Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Lowly Layman, Feb 7, 2013.
How about this article? - https://anglicanpastor.com/the-sign-of-the-cross/
Thank you, that is very helpful. I am a bit confused about whether to do it before or after receiving communion? Or does that not matter?
AFAIK, there is no dogmatic stance that you "must" or "should" make the sign of the cross at a particular time in relation to communion. I have seen people make the sign as they approached the railing to kneel. I have seen people make the sign after they received the Eucharist. It is up to you to decide. I would say if you believe that doing it at some point helps you to show the reverence and gratitude to God which is in your heart, that is the time. One should do it to glorify God, not to make oneself look or feel more pious. That is my opinion.
Thank you. Being fairly new to all this, I didn't want to look a fool by doing things wrong, but your comment is very helpful.
If you ever visit an Eastern Orthodox service, you can get lots of practice crossing yourself (though they do it right to left, instead of left to right). You can get over your reluctance by crossing yourself dozens of times during that service!
I also agree with what Rex stated. I cross myself at different times before, during and after Mass. I 'do' cross myself after partaking. The majority of the congregation do, however, there are those who do 'not'. To me, that's one of the things I love about the Anglican Church. You have options. At least at my Parish, whichever option you choose to do (or not) you don't get weird looks or be made to feel out of place because of how you choose to show your reverence.
I too like our diversity. One member of our congregation with an indian background regularly takes his shoes off to go up to communion. I really like that, and if anybody wants to comment, I will be taking mine off as well, and I bet my feet smell worse than his!
I do this too but for practical purposes. As a church organist I prefer not to wear shoes when I play so at Communion time I go up to receive shoeless. I just pray that I've chosen a pair of socks without holes.
The only person that's commented so far was a visiting Priest who thought I was being pious!
He is more likely than not affiliated with one of the two main Syriac Orthodox churches in India (which differ only in that one is subordinate to the Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus; the two are in a nasty schism-with-teeth-and-nails regarding this point, but are each in full communion with all the other Oriental Orthodox churches).
Coptic Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox also normally remove their shoes before entering the nave, or in the diaspora, Copts will remove them and place them under the pew in front, except in some monastery chapels where there are shoe racks provided in the Narthex.
Conversely, Armenians and Assyrians do not do this, and in the diaspora I have not seen any Syriac Orthodox do it, but I hear that the Syriac Orthodox from India do this; I just have never been to an Indian Syriac Orthodox parish, as I happen to prefer the singing style of the Levantine Syriac Orthodox (who use basically the same music but sing it in a manner closer to Byzantine or Coptic chant).
I can assure any concerned members that I have never smelled an unpleasant smell, or experienced any discomfort relating to this praxis. In fact it is one of the joys of attending a Coptic Orthodox church. Their services are very good at creating a feeling of brotherhood and family during the Holy Communion, and also have a particularly strong monastic flavor, but they can be demanding; if you want to show up for the hours and Matins, and your Coptic parish has lots of parishioners and only one priest, you will be there for four hours + the duration of the free lunch afterwards. This is because in the Coptic church, each priest, if unassisted by a concelebrant or deacon, communicates each species in order, first to the male congregants and then the females, so the time required to communicate a large congregation with an even balance of male and female members, which is common due to the high birthrate among Coptic Christians, can increase exponentially. The Syriac and Eastern Orthodox churches use a more efficient approach which is more akin to Anglo Catholic praxis (communion on the mouth, not the hand, with leavened bread intincted, or floating in a spoon of the precious blood).