I'm not Catholic so I could be wrong, but I'll share what I've heard. By saying the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they are acknowledging the triune God. The cross itself represents the cross on which Christ died and acknowledges the sacrifice for our salvation and the blood shed to cover our sins.
Sheilamyers gave a good answer. Some Catholics do it more than others. Some will do it every time they drive by a church. i do not. It is not a requirement. It is a part of the mass and many Catholics make it when they start to say a prayer, be it the blessing before the meal, or praying with someone who is ill. It, in itself is a form of prayer, recognizing the existence of the Holy Trinity.
Sheila and Larry, both gave excellent answers - Sheila is correct as to the symbolism of making the sign of the cross, and I agree with Larry that some Catholics utilize the "Sign of the Cross" more than others.
A couple additional things I would add are that
(1) The Sign of the Cross is also used by Orthodox Christians, though it is slightly different because Orthodox cross themselves right to left across their chest, while Catholics cross themselves left to right. This is because in Latin and other romance languages your hand would be over your heart when saying "spirit" if you crossed yourself left to right, and the opposite in Greek/Russian.
(2) I would definitely stress what Larry mentioned, that the sign of the Cross is in and of itself a prayer! It is also a way of "setting apart" our prayer time, it is kind of like a "hello" as we start our conversation of prayer!
(3) As for the "why" of many Catholics making the sign of the Cross when passing by a Church, it is to recognize the presence of the Eucharist/Christ in that place.
by Mark Knowles 8 years ago
So what is it with the Catholic league that is so upset with PETA?Full story here:http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninsca … celebr.phpSad - really sad. What is wrong with using a cross in an ad?
by augustine72 5 years ago
It is quite obvious that Catholics do not follow many things in the Bible. They look at the Church as the one that sets all standards. Why is it so?
by katai 23 months ago
Why we feel throw up during prayer for peopel.Have you see when we pray for people stand in the gap for them and we have some manifestation like throw up
by Sophie 6 years ago
Why do some feet smell more than others?Especially when your sweat doesn't smell all that bad.. Do you have an explanation for that..
by Moira Garcia Gallaga 7 years ago
Why do some people attract mosquitos more than others?Ever experienced sitting outdoors with a group of friends on nice summer day enjoying cold drinks and a barbecue and notice that the mosquitos all seem attracted to you and not seem to be bothering everyone else?
by Vegas Elias 6 years ago
Why do Catholics indulge in idol worship?When idol worship is forbidden for Catholics why do they have so many statues in the Church and why do they garland the statues, or light candles in front of them or even pray standing in front of them? Is this not idol worship?
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