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Click here for a copy of the bulletin for July 14 (Word) >> Sunday bulletin 7 14 19
From Fr. John: Making the sign of the cross is a way of recalling our baptisms, when we were “sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever.” In the liturgy, there are also secondary meanings.
At the opening acclamation, we cross ourselves as a way of entering into the mystery by which God reconstitutes the gathered people as the Body of Christ.
At the proclamation of the Gospel, many people cross themselves with a small cross over the forehead, lips and heart (a “blessing of the senses”) as a way to open their minds, their speech and their vital essence to the Word.
Each Eucharistic Prayer includes a blessing of the bread and wine and a related petition for God to sanctify those who will be receiving. Many Episcopalians make the sign of the cross at that moment as a way to acknowledge and receive the blessing. Many also cross themselves just before receiving the bread or the cup as an act of reverence.
Some cross themselves at the end of the Nicene Creed when we pray for those who have died, or when the priest raises the bread and wine to the sound of a bell. At the absolution after confession or at the blessing at the end of the Mass, making the sign of the cross can be our way of taking in the forgiveness that restores us to unity with God and each other or to accept the blessing of God’s love for us.
None of these are required, of course, but they do let us pray with our bodies and bring not just our minds, but our entire incarnated and grateful selves to the Eucharist.
Adult Formation: We are concluding a three-session exploration of the Psalms next week at 9:00 in the St. John Room. Notes from the first two are available. Please join us!
Next week’s readings:
- Amos 8:1-12
- Psalm 52
- Colossians 1:15-28
- Luke 10:38-42