SIGN OF THE CROSS
BASIC R.C. BELIEF
According to many theologians, the most important sacramental of the Roman
Catholic Church. One makes the sign with the right hand, touching in turn
the forehead, below the breast, the left and right shoulders while saying
"In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." For
blessing persons and objects, a sign of the Cross is made over the object
by movement of the right hand.
Roman Catholics are supposed to be reminded of the sufferings of Christ
by making the Sign of the Cross, which is a profession of faith.
No liturgical function is performed without the Sign of the Cross. It is
used 14 times in Baptism, 17 times in Extreme Unction, 12 times when
blessing Holy Water.
It is supposed to have originated in the 2nd century and is indulgenced.
A simple sign gives 100 days indulgence; when done with Holy Water, 300
days (The time value has now been removed).
The Sign of the Cross probably originated in ancient pagan worship; the
devotional symbol being T for Tammuz.
With most Roman Catholics it is an automatic reflex action that is not
devotional. It is used when a Roman Catholic is confronted with danger,
pain, sorrow or death.
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