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Sign of the Cross
(656 words)

The sign of the cross may be used to trace the shape of the cross on oneself or over an assembly or over things that are being set aside for sacramental use.

1. The earliest form of crossing oneself was to trace a cross on one’s forehead with one thumb. Later, during the Arian controversy (Arianism), the sign of the cross was made during Trinitarian invocations or benedictions. It is typically made by drawing the right hand from forehead to breast, then from shoulder to shoulder, and back to the center of the breast. In the Eastern church the cross …

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Senn, Frank C., “Sign of the Cross”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 03 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_SI.3>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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