All Saints Anglican  All Saints’ Church
Greenville, SC REC Reformed Episcopal ACNA Anglican Church in North America Parish 1928 BCP 1928 Book of Common Prayer Divine Hours Daily Offices Breviary terce sext compline prime vespers

Sign of the Cross

First, making the sign of the Cross is not necessary or required by the Anglican tradition. However, many of our members gladly use it in their worship and devotion.


The sign of the cross is a very ancient practice. It is mentioned as early as the third century by Tertullian as the standard practice of believers. The sign of the cross probably arose as the early Church sought to distinguish itself from the Old Testament system still practiced by the Jews. Thus, the sign of the cross replaced and represented a fulfillment of the Aaronic blessing of Old Testament (hands raised).


At its heart the sign of the cross is always an act of identification and assurance.


First, the sign of the cross identifies something as being placed before God (that something may be a prayer, an amen to a prayer or blessing, an act of  worship, a deed of service, someone seeking a blessing, something to be set apart for use in God’s house, or etc….). Regardless, the sign of the cross reminds us that what we bring is to be offered to God in God’s name (i.e. according to His will and on the basis of Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice).


Second, the sign of the cross provides assurance, reminding us that when we turn to God in His name (i.e. according to His will), He hears us and grants us His blessings and favor on the basis of Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice. Notice then:


The sign of the cross serves as book ends to a particular act of devotion: it reminds us of our focus (God’s will) as well as gives us the assurance that God accepts our devotion and grants His promises in light of Christ’s sacrifice.



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