I get weekly e-mail updates from a variety of organizations. Today’s came from Christianity Today, a more Evangelical news magazine. There is an article by Nathan Bierma about making the sign of the cross, which traditionally Evangelicals do not do – it’s too “Catholic.”
The author referenced two new books on the practice and history of the Sign of the Cross.
I’ve watched over the years in my own move from American Evangelicalism to Anglicanism in The Episcopal Church and still further towards Anglo-Catholicism as more staunchly Protestant and particularly Evangelical expressions of the faith have begun to re-incorporate many of the ancient Traditions of the Church universal back into their practice. Such things as weekly communion and now making the sign of the cross, for example.
After reading these two books, this previously ignorant Protestant, for one, has decided to introduce the sign of the cross into his daily prayer, as a link with the early church, a sign of God’s claim on me, and a reminder of the mystery of the Trinity.
Whether we practice it or not, the sign of the cross is one manifestation of how physicalâ€”how embodiedâ€”worship really is.
An important aspect of Episcopalian and Anglican devotion, particularly the High-Church/Anglo-Catholic bunch, has been the keeping alive this very idea of the embodiment of what we do as devotion and demarcation of who and what we are. In ideas of incarnation, a unique Anglican strength, we realize that during our common worship and in private devotions, our bodily actions and our doings are as important in our formation as is the stimulation of our minds. Orthopraxis – right doing. It is a full-bodied worship experience incorporating all the senses and postures.