Making the sign of the cross is a religious ritual in Catholicism. It involves saying a special prayer, then presenting the sign of the cross to Jesus. Making the sign of the cross, or actually crossing oneself, is also a spiritual blessing made by many members of different branches of Christianity. This ritual is commonly performed by both men and women. It is most prominent among Catholics.
How to make the sign of the cross according to the Catholic tradition?
To make the sign of the cross, start by placing the hands on the lap or on a chair, with the left hand on the heart and the right one on the two fingers of both hands. Start with this position rather than in the upright position for several reasons. First of all, in the Catholic Church the Holy Father usually makes the sign with his face just inches away from the person being blessed, which is symbolic of his closeness to the person being blessed. Also, in the Protestant denominations, the ministers make the sign with the face toward the person being blessed. This is to show that the person being blessed is really a believer.
Second of all, some forms of Christianity view the action of making the sign of the cross as symbolic of a child’s initiation into the Christian faith. In the Catholic Church, children are made to sign the rosary or cross on their right hand before they are allowed to receive the Eucharist. This is a sign of a child being able to accept Christ. Some religions view it differently, but all agree that the action of making the sign of the cross is symbolic of accepting Christ and becoming one with him. Thus, many people who practice such a religion would be considered as candidates for salvation.
Next, we can take a look at how the sign of the cross is made. In the Protestant version of the Christian religion, the followers of this denomination have their right foreheads made sacred by placing their hands in their cross chests. Then, they raise their right hands until their foreheads touch the crossed chests. This is considered as a very important ceremony.
Third, there are people who use their two middle fingers while making the sign of the cross. It is believed that these two fingers should point upwards toward the heart, just like the heart, as Jesus made his profession to the Father. Thus, these fingers symbolize God’s love and forgiveness towards the individual. These fingers are believed to be stronger than the right and left thumb. This is why some people believe that the two middle fingers are even more important than the traditional right and left thumb when making the sign of the cross.
Finally, the most important position of the hand while making the sign of the cross is from the inside. The person makes the sign of the cross from the inside by folding both hands in prayer and placing one’s right hand on the heart while holding the left side of his chest with both of his fingers pointing upwards. This position is believed to be the simplest and most effective position that anybody could do during a religious service.
The sign of the cross is used at funerals and the Catholic Church insists that it must be said by a priest, and that he must be a member of a recognized religious order. In cases where the funeral can’t be performed by a Catholic priests, priests of other religions can perform the ceremony. This is why there are Catholic churches and Catholic chapels everywhere; even schools and public places are being organized as Catholic chapels. In fact, the act of making the sign of the cross is one way of publicly declaring one’s intention to become a Catholic. Some Catholics say it while others read from the Bible or use other sacred texts. A few Christians refer to the action as a kind of baptism, seeing it as symbolic cleansing for the coming of Christ.