The Sign of The Cross

From the Parish PriestFr. Romey Rosco

We make the sign of the cross to acknowledge the presence of God.  It signifies Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and resurrection for our salvation.  It reminds us that we are called to follow in His footsteps in obedience to God.

When Christ told us to “take up” our cross and follow Him, He simply meant that we should be obedient to the Lord and His teachings no matter what!  Neither criticism, nor ridicule, nor illness, nor unpleasant unfair or inconvenient circumstances, nor love of anyone or anything should deter us from following Christ on the path of salvation.

We make the sign of the cross by putting our thumb and first two fingers of our right hand together symbolizing the Holy Trinity.  We tuck the last two fingers in the palm of our hand symbolizing the two natures of Christ: fully human and fully divine.  Then we start with our forehead, moving our hand down to just below our chest, then to the right shoulder and then to the left.  This is a very simple way of recognizing God and Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Cross yourself at the beginning and end of every prayer: before and after every meal; when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night.  Cross yourself upon entering a church, when you prayerfully light a candle and venerate an icon or a cross, and whenever there is reference to the Holy Trinity.  Traditionally, we cross ourselves when our deceased loved ones are mentioned, and whenever we pass by a church.  And each time, we do it with reverence.

As we live our fast and even tumultuous lifestyles, it is good to preserve this Orthodox practice of remembering God with more than just a split-second thought.  Our obedience must be expressed with body, mind and spirit.  That takes time and effort….and love.

From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XXXVIII No. 38, 18 September 2011
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI

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