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Question 187

Why do we make the sign of the cross when the priest says Christiana ta teli tis zwhs imon at Sunday morning mass? What does it mean Father and why do we cross ourselves?    

 

Answer to Question 187

 

Not everyone crosses themselves at the words "Χριστιανὰ τὰ τέλη τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν, ἀνώδυνα, ἀνεπαίσχυντα, εἰρηνικά, καὶ καλὴν ἀπολογίαν τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ φοβεροῦ βήματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, αἰτησώμεθα. (For a Christian ending to our life, painless, without shame and peaceful, and a good defence before the dread judgement seat of Christ, let us entreat the Lord.)" It is more common to see people cross themselves when they hear "Της παναγίας, ἀχράντου, ὑπερευλογημένης, ἐνδόξου δεσποίνης ἡμῶν Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας, (Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary)". Making the sign of the cross is a confession of our faith, but also a form of prayer. We pray with our mouth, with our mind and with our heart, but we also pray with our body which we express with bows, prostrations and making the sign of the cross. The cross is the symbol of our faith, because through it Christ saved us from death and gave us eternal life, thus we make this sign of our faith when we wish to express our faith and hope in the Resurrection. By making the sign of the cross at the words "(Mindful of our most holy and undefiled, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary" we are asking Christ to protect us through the prayers of the Mother of God, through whom our salvation became possible, because she accepted to give birth to the Son of God.