sign of the cross

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Lowly Layman, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Does everyone here make the sign of the cross? How about the triple mini-cross before the gosple? It was always fun to teach it to my kids. They were so cute at age 2 reciting the Gloria and trying their best to get the motions just right.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Active Member

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    I do both. They're very meaningful symbols to me, and very powerful.
     
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  3. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I make the sign of the cross and always have done , I genuflect towards the Altar and bow my head at the Name of Jesus as I understand the canons instruct us. Indeed as i believe the Anglican Church always has done!
     
  4. Servos

    Servos Active Member

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    Eastern Orthodox way of Cross sign

     
  5. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Another thing, I kneel for reception of the Houseling! Further I teach that this is the correct way and insist that all, but the sick and infirm do also!
     
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  6. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I was a devout user of the Sign of the Cross as a traditionalist Papist, of course, but once I discovered the light of the Reformation I shamefully discarded it. A custom such as this is so fine, beautiful, and edifying, however, that it needs no exact witness or command from Holy Scripture to perform it.

    I do this in at least four places:

    1. When the absolution is pronounced by the Priest at Holy Communion.
    2. When the blessing is given by the Priest at the dismissal thereof.
    3. After I receive the precious blood of Christ, first touching my fingers to my lips and then signing my forehead therewith.
    4. "May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with us all evermore."

    The Triple-Mini-Cross on forehead, lips, and heart is an ancient liturgical action reserved for the Gospel-reader alone - and even modern Rome retains that rule. The rubrics of the Mass never state that anyone other than the Gospeller should make that sign.

    For me, the bodily direction of the Cross is immaterial.
    I always join my thumb to my forefinger and middle finger in imitation of the Blessed Trinity, leaving my ring finger & little finger pressed into my palm, to signify the human & divine natures of our blessed Lord Jesus, like so:


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I once read a Roman Catholic who said "Protestants trace the cross on their Bibles, their clothing, their churches, their pews, and in dozens of other places. Why do they not trace it on themselves?" Clearly he never met an Anglican. :D We refute anti-Protestant stereotypes just by existing! Ah, if only "Protestant" could be detached from "Puritan", and "Catholic" from "Roman"!

    As Tertullian said in De Corona, Chapter 3:

    At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on 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.

    As St. Cyril of Jerusalem said in the Fourth Catechetical Lecture:

    Let us 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.

    There is a quote attributed to St. John Chrysostom about "never leaving your home without making the sign of the cross", but I have never seen it attended to by a citation or source.
     
  8. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    As Servos can attest, we cross ourselves frequently in the Orthodox Church, especially during the Liturgy, entering and leaving the church, before icons, when we light a candle, and whenever the the priest says "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
     
  9. Brigid

    Brigid Member

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    Me too.
     
  10. rcconvert

    rcconvert New Member

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    In the RCC we dip our fingers into blessed water (holy water) and make the sign of the cross recalling our baptism every time we enter or exit church. It is also how we start and end the Holy Mass.

    Side Note: Quite a few NFL players make the sign of the cross when they score a touchdown. However, it is pretty well known that most (not all) are not catholic or from a liturgical church. Thoughts?
     
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  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    The Oriental Orthodox cross left to right, and within the Eastern churches, the Russian Old Rite / Old Believers make the sign with two fingers rather than three.
     
  12. Edmundia

    Edmundia Member

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    As someone brought up in the heart of Irish Anglicanism we were definitely never to make the sign of the cross. Candles and crosses were forbidden on the Holy Table, likewise,of course Vestments, bowing to the Holy Table, incense, all forbidden. These were all marks of the Papistical High Church or worse : pure Romanism.
    We were , in those days, King James Only, Prayer Book only, Church of Ireland [offcial] Hymnbook only - so we never had any hymns written after 1960, when the hymnbook was edited.Trendy Anglicans with worship songs, Facing The People,vestments, candles, crosses, Series this and that were all new to me when I moved to England. We once had a Youth Service in 1970 in the local Cathedral at which we sang some hymns to newish tunes - At the Name of Jesus etc. and it did not go down well.
    It's all a vanished world and the old Prayerbook is pretty well unused now and most the old style Irish Anglican worship utterly changed and abandoned
     
  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Irish Anglicanism is decidedly low church, which baffles me because if I recall correctly, during the 19th and early 20th century the Anglicans tended to be moderates regarding questions of the relationship with Britain.

    At any rate, the most low church BCP recently produced is the 1926 Irish BCP; the new BCP or whatever they call it is lame, boring and stupid, on a par with Common Worship. A synthesis of the 1662, 1689 proposed (the “Liturgy of Comprehension”, 1892 American and 1926 versions of the BCP, perhaps with some material from Wesley’s Sunday Service Book and the BCP derived Devotional Liturgy of Rev. John Hunter, with the revised liturgical calendar in the more recent editions of the 1662 BCP (for Mattins and Evensong) would represent an ideal solution for low church parishes which are committed to the retention of the prayerbook and the KJV. Whereas conversely, a synthesis of the 1928 Deposited Book, the 1928 American Book, the 1962 Canadian book, the English missal, and some traditional language backports from the 1979 book (an option to use Phos Hilarion in Evensong), the Scottish Non Juring liturgies, St. Andrew’s Prayer Book, and the English version of the Mozarabic Rite based prototype Mexican prayer book, in a modular format, would make the ideal solution for high church and Anglo Catholic parishes, as well as the Western Rite Orthodox communities. With both ideally offered in Jacobean or 2019 BCP contemporary language.
     
  14. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Methodist ministers often make the sign of the cross over the Eucharist, and the liturgy of the Methodist church is not entirely, shall we say, binding.

    But its more likely superstition I should think. Like gamblers who wear crosses in casinos.
     
  15. Edmundia

    Edmundia Member

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    Thanks, Liturgyworks, for the Irish update; I have never looked at the New Irish Prayerbook, but the use of Thou/Thine/Thee were all eliminated.

    The Prayerbook (1662) Catechism in 1878 was altered by the newly disestablished Church to exclude any emphasis on the Real Presence, so after the Question What is the inward part,or thing signified ?................there is a new question and answer: After what manner are the Body and Blood of Christ taken and received in the Lord's Supper ?
    Answer. Only after a heavenly and spiritual manner ; and the MEANS whereby they are taken and received is Faith.


    A later addition was an excellent form of Compline, although the words didn't get into the book, but it was known as An alternative form of Evening Prayer.
    There was only one official hymnal (1960) which was very good in every way and although there were many old fashioned Low Church hymns, there were many fine hymns of a more High Church type.
     
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  16. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    Indeed, there were two Alternative Forms of Evening Prayer, the latter being a clone of Compline as it appears in most traditional Anglican prayerbooks, and the former having a number of hymns. I liked it, however.

    The only thing in the Irish books I object to, and I don’t think the 1926 edition has it, aside from the Calvinist euchology, and the Visitation of the Sick, which was a bit nasty in all BCP editions prior to the 1928 American book, was the Visitation of Prisoners, which was nastier yet.
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Wow, I'm starting to wonder if I have some Irish Anglican in me. That all sounds pretty good! :cheers:
     
  18. Edmundia

    Edmundia Member

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    Rexlion; it was pretty good for a time. There were, I found, many limitations. No candles, no crosses,no banners,no pictures: made worship terribly colourless, static and dull. It was only when I visited a Synagogue for the the first time that I saw how similar it was to the average C of I. There were long services with long sermons,lots of hymns and few psalms (Morning and Evening Prayer; chopped with the shortest of psalms) . It was very cerebral and wordy - albeit with beautiful words.
    Please remember that my short descriptions are about an Irish Anglican world that has almost vanished ; it lasted really from 1870-1972. There is a lot of outward modern Highchurchery with floppy Cassock-albs and carpet-like stoles and a great deal of unrobed swinging evangelicalism,many lady priests and bishops. However, as far as I know, and I am not particularly well informed, the old gentle,dull,dutiful ,learned world of BCP Irish Anglicanism has vanished. I am always open to correction as I don't live there now and only receive reports from friends.
     
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    A thought crossed my mind when I read this. Folks talk sometimes about believing and worshiping like the early church did. Well, the early church started out as a bunch of Jewish people, accustomed to attending synagogue, who saw and heard Jesus and became His followers. When they began meeting together as Christians (though that name was not yet used), it would have been natural to pattern their worship time after the thing they knew well: synagogue.

    On the other hand, the synagogue experience of 200-2500 years ago was not exactly set in stone by God as "the way to do things." So all I'm saying is, we have a tad of insight into how the 1st Century church in Jerusalem thought and how they ordered their services. As for the 'gentile' churches that sprang up, surely this influence was greatly diminished. (Perhaps some of them were unrobed swinging evangelicals!) :laugh:
     
  20. Juliana

    Juliana Member Anglican

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    This is something else that has been quite a surprise for me. I had always thought it was only Roman Catholics who crossed themselves.
    It has taken some time for me to pick up courage to do this myself.
    I wonder where I can read more about this?
     
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