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  #1  
Old Mar 19, '11, 5:20 pm
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default How to Make the Sign of the Cross

I feel embarrassed asking this, but just how do you make the sign of the cross?

By that, I mean what do you do with your fingers?

Is there a standard way to do it? Do you just touch any finger to the different points of the body?

I did find this video: Sign of the Cross Tutorial

However, I see people do it all sorts of ways.

At mass, I am really self conscious about doing it even though I long to do it.

Can someone help me so that I am not staring in rapt fascination any time someone crosses himself?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Mar 19, '11, 5:31 pm
BVM 1221 BVM 1221 is offline
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Post Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
I feel embarrassed asking this, but just how do you make the sign of the cross?

By that, I mean what do you do with your fingers?

Is there a standard way to do it? Do you just touch any finger to the different points of the body?

I did find this video: Sign of the Cross Tutorial

However, I see people do it all sorts of ways.

At mass, I am really self conscious about doing it even though I long to do it.

Can someone help me so that I am not staring in rapt fascination any time someone crosses himself?

Thanks!
Well, we Eastern Catholics bring together the thumb, fore-finger, and index-finger. This represnts the Trinity. The ring-finger and little finger are folded down to the palm. They represent the twin natures of Christ, true God and true Man. We touch forehead, breastbone, right shoulder, and left shoulder. Hope this helps
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  #3  
Old Mar 19, '11, 5:45 pm
Biedrik Biedrik is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

The Roman way of doing it is with an open hand. Touch your forehead with the tips of your fingers, then your chest, then your left shoulder, then your right. It's as simple as that. Don't worry if there's some minuscule difference in how you cross yourself. We all have our quirks. I myself sometimes accidentally don't reach my hand far enough to touch my forehead, so I just touch the air before moving on to my chest. It's not a big deal, nor will be any minor mistakes that you may make.
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  #4  
Old Mar 19, '11, 6:03 pm
icamay icamay is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

This whole site has been a wonderful resource for me, but here is the specific page on signing the cross:

http://www.fisheaters.com/sign.html
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  #5  
Old Mar 19, '11, 6:52 pm
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

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Originally Posted by BVM 1221 View Post
Well, we Eastern Catholics bring together the thumb, fore-finger, and index-finger. This represnts the Trinity. The ring-finger and little finger are folded down to the palm. They represent the twin natures of Christ, true God and true Man. We touch forehead, breastbone, right shoulder, and left shoulder. Hope this helps
Thanks. I did actually try the above finger placement and I found I really had to think about the position before doing the sign. I like the symbolism though.

Icamay, I had seen the fisheaters site before posting, which confused me because it said the Western way involved using the index and middle finger, which in fact felt more comfortable, but I didn't see anyone doing it that way.

Biedrik, the open hand method feels good and now that I look at the fisheaters site again, it looks like the third position described.

Thanks everyone!
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  #6  
Old Mar 19, '11, 8:07 pm
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odile53 odile53 is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

In the Roman church, as others have pointed out, you use an open hand, palm facing toward your body. Depending on variations of different individuals' finger length, you might be touching forehead, chest, and left and right shoulders with two or three fingers. It isn't necessary to hold your hand in any particular position, and efforts to do so may look stilted and affected (kind of like how people think you have to stick out your pinky finger when holding a teacup!)

Just don't windmill around your body while making the Sign of the Cross. Nothing looks more irreverent than giving the impression that your hand is trying to make a baseball-style home run--LOL!
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  #7  
Old Mar 19, '11, 11:50 pm
5Loaves 5Loaves is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

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Originally Posted by odile53 View Post
In the Roman church, as others have pointed out, you use an open hand, palm facing toward your body.
And as also was pointed out there are other variations within the Latin Church, In the Latin Churches I frequent in particular Latino/Hispanic parishioners, and others, use the hand shape where the thumb crosses over the index finger forming a cross and they kiss that "cross" at the end of making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies. They also may cross themselves in this way making the Sign of the Cross two or three times in a row without a pause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
However, I see people do it all sorts of ways.
At mass, I am really self conscious about doing it even though I long to do it.
The variety you see is perfectly normal part of the Church which encompasses peoples from many cultures and Catholic traditions. I encourage you to not feel self conscious about making the Sign of the Cross. If you make the Sign with reverence and a faithful intention then you have no reason to feel self conscious. As Eastern Catholics we make the Sign of the Cross many, many times during the Liturgy. You didn't ask about other times but we Catholics and the Orthodox also make the Sign many other times... then passing a Church where the True Presence is in the tabernacle, when an ambulance goes by, over a pot of stew on the stove, over our children as the sleep, when a something is spoken of that we want to send a blessing over.... on and on.

Last edited by 5Loaves; Mar 20, '11 at 12:05 am.
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  #8  
Old Mar 20, '11, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Loaves View Post
And as also was pointed out there are other variations within the Latin Church, In the Latin Churches I frequent in particular Latino/Hispanic parishioners, and others, use the hand shape where the thumb crosses over the index finger forming a cross and they kiss that "cross" at the end of making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies. They also may cross themselves in this way making the Sign of the Cross two or three times in a row without a pause.
Is "Latin" Church and "Roman" Church being used interchangeably to mean the Roman Catholic church or are they different?
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  #9  
Old Mar 20, '11, 10:19 pm
BVM 1221 BVM 1221 is offline
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Post Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

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Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
Is "Latin" Church and "Roman" Church being used interchangeably to mean the Roman Catholic church or are they different?
Well, most Western Catholics DO tend to use the two terms interchangeably. Eastern Catholics do make a distinction. Whilst we are members of the Roman Catholic Church, the word "Roman" is about the Pope's location. Most of the Western Catholic churches would be referred to as "Latin Rite" churches. Eastern Catholic churches tend to have rites quite different from the Latin Rite, but we are still in full communion with Rome

Hope this helps
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  #10  
Old Mar 21, '11, 11:18 am
LCMS_No_More LCMS_No_More is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Loaves View Post
And as also was pointed out there are other variations within the Latin Church, In the Latin Churches I frequent in particular Latino/Hispanic parishioners, and others, use the hand shape where the thumb crosses over the index finger forming a cross and they kiss that "cross" at the end of making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies. They also may cross themselves in this way making the Sign of the Cross two or three times in a row without a pause.
From what I understand, there's a prayer that goes along with it:

Por la señal + de la Santa Cruz
de nuestros + enemigos defendenos. Señor
En el nombre del Padre, + el Hijo y el Espiritu Santo. Amen.

By the sign + of the Holy Cross
From our enemies + protect us, O Lord.
In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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  #11  
Old Mar 21, '11, 12:03 pm
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Little Boy Lost Little Boy Lost is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

How we Byzantines do it.

http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/gene...signofthecross
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  #12  
Old Mar 21, '11, 12:35 pm
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Big Ro Big Ro is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Yes, I am hispanic and make the a cross with my thumb and forefinger. I don't remember being taught this as I am a cradle Catholic. I didn't know that it was peculiar to hispanics before participating on this forum. I like making the sign of the cross. I have developed a habit of crossing myself three times in a row. I like the symbolism.
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  #13  
Old Mar 21, '11, 10:06 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

I'd like to add a question. At the end of signing of the cross, I would form a cross with my index finger and my thumb (thumb over index) and kiss the cross. People used to do this when I was younger and I learned it and done it for years. Maybe you guys know where it came from?
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  #14  
Old Mar 21, '11, 10:34 pm
5Loaves 5Loaves is offline
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Default Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

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Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
Is "Latin" Church and "Roman" Church being used interchangeably to mean the Roman Catholic church or are they different?
Most "Roman" Catholics assist in the Roman Rite of the Latin Church, either in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, most familiar, or the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, often mistakenly called "the Latin Mass".The Ordinary Form of the Mass which takes place in most parishes can indeed have a great deal of prayers and singing done in Latin. There is no "Latin Rite" in the use of the word Rite to mean a liturgical rite. The Latin Church does have other liturgical rites in addition to the Roman Rite (Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form) but they are celebrated in few places.

The Canon Law of the "Roman" Catholic Church begin in Canon #1 "Can. 1 The canons of this Code regard only the Latin Church." Beyond that one can see the Church refer to herself as the Latin Church or the Roman Church.

The Latin Church is not the sum total of the Catholic Church and so for we 22 Eastern and Oriental autonomous particular Catholic Churches in full communion with the Latin Church and with the Bishop of Rome the distinction can be important. When most Catholics of the Latin Church talk about praxis and even beliefs of "the Catholic Church" they are really typically talking about the Latin Church with which they are familiar, and which may be quite different for us in the other 22 Catholic Churches.
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  #15  
Old Mar 22, '11, 10:45 pm
amsjj amsjj is offline
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Smile Re: How to Make the Sign of the Cross

[quote=5Loaves;7668646]And as also was pointed out there are other variations within the Latin Church, In the Latin Churches I frequent in particular Latino/Hispanic parishioners, and others, use the hand shape where the thumb crosses over the index finger forming a cross and they kiss that "cross" at the end of making the Sign of the Cross on their bodies.
QUOTE]

This is exactly how my mother taught me when I was little. I remember how she would arrange my fingers so the cross was formed and then she taught me to kiss it at the end of the prayer. She told me she was told, that in Mexico when the Faith was outlawed, they couldn't have religious things like crucifixes up for fear of the government, so that became the cross we kissed.

I can’t imagine living like that. When my grandmother was baptized, they had to smuggle a priest in to do it, and it was all very secretive with doors locked and lookouts posted.

+++

Here’s the version I learned in Spanish:

+ Por la señal de la Santa Cruz,
+ de nuestro enemigos,
+ líbranos, Señor Dios nuestro,
+ en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amen.

A few months ago, I found where it was said in the Mass, for September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

COMMUNION
Per signum Crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos, Deus noster.

COMMUNION
By the sign of the Cross, deliver us from our enemies, O Thou our God.

take care,
amsjj

+++
Jesus, God and man,
imprisoned by love in Thy most holy Sacrament,
have mercy upon us.
-- Blessed John Henry Newman, December 22, 1851

Tú y yo sabemos por la fe que oculto en las especies sacramentales está Cristo,
ese Cristo con su Cuerpo, con su Sangre, con su Alma, y con su Divinidad,
prisonero de amor.
-- San Josemaria Escriva, 1 junio 1974
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