First of all, I have a great respect for the Catholic Church, my dad’s family is Catholic so I grew up knowing the faith though I was raised in a traditional Lutheran church. So please don’t think I am attacking the faith when I ask this question.
I was reading an article in my mom’s synod’s magazine concerning why Lutherans seldom make the sign of the cross. Here’s the quote:
Furthermore, crossing oneself is more than a pervasive custom for Catholics. It is a sacrament that earns indulgences. Extra indulgences are earned if holy water is used.
Though the article points out positive aspects of making the sign of the cross, this quote threw me for a loop. I know the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and the sign of the cross is NOT one of them.
But is it considered an indulgence? I always thought it was a prayer, and when made with holy water, it is a reminder of one’s baptism.
I make the sign of the cross when I attend Mass (I go once a week when I am at college, I have a disability, and the priest at the campus parish worked at a therapy camp I went to as a child, so he welcomed me into the campus parish community). I also make it when I am praying with my Catholic friends and family members, sometimes I even do it privately.
I am just very confused right now.