of the Cross[/u:aweopykt]:

    St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes,

    “Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ; but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it upon thy forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away. 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.”

    And Tertullian also writes,

    “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign [of the Cross].”

    And further, St. Ephraim of Syria,

    “Mark all your actions with the sign of the lifegiving Cross. Do not go out from the door of your house till you have signed yourself with the Cross. Do not neglect that sign whether in eating or drinking or going to sleep, or in the home or going on a journey. There is no habit to be compared with it. Let it be a protecting wall round all your conduct, and teach it to your children that they may earnestly learn the custom.”

    [u:aweopykt]Fingers[/u:aweopykt]:

    The manner in which you hold your fingers when you cross yourself means something (and not knowing the meaning removes a part of the lesson).

    Three fingers symbolize the Trinity.

    Two fingers symbolize the two natures of Christ.

    (Coincidentally, if you put your thumb and first two fingers together to symbolize the Trinity, your other two fingers are left tucked under to symbolize Christ’s two natures. This is the manner in which I usually make the sign.)

    Five fingers together symbolize the five wounds of Christ.

    Various other symbolic meanings exist. One should take advantage of them when making the sign of the cross to remind oneself of the mysteries and glories of God.

    Sign of the Cross before the Gospel:

    Before the Gospel reading at mass, we make the sign of the cross on our forehead, lips, and heart. The sign on the forehead is to show that we believe the Gospel, the sign on the lips is to show that we respect the Gospel and desire to spread the Good News, and the sign on our breast is to show that we love the Gospel and want it kept in our hearts.

    #5377

    Fred
    Member

    Peace be with you!

    Benedict,

    Awesome job! :!: Beat me to the reply too <img src=” title=”Smile” /> I use the two fingers tucked under the three and was told the same as it’s meaning in CCD.

    #5379

    This is a very informative thread. :idea: Thank you everyone. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #5380

    Victor
    Member

    Thanks guys.

    The Least
    ~Victor

    #5383

    Icequeen
    Member

    Great post! I like it when I learn something new! <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #5384

    [quote:bkbr7e8o][u:bkbr7e8o]The Sign of the Cross[/u:bkbr7e8o]:

    [u:bkbr7e8o]Fingers[/u:bkbr7e8o]:

    The manner in which you hold your fingers when you cross yourself means something (and not knowing the meaning removes a part of the lesson).

    Three fingers symbolize the Trinity.

    Two fingers symbolize the two natures of Christ.

    (Coincidentally, if you put your thumb and first two fingers together to symbolize the Trinity, your other two fingers are left tucked under to symbolize Christ’s two natures. This is the manner in which I usually make the sign.)

    Five fingers together symbolize the five wounds of Christ.

    Various other symbolic meanings exist. One should take advantage of them when making the sign of the cross to remind oneself of the mysteries and glories of God.
    [/quote:bkbr7e8o]

    I¬¥m so glad I read this, I had no idea. I¬¥ve always used only my index finger. Hope that doesn¬¥t mean anything bad <img src=” title=”Smile” />
    I´ll get used from now on to use at least 2 fingers
    God Bless you all
    Juan

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