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Sign of the Cross - Occasions in Liturgical Service

paulJonasen

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Quite foolishly, I still miss moments in the services where the sign of the cross is made by the laity beyond:

- references to the Holy Trinity
- censing by the priest

Can you clarify? Thank you so much.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Whenever the spirit moves you....

Sometimes in the middle of some random prayer... a phrase "hits home".... and you cross yourself.

Most importantly... we are not "legalistic"...if you don't cross yourself when others do... when you sit when others stand, or stand when others kneel, or kneel when others are standing... it is okay.

Main thing is to be respectful and not distract others. Do not walk around or light candles during the entrances and reading of the Gospel, etc.

However... custom teaches us to cross ourselves at the invocation of the Holy Trinity. We bow (not necessarily cross ourselves) when being censed by the priest... as he censes all things holy... beginning with the Christ, the Altar table, the icons, clergy... and finally turning to cense us... as we too are made in the image of God... and are "holy"... therefore we bow to acknowledge this acknowledgment and in humility.
 

Shanghaiski

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Quite foolishly, I still miss moments in the services where the sign of the cross is made by the laity beyond:

- references to the Holy Trinity
- censing by the priest

Can you clarify? Thank you so much.
The back matter in the Jordanville prayerbook gives some helpful guidance as to when and when not to make the sign of the Cross. Yes at reference to the Holy Trinity. No at censing. Yes when blessed with a cross, the Gospel, the Holy Gifts, but no when blessed by the hand of the priest or a candle. No in the middle of the Six Psalms at Matins, but yes at the end.

That said, hardly anyone even in Russian parishes does this to the letter. Also, particularly if you're in an Antiochian church or Greek church, you're going to be blessed by holy objects for which you'd cross yourself, but in Russian tradition churches, it would just be the hand of the priest. All this makes it fun and exciting.
 

Dominika

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Absolutely this, what Liza wrote ;)

Also, particularly if you're in an Antiochian church or Greek church, you're going to be blessed by holy objects for which you'd cross yourself, but in Russian tradition churches, it would just be the hand of the priest.
What do you mean? In, lety's ay, Eastern Slavic traditions, there is blessing by objects.. But I suppose I understood something in wrong way.
 

Bizzlebin

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No debate is permitted in Convert Issues. You have received 100 points for 1 month. If you wish to appeal, you may do so via PM. Thanks. --Ainnir
Whenever the spirit moves you....
I tried to find the source of that statement and found...many similar quotes. One was from a Jesuit, one was a Jewish synagogue, a few were from Gandhi, one was from another a guy named Joseph Sadony, etc. Can you clarify which orthodox Christian saint this quote is from and what it is supposed to mean in the context of Holy Tradition? I'm more familiar with quotes that say things like the spirit of prophets being subject to them (1 Corinthians: 14.37). Further, while the specific customs do vary from place to place, I'm similarly familiar with the widely-popular Jordanville Prayer Book's admonitions about such local rules, namely that gestures "should not be made according to one's inclination".

Most importantly... we are not "legalistic"...if you don't cross yourself when others do... when you sit when others stand, or stand when others kneel, or kneel when others are standing... it is okay.
This phrase is also one I hope you can provide some sourcing for, as it has been contested hotly in other subforums (I'll leave the polemics to those subforums, of course). You put it in quotes, so can you please provide a source from time-tested Holy Tradition—a council, a book like the Philokalia, or a widely-recognized saint—that specifically condemns "legalism" (or even legalists) by name? Thanks.
 
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