When the processional cross is being carried

Isn't it proper to make the sign of the cross whenever a processional cross is passing by?

Is it true inside of church?

Not sure what the "protocol" requires but I do.

If the procession into church were a sentence, then the cross is the subject.

I attended a local parish where, oddly, a closet had been built behind and slightly to the left of the altar where Mass is celebrated.

Well…the procession into church was OK but the little guy carrying the cross marched right up and put the cross IN THE CLOSET. This was the protocol for procession in and out of church.

If I were a priest, the processional cross would be installed directly in front of the altar, and I’d stand there in front of it, for all 17 verses of the entrance hymn. Obviously, I don’t have a utilitarian view of music, just to get the priest from point A to point B. The entrance hymn should be the rousing hymn of praise and the focus should be on the cross, at least for that time, IMHO.

I have friends at Mass who bow as the processional cross goes by, but I’ve never seen anyone make the sign of the cross. :shrug: I’ve never asked why.

Anyone else know? I’m curious.

Also, putting the cross in the closet after the processional–how distracting! (Slightly funny to picture though). My parish has closets on either side of the sanctuary (one has music stuff and the other has extra candles and I don’t know what else), but no one would ever open them during Mass. We just have very little storage space because it’s such a tiny church.

I nod as the cross passes by.

And sadly, people in the procession often think I am nodding "hi" to them...

I bow as the processional crucifix goes by and also as the priest goes by. This is how I was taught in an Anglo Catholic parish. Since the priest is Christ Persona it is reverence towards Christ not the priest.

In some Anglican Use parishes the people kneel when the crucifix goes by.

There are many traditions I guess. Also I was taught to bow at the name of Jesus and try to also do that. Many years ago my Catholic friends made the sign of the cross whenever they passed a Catholic Church.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

My parish puts our processional cross in a closet too; but I believe our normal one is broken. And if your parish uses a different cross for procession than the one on the altar it is supposed to be put away.

“If there is already a cross in the sanctuary, the processional cross is placed out of view of the congregation following the procession.” (GIRM 115)

The altar boys take our processional cross into the sacristy, but he stops at the altar and bows when the priest kneels and then takes it in when the priest goes up to reverence the altar. It isn't really distracting at all. The closet definately would be! lol

Bowing is liturgically correct, making the sign of the cross is a local custom in some places.

While the closet in the sanctuary is distracting, if there is already a crucifix in the sanctuary, it makes sense. If there is not, then according to the rubrics of the OF it can be used as such. Prior to the Tridentine Reforms many places vested the altar prior to Mass, the linens, crucifix and candles were put out for the Mass, and removed afterward. Over time the practice of keeping the altar vested outside of Mass was adopted and had become standard in most places by the time of the Council of Trent.

It is my understanding and custom to make the Sign of the Cross when receiving a blessing, as from a priest with incense or holy water. In a procession this would normally be from a bishop who makes a sign of benediction as he passes the faithful.

I don't see anything "wrong" with making the Sign of the Cross when contemplating the crucifix, as long as it doesn't spring from a misunderstanding that it is somehow conferring a blessing as it passes.

[quote="Nowhere_Man, post:7, topic:186525"]
My parish puts our processional cross in a closet too; but I believe our normal one is broken. And if your parish uses a different cross for procession than the one on the altar it is supposed to be put away.

"If there is already a cross in the sanctuary, the processional cross is placed out of view of the congregation following the procession." (GIRM 115)

[/quote]

Interesting! Thanks. That makes a lot of sense. Our altar server just puts it off to the side, by the piano--out of the congregation's direct line of sight, I guess, though anyone who was staring off to the side would see it.

i come from an episcopal church and i am soo used to bowing at the cross during the processional, that when i started going to the catholic church it was just habit. i think i am the only one in the parish that bows. there were a few times i didnt bow because i didnt know if it was the norm to do. but i am going to continue my bow

:p

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