This blog is a supplement to www.stgregorioshosur.com - the website for St.Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre, Hosur, India - and brings you latest updates along with articles on Christian living and news.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why do we make the sign of the Cross?


The sign of the Cross, depicting the symbol common to Christians, is integral to Syriac Orthodox worship and common prayer. It is made with right hand. The thumb and the first two fingers are held together which signify faith in the Holy Trinity, i.e.. FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.

The last two fingers are bent against the palm. In making the sign of the Cross , we start from the forehead to chest and then touch from the left to the right shoulder. Thus, we confess that the Almighty God came down to earth from heaven, suffered and died on the cross for our sins and redeemed us from Satan (from the slavery of sin to the freedom of righteousness and son ship of God).

The sign of the Cross is both unspoken and a confession of faith and the outward expression of inner prayer. In making the sign of the Cross a person prays with his whole being. With the sign of the Cross we appeal to the redeeming death of the Son of God on the Cross, and with this, the sign of victory, we banish the evil thoughts and feelings that creep in to our minds.

All the blessings are given with the sign of the Cross. It is essential to make the sign of the Cross when we receive blessings in our liturgy, at the time of blessing of the censor waving the censor to the congregation by the deacon, priest or bishop at the time of communion, while kissing the cross and the bishop's hand at the reception of blessings.

In common prayer at the outset of the prayer, thrice at the time of Trisagion thrice at the recital of the praise of Cherubim, thrice at the time of the Creed, thrice at the time of Halleluiah( morning prayer) and when we remember the Cross The sign of Cross is always , with few exceptions, associated with a bow to the object of prayer, the invisibly present God. First we peacefully make the sign of the Cross and then we bow or do prostration.

By making the sign of the Cross we abide in the protective shade of the Holy Cross

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