Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sign of the Cross

When I was in hospital I saw something I'd not seen since I was a child.

They have a chapel in hospital. The door to the chapel is an ordinary door, like all the others in a long hospital corridor. It says on it "Chapel" as opposed to "X Ray" or "Pharmacy" or whatever else is posted on the other doors.

I noticed that several people whilst passing by this door did the Sign of the Cross. A few opened the door and looked in for 5 or 10 seconds, did the Sign of the Cross, and then continued on their way.

Now this is something I've not seen for many years when, as a child, we were taught to do the Sign of the Cross whenever we passed a Church. I certainly did not expect to see it in secular Britain.

So ... what is the Sign of the Cross?

It is first and foremost a Prayer.

When we Cross ourselves and say "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost", we acknowledge God as our only living God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge a fundamental mystery of our Faith. God is three persons in one. We pray that in His name we will be loved and protected by Him.

The Sign of the Cross is also an acknowledgement that God's only Son, Jesus, suffered and died for us on the Cross.

The Sign of the Cross is our protection, our shield against all evil. When we Cross ourselves we acknowledge that no evil can pass through the Cross and harm us.

The Sign of the Cross is our sign of respect and love to Our Creator and Saviour.

The Sign of the Cross is our witness to everyone that we are Christians and we believe in God, three in one, living today here and now; as He has always been in the past and will be in future. When those people made the Sign of the Cross as they passed the hospital Chapel door they made more than a sign of respect. They witnessed to everyone watching about God.

The Sign of the Cross. 
More than just a Sign of the Cross.


  1. Great reminder, Victor. Sometimes I take for granted that the sign of the cross is a prayer in and of itself.

    God Bless.

  2. I like your statement Victor how they are witnessing their faith in the Triune God to everyone around them. Blessings to you!

  3. Great testimony Victor! Isn't there a specific prayer we say when passing by the Eucharistic Lord though?(in addition to making the sign of the Cross) I can't exactly remember it but it has something to do with our belief that He is present in the Eucharist. I've taught my children a short and simple prayer acknowledging His presence and offering Him praise. It would be nice to know if anyone else can remember the real thing though.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Thank you Noreen and Lisa Maria.

    I was not aware of a special prayer. Perhaps others can write in about it.

    God bless.

  5. Great witness Victor. Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. This strengthens me Victor. I roll with "non-denominational" Christians and they pray often extemporaneously and always without prefacing the prayer with the Sign of the Cross. I don't know which of the Reformers thought that needed to be dropped because there wasn't mention of the physical action in say Acts or the Epistles, and you know (Tradition is the tree that bore the fruit of simony so nothing good comes from that (sarcasm). Anyway sometimes I make the sign of the cross when I am with them, and sometimes, more often than when I do, I do not make the sign of the cross. I think I will print this for my family to read!

    "The Sign of the Cross is also an acknowledgement that God's only Son, Jesus, suffered and died for us on the Cross."

    Seems like a good way to preface all prayers because without Jesus as mediator and his redemptive sacrifice of himself for us on the cross, we would not be Christians praying in the first place.