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Sign of the Cross

Sign Yourself | Signing Yourself

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Sacramental

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Explain about the Sign of the Cross.

 

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As stated in the Baltimore Catechism... (emphasis added)

Q. Which is the chief sacramental used in the Church?

A. The chief sacramental used in the Church is the sign of the cross.

Q. How do we make the sign of the cross?

A. We make the sign of the cross by putting the right hand to the forehead, then on the breast, and then on the left and right shoulders, saying: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Q. What is a common fault with many in blessing themselves?

A. A common fault with many in blessing themselves is to make a hurried motion with the hand which is in no way a sign of the cross. They perform this act of devotion without thought or intention, forgetting that the Church grants an indulgence to all who bless themselves properly while they have sorrow for their sins.

Q. Why do we make the sign of the cross?

A. We make the sign of the cross to show that we are Christians and to profess our belief in the chief mysteries of our religion.

Q. How is the sign of the cross a profession of faith in the chief mysteries of our religion?

A. The sign of the cross is a profession of faith in the chief mysteries of our religion because it expresses the mysteries of the Unity and Trinity of God and of the Incarnation and death of our Lord.

Q. How does the sign of the cross express the mystery of the Unity and Trinity of God?

A. The words, "In the name", express the Unity of God; the words that follow, "of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost", express the mystery of the Trinity.

Q. How does the sign of the cross express the mystery of the Incarnation and death of our Lord?

A. The sign of the cross expresses the mystery of the Incarnation by reminding us that the Son of God, having become man, suffered death on the cross.

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"We usually begin and end our prayers with the sign of the cross." (Baltimore Catechism)

"We should make the Sign of the Cross with great respect" (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"By making the sign of the cross we proclaim to the world that we are not ashamed of the cross of Jesus, and of our belief in a crucified Redeemer." (Muller)

"We make the sign of the cross to express two important mysteries of the Christian religion, the Blessed Trinity and the Redemption." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Let us make the Sign of the Cross with trust in its power. It is the great means of protection, a sign for believers and a dread to evil spirits." (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church, 386 A.D.)

"At the beginning and in the course of any work, on coming in and going out, when we dress, when we go to bed...and in everything we do, we make the Sign of the Cross on the forehead." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 240 A.D.]

"The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the Devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we should have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and above all, when we are tempted." (St. John Vianney)


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