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Do you know why Catholics Cross themselves?

I googled and found out. :-) someone asked in another question. Now once you read this you will be educated. You can help clear up false information and help spread the truth.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:17 AM on Jun. 27, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (36)
  • The sign of the Cross

    It is odd that Protestants should regard with distaste the Catholic custom of making the sign of the Cross during their devotions. The Cross, after all, is the supreme symbol that unites all Christians, representing the sacrifice by which we have received the possibility of salvation By signing ourselves with the Cross we declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ, and remind ourselves of the Cross made on our foreheads at baptism.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:18 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Yet many people still insist on seeing the sign of the Cross as a superstitious gesture rather like touching wood. (And it has to be said that Catholics, through long habit, can use the sign automatically with no real thought as to its significance.)


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:19 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Catholics use bodily actions a great deal in their devotions, especially during the Mass.  We kneel for intercessory prayer and to receive the Sacrament, because it is natural to do so when asking Almighty God for something and certainly when receiving the great gift of Christ himself.  We sit when being instructed in the homily or in the Epistle (which is rightly called the Lesson).  We stand to express our praise in the Gloria and to proclaim our beliefs in the Creed. We also stand in solidarity with the priest during the Gospel, because the Gospel is not only a lesson for the congregation but a proclamation of Christ’s word to the outside world (which is why the priest directs the reading through the north wall.) We incline our heads at the name of Jesus to acknowledge our King. 

    ****This explains why the standing/ kneeling ******


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • The thing to remember is that we don’t hear Mass – we do it. So Catholic liturgy involves the body as well as the mind and soul, and there are good reasons for making the sign of the Cross during the Mass.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • First and foremost it is a way of involving ourselves directly in the action of the Mass. For example, at the final Blessing the priest signs the Cross over the congregation; as he does so the people also make the sign, thus symbolically conveying the Blessing to themselves. The same thing happens at the Absolution after the Confession. It is not necessary to do so, but we feel instinctively that it is not enough to remain passive at such important moments. When we make the sign of the Cross immediately before receiving the Sacrament we remind ourselves positively of the agony that made possible this gift of Christ’s Body and Blood.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • There are other solemn moments when we feel it right to reinforce what we are saying with the action of signing ourselves - at the end of the Creed, for instance, when we express our hope for ‘the Life of the world to come’. Similarly in the Angelus we sign when we pray that ‘we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection’. Indeed, although it has become a custom for everyone to make the sign at certain moments, there is no reason why we should not sign ourselves whenever we wish. If you attend a celebration of the Orthodox liturgy you will see people crossing themselves frequently at moments when they feel that what is being said or done is of particular importance to themselves.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I'm Protestant and you honestly didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

    Talking about blessing rituals during mass and the absolution and confession; we think those are unnecessary rituals. So saying that the sign of the cross makes sense because it's involved with those things just fortifies to the Protestant that the sign of the cross IS indeed, just another unnecessary thing. Blessings come from God. I don't understand the concept of blessing myself.

    Not to mention, the cross, in the same that the Catholics make over themselves, is a pagan symbol, adopted into Christianity. It was condemned by at least one church father in the third century and wasn't physically adopted as a symbol until Constantine in the 4th century.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 10:52 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • poor november love, someday I hope you can learn to live and let live.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • We believe that Jesus Christ came to overthrow ritual (religion) and establish relationship. It's why God tore the curtain from the top down. It's why he condemned the ringing of bells and loud prayers of the Pharisees. We don't believe in add any additional stipulation or practice. NONE of it buys you faith. You are saved by grace through faith. Period.

    While what you posted sounds nice, it does not erase the fact that some Catholics really do it as a supserstition (my BBF is Catholic and most of my friends are as well) and do it so often that it just becomes another thing to do because it's...just what you do.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 10:59 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

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