For Roman Catholics, there is a quick gesture that can often go unnoticed before the recitation of the Gospel reading at Mass. It is a brief tracing of the cross that is not the typical gesture usually performed and contains much symbolism. What does this Signify?
WHAT IS THIS GESTURE?
The gesture is a direct imitation of what the deacon (or priest when a deacon is not present) is instructed to do before he recites the words of the holy Gospel.
The Roman Missal states, “Then, with the thumb of his right hand, he makes the sign of the cross first on the book at the beginning of the Gospel to be read, and then on himself on the forehead, mouth, and breast.”
WHAT DOES THIS GESTURE SIGNIFY?
It is a beautiful action, one with deep biblical roots. For example, God explains to the people of Israel to recite a particular phrase (“Hear, O Israel …“) on a daily basis, but also to put that phrase “as a pendant on your forehead” (Deuteronomy 6:8). Many Jews took that literally and placed a small scroll on their forehead. It was a visible reminder to keep the Word of God always on their mind.
Secondly, the prayer is reminiscent of how the prophet Isaiah received a vision where an angel purified his lips with a burning coal (see Isaiah 6). This connection is presereved in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, where the priest recites the prayer before the Gospel.
Last of all, the prayer recalls the words of the Letter to the Hebrews, where the author writes, “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Thus, when we make such a gesture at Mass, it is truly a profound prayer, opening ourselves up to the words of Jesus Christ. Every time we listen to the Gospel Jesus is knocking at the door of our heart, waiting to get in. We just have to open the door.
Through the tradition of the triple cross, we are asking the Lord to bless our minds and our hearts that they will be open to hear the Gospel, so we might proclaim through our lips the good news of Jesus to all the world. Gospel means "good news."
It's a wonderful tradition to remind ourselves that the words of the Gospel - which are about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus - have the power to transform our lives. So, the next time you hear the Gospel proclaimed, think about how God wants to change your life through these powerful words. These gestures should be taken seriously and performed reverently. They are physical actions which help us form a proper spiritual disposition and reverence during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Kindly share to other groups and with friends!
Content created and supplied by: Lewand9? (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More