Signum Crucis before and after prayer?

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Lux Christi, May 23, 2013.

  1. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

    Posts:
    118
    Likes Received:
    99
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    In my Anglo-Catholic parish, I am very much happy with the Sign of the Cross being used as an expression of faith in Christ. However, I've noticed that we do not do not cross ourselves before and after prayers and devotions like the Roman Catholics do. They cross themselves before and after every prayer an individual or group recites.

    Is it wrong if I do this, or is there a good reason why other Anglicans do not?
     
    CatholicAnglican likes this.
  2. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    386
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    The Episcopal Church
    I only cross myself at the invocation of the Trinity in the liturgy and sparingly at that.
     
    Stalwart likes this.
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,723
    Likes Received:
    2,566
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Among Roman Catholics the cross and the sign of the cross are treated as charms. Think of the Exorcist movies where you 'stop' the Devil by putting the crucifix in front of him. This makes the object have magical powers, you see. That's the problem.
     
    Celtic1 and Gordon like this.
  4. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    519
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    Anglican, CofE
    In the Anglican tradition, there should be a concern for form, dignity and economy of words in worship. It's unnecessary to make the sign of the cross before and after every prayer.

    I tend to agree with Stalwart that some RC's seem superstitious in their use of sacramentals.
     
    Stalwart, Celtic1 and Gordon like this.
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    2,489
    I cross myself at the invocation of the trinity, which I do at the beginning hand end of most of my prayers at home. At church, it depends. I cross myself after receiving the body and blood, upon entering sanctuary, at the presentation, at the end of the creed, and any other time it feels appropriate. I also try to bow my head,at the mention of Jesus. But then, I'm Anglo catholic. Also, I've never been one to eschew a something just because I perceive that someone else does it with the wrong intention.
     
  6. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

    Posts:
    118
    Likes Received:
    99
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, and inasmuch as perhaps some people will assume it to be some sort of protective signature on one's self, it still ends up as a reminder of the Triune God's powerful protection. After all, we Anglicans do bless things, and the blessings are not sought out to be magical workings, but rather to consecrate things to God and to remind us of how even mundane things can be purposed for holy things.

    I see it more of a pious custom than a superstition per se. Saints' relics are more superstitious to me, IMNSHO.

    At the Anglican parish I attend, we cross ourselves during 1) Gloria in Excelsis, 2) before the Gospel, 3) at the end of the Nicene Creed, 4) during the Absolution (when the priest absolves us), 5) raising of the Bread, 6) raising of the Wine, 7) during the Epiclesis (...and be filled with thy grace + and heavenly benediction...) 8) and during the Blessing before the Dismissal.

    Notwithstanding some will cross themselves before communicating, and entering and leaving church! We also bow to the name of Jesus, kneel and stand during the Nicene Creed, etc. :p

    Of course, I have been to other Anglican parishes that will do it only when the Bishop is there... or just never do it at all.
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  7. CatholicAnglican

    CatholicAnglican Active Member

    Posts:
    188
    Likes Received:
    162
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Traditional Catholic
    The reverence of saints relics is not superstitious, it's the extra stuff which comes from popular culture which doth seem superstitious. As for signing the cross, I try and follow the ancient example of making the sign of the cross on my forehead before any undertaking, having a bath, washing my hands, leaving the house, etc.... For the large signo crucis I use the right hand and in the way the old Orthodox did it with the thumb and smaller fingers together to symbolise the Holy Trinity, and the middle and index finger slightly bent to signify the two natures of Christ, true God and true Man.
     
    Lux Christi likes this.
  8. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

    Posts:
    118
    Likes Received:
    99
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    Catholics also do that too! XD At least, that was my catechesis as a child! We were also taught that as we do the actions of crossing, God the father himself descends from the spiritual realm of glory to his humble birth and incarnation as Christ on Earth and his resurrection; he then gives the Spirit of Truth to all his followers.

    I generally cross myself when I hear an ambulance or a police car, and sometimes even when passing by Anglican parishes.

    Regarding relics... I personally am more favourable to venerating their precious objects rather than their bodily parts, but that is just me! :p