Synopses & Reviews
Millions of Christians around the world use the sign of the Cross?and have done so for centuries?as a gesture of blessing. It is practiced when alone, during worship, before sleep, upon waking, before eating, before travel, and many other times throughout one's day. But what does it mean? How, when, and where did this simple movement of the hand originate? The sign of the Cross is literally a tracing of the Cross of Christ onto the body. By so doing, Christians invite the mystery of the Cross into their everyday lives. Now and for the first time, young Greek scholar Andreas Andreopoulos explains the tremendous meaning, mystery, and history of this dramatic gesture shared by all Christians everywhere. This readable account will fascinate all who desire to know more about the inherited spiritual practices of everyday life.
"The sign of the Cross, the tracing of the Cross of Christ onto the body, is a private and public gesture of blessing that millions of Christians do during worship and throughout their day. Greek scholar and practicing Orthodox Christian Andreopoulos explores the history, symbolism, and meaning of the gesture in this short book. He finds the sign one of the most fascinating elements of ritual symbolism, one that 'combines simplicity and profound meaning to a greater extent than any other symbol.' The book succeeds at translating the significance of the sign of the Cross into something personal and immediate. Especially poignant are the pages he devotes to his own understanding of the gesture, how he learned it from his grandfather, and what it means to him personally as an act of sanctification and reminder of the sacrifice of Christ and the mystery of the Trinity. He covers the history and theology of the sign in depth, satisfying the most curious scholars; however, some of his intellectual commentaries might lose the general reader. Although Andreopoulos writes from an Orthodox perspective, he presents the material in an ecumenical way, inspiring both churched and unchurched readers who wish to better understand the importance of the liturgical experience of the sign of the Cross." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)