R (It might help, before proceeding further, to recall that languages have words for the letters in their alphabets. Specifically, around 2,000 BC the letter was shaped like St. George’s Cross. 1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. sign of the Cross, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For that, we have to go deeper into the Scriptures. U It is the movement of the right hand from the forehead to the chest and then left and right upon the shoulders. L Sign of the cross, a gesture of ancient Christian origin by which people bless themselves, others, or objects. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Y H 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. The word for its last letter is tav which is also the word for mark. Topical Bible As then-Cardinal Ratzinger once described it, the Sign of the Cross as the “summing up and re-acceptance of our baptism.”. Through this Bible study we will explore the practice of the prayer and also the enormity of the mystery of the Trinity and the sacrifice of our ever-loving God. This experience is deeply mysterious and no one can plunge its depths fully. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1, Keep Christ at the Center of Your Christmas. Few actions so clearly distinguish a person as a Catholic in our culture as the Sign of the Cross. 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. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. ‣ The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 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. Z. Catholic Priests make the sign with the right hand at various required times. ‣ Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. The combination of the words and the action are a creed —a statement of belief. O The sign of the cross permeates the scriptures of both the old and new testaments. ‣ Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. It is known either in the form of the Greek cross or in the form of the letter "T". T Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ‣ The formal and proper form of the sign of the cross includes the use of three fingers, especially when entering the church. In its most common Roman Catholic form, the sign of the cross is made by touching one's forehead with a finger or a few, then the chest, then the front of the left shoulder, and finally the front of the right shoulder. ‣ V K And the virgin's name was Mary. ‣ Sometimes Catholics make the sign of the cross, with or without words, at other times as well. The sign of the cross was well known in the symbolics of various ancient nations. The Scriptures narrate how God will manifest his kingship on the earth. Informational sign about the Cross of the Scriptures in the visitor center at Clonmacnoise An icon of Saint Nicholas of Myra (also known as Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas the Wonderworker). By mentioning Christs body, Peter calls attention to the fact of His humanity. Blog, A 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. Over the centuries, this interpretation of Ezekiel 9:4 has been taken seriously by saints and scholars alike. The Epistle of Barnabas — Barnabas In like manner He points to the cross of Christ in another prophet, who saith,  "And when shall these things be accomplished? Supportive Scriptures . 53:4, 5, 6, 8b, 11b.) all men would … suffer his cross, Jacob 1:8. take up your cross, 3 Ne. The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of both the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity. Saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”. In the verse as quoted above, that interpretation is inserted where an ellipsis reads above. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace … S The Sign of the Cross in the Old Testament 18 March 2017 In his first epistle to the Corinthians Saint Paul mentions that the “Jews seek a sign” (I Cor. Tertullian wrote, "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting off our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross." But only one who was sinless Himself could pay such a penalty, since others wo… 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. And she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 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. (Click here for the full definition.). (Isaiah 53 permeates 1 Pet. Likewise, our word for the letter B is bee, which happens to also be the name for a certain type of insect. ... Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don’t know the specific passage your’re looking for. ‣ 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. ‣ The sign of the Cross shows the transformation of each man and his friendship with God. 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. 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. Translations and Formats. The Sign of the Cross simply affirms in gestures the core of the creed—the existence of the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus. ), Now, what was so exciting for St. Jerome and others is that in its ancient forms the letter tav looked like a cross. Wisdom was found not beyond the cross, not above the cross, not below the cross, but in the cross. Making hand gestures in the sign of a cross is common foolishness among the idolaters, and in doing so protects no one. In the Douay-Rheims translation, the name of the letter, thau, is offered. P All rights reserved. In Catholic schools, the prayers the school prays in common usually begin and end with the sign of the cross. ‣ And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? ), Catholic commentators have traditionally associated the seal on the foreheads of the servants of God with the Sign of the Cross. ‣ It’s the same idea with Hebrew. F Lv 6. ‣ The book makes two more references to a “sign” on the forehead. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. The sign of the cross often introduces and closes other prayers, but it is a prayer in itself and can also be prayed on its own. 3. St. Cyprian explained the ritual in the 3rd century by reference to Christ’s redemptive death on the cross.The sign of the cross is used throughout Christian liturgies, in moments of need or danger, at the beginning and end of prayer, and on numerous other occasions. I had been lifted up upon the cross, 3 Ne. ‣ None of the above verses offer specifics. Demons are apostates, the enemies of God. And, even a Protestant commentator in the same century, British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke, lends it some credence. The Easter story, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has made the cross likely the most recognized icon on earth. 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. was carried in the hands of the Egyptian priests and Pontiff kings as the symbol of their authority as priests of the Sun god and was called ‘the Sign of Life.’”—The Worship of the Dead (London, 1904), Colonel J. Garnier, p. 226. In Roman Catholicism, the sign of the cross is sacramental. W 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. . They are far removed from the Divine Face. OpenBible.info What did this sign or seal look like? The practice has developed over time and is now a regular practice for over a billion people around the world. Jesus’s announcement that the kingdom of God has come is conclusively revealed in the Christ-event on the cross. Praying the Sign of the Cross traces its origins back to the very early Christians marking a cross on their foreheads. Luke 1:26-38 ESV / 2 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. N WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS Nowhere does the Bible suggest that the earliest Christians used the cross as a religious symbol. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. The cross symbol is taken from the initial letter for the god Tammuz. Amen." cross, As Catholics, it’s something we do when we enter a church, after we receive Communion, before meals, and every time we pray. Roman Catholic and Orthodox leaders today merely say, "the current tradition of the church is the standard." ‣ 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. G Catholic Bibles today continue to affirm the cross-imagery hidden in Ezekiel 9:4. A great introduction the the sign of the cross that communicates how a simple symbol and action can provoke great meditation on the mysteries of the faith. When Peter says that Christ bore our sins, he is citing from Isaiah 53:12 (LXX). (1) Extra-Scriptural. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. On the cross, He was forsaken by the Father and sent into the outer darkness, away from the merciful presence of God. 12:30 . 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. The idea of a sign or a seal marking members of the Church as God’s own also surfaces elsewhere in the New Testament. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. Ed. 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. 50+ videos Play all Mix - 02,TYPES OF THE CROSS IN THE SCRIPTURES PART 1 BY GBILE AKANNI YouTube 03,TYPES OF THE CROSS IN THE SCRIPTURES PART 2 BY GBILE AKANNI - Duration: 41:48. What a shame many "bible believers" can't see it. crossing self, The Sign of the Cross is a simple gesture yet a profound expression of faith for both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. 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. That’s also the Hebrew word for the last letter of its alphabet (according to these language sites here and here). It is often used as a form of prayer. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 27:14. he that will not take up his cross … shall not be saved, D&C 56:2. sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross, D&C 138:35. beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, Moses 7:55. So, for example, the last letter in our alphabet is Z, but the word for Z is actually zee. ‣ Contrary to what some Protestants would have you think, the Sign of the Cross dates back to the earliest times. The cross redefines power in the kingdom. “What is the significance of the sign of the cross? ‣ . 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. Since the human race sinned, a member of the race had to pay the just penalty God demands. (See below illustration.). In Revelation 14:1, John sees the same assembly of believers with the “name” of the Father and Son on their foreheads. 28 Verses About Cross from 10 Books Matthew 10:38. 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. The history of the sign of the cross goes back as far as Tertullian, the early church father who lived between A.D. 160 and 220. ‣ And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 2:21-25; see Isa. 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. ‣ 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. ( Exodus 20:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:14 ) With very good reason, therefore, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. From a church in Dubova, Slovakia. E 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. Q I J I myself mark people with my finger to bless them, but not superstitiously in the sign of the cross, instead I mark them in the Spirit when they are leaving. In the Sign of the Cross, we profess the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith: the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--and the saving work of Christ on the Cross on Good Friday. Those so marked would be saved from the destructed that was to be visited upon the sinners. Instead, it was the Romans of that era who used the cross design to symbolize their gods.Then, about 300 years after Jesus’ death, Roman Emperor Constantine adopted the cross as the emblem of his armies, and it thereafter became associated with the “Christian” church. St. Jerome’s cross-centered view of Ezekiel 9:4 has continued to be taken seriously since then. References to the veneration of the image of the holy Cross and the sign of the Cross by the early Christians may be found in the works of St Justin the Philosopher, Origen, St Cyprian of Carthage, Tertullian and later writers. 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.”. All three verses are clearly describing the sacrament of baptism, according to the Haydock Bible Commentary. One thing which sets Orthodox Christians apart from many of the heterodox is their use of the sign of the Cross. The sign of the cross is an inseparable symbol of the Catholic faith.” [1000 Questions and Answers on Catholicism by Philip O’Reilly, p. 240] Brother Bob: So they claim that that symbol, the right hand to the forehead, is an inseparable symbol. ‣ Best of Week, Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. --- His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. Only the most reactionary of anti-Catholic prejudices would see in this gesture something to be argued against. This blessing is made by the tracing of an upright cross or + across the body with the right hand, often accompanied by spoken or mental recitation of the trinitarian formula: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. A number of commentators, most notably St. Jerome, have concluded that the mark was cross-shaped. 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. It can also be made in the air without touching the person. C The demons fear the sign of the Cross and cannot stand to even see it traced in the air because they know that the Cross is the sign of friendship between mankind and God. Labs Below are supportive scriptures to convince me that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross is a sign that I am loved and desired: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 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. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. | 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. M 1, 22), that they wanted a supernatural sign, such as the resurrection of the dead, cure of the possessed, and so on that would allow them to believe in the teaching concerning the Cross. Bible verses about Sign Of The Cross. However, we must not think that on the cross the ontological unity between the … D Often these words contain they letter they are naming. For Catholics, the Sign of the Cross does not need to be explicitly recorded in the Scriptures in order to justify its use. 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. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. 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. Mark 8:34 - And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The Scriptures also forbid all forms of idolatry. 1 2. hollymichal. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.