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  #1  
Old Apr 22, '10, 10:39 am
EphelDuath EphelDuath is offline
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Default What is this hand gesture?



I'm assuming this is some tradition that's since been lost (at least in the U.S.), since I've only seen it in Papal images from before the time of St. Pius X. What does it mean? Where did it come from?
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  #2  
Old Apr 22, '10, 10:41 am
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lizaanne lizaanne is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

He is making the sign of the cross with his two fingers.

~Liza
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  #3  
Old Apr 22, '10, 12:01 pm
barb finnegan barb finnegan is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Yes, it's a gesture of blessing.

The two upraised fingers signify the two natures of Our Lord: divine and human.

The three fingers that are 'curved' signify the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Simply put, it's a statement of belief in two key elements of Catholic belief, Our Lord being human and divine in His nature, and Three Persons, One God in the Trinity,
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  #4  
Old Apr 22, '10, 12:36 pm
barb finnegan barb finnegan is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EphelDuath View Post


I'm assuming this is some tradition that's since been lost (at least in the U.S.), since I've only seen it in Papal images from before the time of St. Pius X. What does it mean? Where did it come from?
And that's a picture of Blessed Pius IX....or, what the Italians affectionately called him, 'Pio Nono' !
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  #5  
Old Apr 22, '10, 12:44 pm
Lutheranteach Lutheranteach is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

East Sideeeeee.
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  #6  
Old Apr 22, '10, 3:05 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

This is the gesture of papal benediction. There's a discussion of it with a lot of photos here at the New Liturgical Movement.
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  #7  
Old Apr 22, '10, 6:37 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barb finnegan View Post
Yes, it's a gesture of blessing.

The two upraised fingers signify the two natures of Our Lord: divine and human.

The three fingers that are 'curved' signify the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Simply put, it's a statement of belief in two key elements of Catholic belief, Our Lord being human and divine in His nature, and Three Persons, One God in the Trinity,
It appears that the two upraised fingers, which signify the two natures of Jesus are crossed to also represent His Crucifixion.
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  #8  
Old Apr 23, '10, 10:47 am
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corsair corsair is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Great link, Mark

Pretty much confirms what most posters have said.
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  #9  
Old Apr 23, '10, 10:49 am
ZxM ZxM is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lutheranteach View Post
East Sideeeeee.
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  #10  
Old Apr 23, '10, 11:05 am
scylla scylla is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lutheranteach View Post
East Sideeeeee.
That was actually pretty funny..

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  #11  
Old Apr 24, '10, 10:57 am
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EphelDuath View Post


I'm assuming this is some tradition that's since been lost (at least in the U.S.), since I've only seen it in Papal images from before the time of St. Pius X. What does it mean? Where did it come from?
It's the position used for blessings by priests and bishops in the Byzantine Rite*, and in some of the other Eastern Christian Rites; it's fallen from use in the Roman Rite.

From the priest's view, it forms I C & X, the letters in the greek and slavic abbreviations IC XC for Jesus Christ (Iesus Christos)

-=-=-=-=-=-
*Some groups have different hand postures, specifically Old Believers
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  #12  
Old Apr 24, '10, 11:04 am
ciero ciero is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
It's the position used for blessings by priests and bishops in the Byzantine Rite*, and in some of the other Eastern Christian Rites; it's fallen from use in the Roman Rite.

From the priest's view, it forms I C & X, the letters in the greek and slavic abbreviations IC XC for Jesus Christ (Iesus Christos)

-=-=-=-=-=-
*Some groups have different hand postures, specifically Old Believers
In the Latin church this form of hand blessing has always been reserved to the pope(still is), keep an eye on BXVI. In the Byzantine church this hand blessing is permitted to ALL priests and bishops.
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  #13  
Old Apr 24, '10, 11:15 am
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciero View Post
In the Latin church this form of hand blessing has always been reserved to the pope(still is), keep an eye on BXVI. In the Byzantine church this hand blessing is permitted to ALL priests and bishops.
You know, looking at the pictures I posted above, I think this (and my comment that this is the gestures of "papal benediction") is not correct -- it's the gesture of pontifical benediction, meaning that it is permitted to any pontiff (i.e., bishop), as you can see Archbishop Dolan doing in his portrait:

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  #14  
Old Apr 24, '10, 12:58 pm
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciero View Post
In the Latin church this form of hand blessing has always been reserved to the pope(still is), keep an eye on BXVI. In the Byzantine church this hand blessing is permitted to ALL priests and bishops.
No, it has not always been Papal only. I've seen some paintings of Roman Rite bishops using it dating to well before Trent. Including some from before the Miter! (which puts it somewhere around 9th C)
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  #15  
Old Apr 24, '10, 7:12 pm
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Victorious Victorious is offline
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Default Re: What is this hand gesture?

It's a gesture of blessing. You will often see crucifixes where the hands of Jesus are fixed in that gesture. Here is an example:

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