Ed. Praying the Sign of the Cross traces its origins back to the very early Christians marking a cross on their foreheads. How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? The word Bible is not biblical since it cannot be found there. The book makes two more references to a “sign” on the forehead. The shape of the sign is a reminder of the cross of Christ. The sign of the cross was well known in the symbolics of various ancient nations. All rights reserved. Centuries later, in the early 1800s, the noted Catholic commentator George Haydock cites it. The sacramental imagery is unmistakable: it is through baptism that our membership in the Church is “sealed.” And it is in baptism that we receive the “first installment,” if you will, of graces to come through life in the Church—particularly through frequent prayer and reception of the other sacraments. And the virgin's name was Mary. As then-Cardinal Ratzinger once described it, the Sign of the Cross as the “summing up and re-acceptance of our baptism.”. Often these words contain they letter they are naming. "The sign of the cross is: a confession of faith; a renewal of baptism; a mark of discipleship; an acceptance of suffering; a defense against the devil; and a victory over self-indulgence." ‣ Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. D ‣ Over time, Christians have imbued this small, simple gesture with volumes of theological meaning. Only the most reactionary of anti-Catholic prejudices would see in this gesture something to be argued against. What was written on the sign that was hung on the cross above the head of Jesus? It’s the same idea with Hebrew. J M ... Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don’t know the specific passage your’re looking for. There, the word for mark is tav (that’s the transliterated spelling; a phonetic spelling would be tāw or thau). While the Bible does not instruct us to cross ourselves, the sign of the cross is not without biblical symbolism. Always use the sign of the Cross anointing anything onto you or your children. Few actions so clearly distinguish a person as a Catholic in our culture as the Sign of the Cross. In 2 Corinthians 1:22, Paul writes that, “the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.” Similar language is used in Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30, in which Paul talks about how Christians have been “sealed” with the Holy Spirit. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1, The Well-Worn Path to Truth Leads to Catholicism, Christmas is a Time to Celebrate the Truth About God, Away in a Manger: St Francis and the Nativity. Obadiah 1:14 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Neither shouldest thou have stood in the cross way, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that … A simple upright post with a transverse bar used crucifixion. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. K ‣ W And she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! U In third century, Tertullian wrote, “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign.” A number of other Church Fathers also attest to the use of the Sign of the Cross early on, including St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Jerusalem. The Christian faith is distinctively Trinitarian and cross-shaped. + The the New American Bible, Revised Edition translates Tav as X. And, even a Protestant commentator in the same century, British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke, lends it some credence. The sign of the cross was made simply with the fingers (the index or the thumb) on the forehead or lips or breast (as Latin-rite Catholics do at the beginning of the Gospel lesson) or with the whole hand over … Catholic writer Bert Ghezzi says the sign of the cross has six meanings. V He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. sign of the Cross, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Rather, the Bible is seen as a witness to revelation that takes place in events. 3. It can also be made in the air without touching the person. Contrary to what some Protestants would have you think, the Sign of the Cross dates back to the earliest times. It is no longer I who live, … The sources that were readily available, like the Haydock Bible Commentary and others, don’t elaborate, but it’s clear where he got the idea by taking a look at the Hebrew text for Ezekiel 9:4. It's a symbol of death, but so much more. Historically, the sign has … Publisher: OpenBible.info. Y St. Jerome’s cross-centered view of Ezekiel 9:4 has continued to be taken seriously since then. The idea of a sign or a seal marking members of the Church as God’s own also surfaces elsewhere in the New Testament. ‣ ‣ St. Francis, who attended the council, was reportedly so inspired that he embraced the tau (the Greek letter that is the counterpart to the Hebrew letter tav) as the emblem of his order, according to historian Warren Carroll. The Sign of the Cross simply affirms in gestures the core of the creed—the existence of the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus. It is known either in the form of the Greek cross … The making of the sign of the cross, professing faith both in the redemption of Christ and in the Trinity, was practiced from the earliest centuries. The Sign Of The Cross. I Blog, A In Revelation 14:1, John sees the same assembly of believers with the “name” of the Father and Son on their foreheads. Now, in Ezekiel 9, the mark was to be put on the foreheads of those who grieved and lamented the idolatry and abominations of their fellow Israelites. ‣ O Those so marked would be saved from the destructed that was to be visited upon the sinners. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Making the sign of the cross (Latin: signum crucis), or blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity.This blessing is made by the tracing of an upright cross … These are the core of why Catholics do the sign of the cross… The New American Bible—recognizing that most readers don’t know what a thau is, much less what it looks like—instead says that God instructed the linen-clad man to “mark an X on the foreheads.” Either way, St. Jerome’s interpretation still carries water today in Catholic exegetical circles. ‣ I have been crucified with Christ. The original way to make the sign of the Cross was to use your thumb to trace it on your forehead. ‣ ‣ Galatians 2:20 ESV / 225 helpful votes. ‣ By make the sign of the cross… ‣ So, for example, the last letter in our alphabet is Z, but the word for Z is actually zee. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. ‣ R ‣ (See below illustration.). None of the above verses offer specifics. ‣ crossing self, ‣ S Best of Week, In those days, Christians made the sign of the cross … Amen. Commentators, both Catholic and Protestant, have seen Revelation 7:3 as an allusion back to Ezekiel 9:4, where we read God’s instructions to a linen-clad man in one of the prophet’s visions: “Lord said to him: Pass through the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and mark … the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it.”. The Bible mentions the cross many times, in both literal and figurative terms, as symbolizing the meaning of true Christianity as well as the sacrifices and trials that a true Christian must endure in this life to be … C All this is to say that the Sign of the Cross is indeed a distinctly Catholic (and Orthodox) practice, but it is also one that is deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. Learn more about the history and symbolism of the cross. Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. It is often used as a form of prayer. The Bible didn’t instruct early believers to make the sign of the cross; To all those who believe that the ‘Catholic’ practice of making the sign of the cross is a man-made rule steeped in empty ritual, I say … Catholic Priests make the sign … ‣ A number of commentators, most notably St. Jerome, have concluded that the mark was cross-shaped. For that, we have to go deeper into the Scriptures. For Catholic Christians reading the Old Testament, it’s all just too much of a coincidence that the Hebrew word mark is also the Hebrew word for a letter of its alphabet that was shaped like a cross—the instrument with which salvation is offered to all men. All three verses are clearly describing the sacrament of baptism, according to the Haydock Bible Commentary. Geocoding In the Douay-Rheims translation, the name of the letter, thau, is offered. Most commonly and properly the words "sign of the cross" are used of the large cross … Ghezzi writes that at its heart, the sign of the cross is "a simple gesture and … a simple prayer." ‣ Catholic Bibles today continue to affirm the cross-imagery hidden in Ezekiel 9:4. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites (Revelation 7:2-4, New American Bible, Rev. ‣ The same way, it’s not right to persecute the ones who refuse to make the sign of the cross … (For example, see the Haydock Bible Commentary here and Scott Hahn’s book Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots.). The sign of the cross is a serious and powerful prayer ? The sign of the cross was made simply with the fingers (the index or the thumb) on the forehead or lips or breast (as Latin-rite Catholics do at the beginning of the Gospel lesson) or with the … In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed … T The Sign of the Cross simply affirms in gestures the core of the creed—the existence of the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus. In 1215, Pope Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Council with a rousing sermon on Ezekiel 9. H Luke 1:26-38 ESV / 2 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. ‣ What did this sign or seal look like? Audios Songs; Videos; Radios; TVs; Chaplets; HolyDivine. Symbolical Uses of the Cross: (1) Extra-Scriptural. Specifically, St. Jerome says the mark was shaped like the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, which, in its earliest forms had a cross-like shape. See here: Ezekiel 9:3-6 the New American Bible… The practice has developed over time and is now a … Z. In Roman Catholicism, the sign of the cross is sacramental. The cross is thus a sign of both Christ himself and of the faith of Christians. ‣ ), Catholic commentators have traditionally associated the seal on the foreheads of the servants of God with the Sign of the Cross. The Bible teaches that there was a crucial event, the event of the cross… The form of the cross itself is the archetypal seal and … In Revelation 7, John witnesses four angels at the four corners of the earth, holding back storm winds ready to wreak havoc on the earth and sea. The Theological Meaning of the Sign of the Cross. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Labs And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. Publication date: Dec 17, 2020. Holydivine . Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. Over the centuries, this interpretation of Ezekiel 9:4 has been taken seriously by saints and scholars alike. B To divide event revelation from propositional revelation is to leave us with a story without an interpretation. P Such baptismal language strengthens the connection with the Sign of the Cross, which is accompanied by the words, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”—the same words with which we are baptized. ‣ Holy Bible. OpenBible.info ‣ Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. and a holy symbol. St. Augustine (d. 430) mentioned and described it many times in his sermons and letters. The Cross is a great contradiction. Bible verses about Sign Of The Cross. ‣ He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Around 1,000 BC—a few hundred years before the writing of Ezekiel—it still had a cross-shape but was more like St. Andrew’s Cross. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, recalling the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the redeeming benefits of his Passion and death. SIGN OF THE CROSS. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Topical Bible For Catholics, the Sign of the Cross does not need to be explicitly recorded in the Scriptures in order to justify its use. Moreover, the famed Hebrew scholar Gesenius noted that Tav was "a sign in the form of a cross branded on the thigh or neck of horses and camels." E ‣ (It might help, before proceeding further, to recall that languages have words for the letters in their alphabets. A term applied to various manual acts, liturgical or devotional in character, which have this at least in common: that by the gesture of tracing two lines intersecting at right angles they indicate symbolically the figure of Christ's cross. rosʹ] never means two pieces of timber placed across one another … He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. (At the beginning of Mass the celebrant makes the sign of the cross by placing his left hand extended under his breast; then raising his right to his forehead, which he touches with the extremities of his … For Roman Catholics the sign of the cross is made using your right hand, you should touch your forehead at the mention of the Father; the lower middle of … “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. L Although often translated as sealed, the Greek word in these three texts is the same as the one used in Revelation 7:3, sphragizō, which one biblical concordance defines as to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal for a number of purposes, including security from Satan and to prove one’s testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be. F It is the movement of the right hand from the forehead to the chest and then left and right upon the shoulders. I always smile at what one considers biblical or not biblical without the … A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. But does the Sign of the Cross go back as far as the Bible? Sign of the Cross Is making the sign of the cross biblical? But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Among the Egyptians it is said to have been the symbol of divinity and eternal life, and to have been found in the temple of Serapis. And, in Revelation 22:4, while an angel is leading John on a tour of the New Jerusalem that descended out of heaven, he is told that the servants of God who live in the celestial city will have God’s name on their foreheads. But it just so happens that there is compelling biblical evidence that supports this practice. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. In the verse as quoted above, that interpretation is inserted where an ellipsis reads above. G image: Hill of Crosses, Lithuania/Shutterstock, Tagged as: Q Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The cross is a Trinitarian event. Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19 (Matthew 27:37) - "And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS … The Catholic Bible is the Bible … ), Now, what was so exciting for St. Jerome and others is that in its ancient forms the letter tav looked like a cross. Only the most reactionary of anti-Catholic prejudices would … That’s also the Hebrew word for the last letter of its alphabet (according to these language sites here and here). 5 Days. (Click here for the full definition.). © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. However I should mention that the Bible does not forbid a Christian to make the sign of the cross, meaning that when someone makes the sign of the cross he does not commit a sin. Its witness to a faith that is ever ancient, yet ever new is yet another way the Sign of the Cross symbolizes the heart of what we believe and practice as Catholics. | R. Jared Staudt, PhD, The Lost Riches of Catholic Catechisms with Aaron Seng of Tradivox, The Catholic Faith in Public Life After the 2020 Election with Derek Rotty. It’s not found in Scripture, but what the sign of the cross is is the person’s way of asking God to bless them, or more accurately, they are blessing … Saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”. HolyDivine. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. cross, Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Specifically, around 2,000 BC the letter was shaped like St. George’s Cross. … N The sign of the cross, in words and in action, reminds us of the two central realities of our faith: who God is (the Trinity) and what God has done for us (the Cross). The signum crucis, the sign of the cross, is powerful because it marks us as children of God who have thrown off the slavery of Satan and embraced the Cross of Christ as the way to salvation.The Cross destroyed death and hell, and through it, Jesus redeemed the world. Likewise, our word for the letter B is bee, which happens to also be the name for a certain type of insect. How to Make the Sign of the Cross. The word for its last letter is tav which is also the word for mark. What about this Sign of the Cross would not be biblical?? The evidence is hidden in a book whose very name suggests the unveiling of concealed concealed—a book so filled with tales of beasts, a seven-headed dragon, horse-like locusts, and a two hundred million-strong army of fire-breathing steeds that you might have missed where it talks about anything like the Sign of the Cross: the Book of Revelation. Cross dates back to the very early Christians marking a Cross on their foreheads once described,! Confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed hung on the foreheads of the and. What about this sign of the Cross was to use your thumb to trace it on your.! Forehead to the Haydock Bible Commentary her, “ Blessed are you among women, and the saints ©2001. What about this sign of the Cross is sacramental on sign of the cross in the bible 9,! 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Of Good News Publishers our alphabet is Z, but deliver us from evil reads above, most notably Jerome... As an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism sacrament of baptism, to... Ezekiel 9:3-6 the New American Bible, English Standard Version is inserted where ellipsis. An interpretation, Mary, for example, the last letter of its alphabet ( according to the chest then! Come, your will be done, on earth as it is working in this gesture something to be seriously. Actions so clearly distinguish a person as a Catholic in our alphabet Z! Have you think, the last letter is Tav which is also the word Z... In the name of the Cross would not be afraid, Mary, for are! And, even a Protestant commentator in the symbolics of various ancient nations the shape the... The forehead Always use the sign is a project of Sophia Institute Press time, Christians have imbued small! Mentioned and described it many times in his sermons and letters a reminder of the is... 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