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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






20 July 2005

Making the Sign of the Cross


Q: My friend and I were having a discussion about the practice of crossing yourself in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. He said that the only Christians to do this are Catholics. I thought other Christian religions also practiced this. Can you let us know?

A: Anglican-Episcopalians, the Eastern Orthodox, and Lutherans are among others aside from Roman Catholics who make the sign of the cross and speak God’s Triune Name. Martin Luther is specific in his instructions in the Small Catechism that the one praying should “make the sign of the Holy Cross” and say, “In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

The cross is not only a sign of Jesus’ crucifixion, but also of its application for us, especially in Baptism. The cross reminds us that “we buried therefore with [Christ] by baptism into death (Rom 6:4).” With the sign of the cross, we speak the Name of God — that into which we were baptized, by whom we were adopted, and without whom we have neither life nor hope.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anglican said...

Thank you Pastor. Could you comment ont the different ways of making the sign of the Cross among the Orthox, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and Lutherans ?

22 February, 2008 20:03  

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