History of the Sign of the Cross

Dear Readers,

I’ve always heard since I was in grade school that the early Christians made up the sign of the cross as a secret way to let Christians recognize each other. Early Christians were killed because of their beliefs. In order to keep their Christian beliefs a secret from the authorities, they made up a sign. Making a symbol of a cross on their forehead, on their mouth, and over their heart let other people know so they were Christians. They might have also made the traditional sign of the cross by touching their forehead with their fingers, then touching their heart, and then touching the left shoulder and then the right shoulder. On Amen, their hands would be folded together facing the sky. Others might have thought they were swatting flies or something.  If the other person made the sign of the cross, too, then they knew that it was safe to talk about Jesus Christ and his beliefs without being killed.

Nowadays, Christians add the words, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.” We make the sign of the cross before beginning a prayer, and at the end of a prayer. We make the sign of the cross when we’re afraid. Perhaps you make the sign of the cross at different time that you might be willing to share in a comment below. Tell the stories you’ve heard about how and why the sign of the cross began.

I had heard that in times of the catacombs in Rome that Christians used this as a symbol to be let inside for Mass, prayer, and meetings. I didn’t find proof that this was true, although it sounds like it would have been a good idea. I think it would have worked. Perhaps no one else wrote about this. It could have been passed down by telling. Believing it doesn’t hurt anything.

I found the following links related to the sign of the cross using your hand, and the symbol of the cross itself. I hope the information in them will appeal to you. I hope it lights up your heart enough that you share it with your family and friends and those you teach.

History of the Sign of the Cross Different ways to make the sign of the cross and what it symbolizes.

Traditions of Making the Sign of the Cross

Another link to history of sign of the cross

Making the Sign of the Cross – How many times do they make the sign of the cross during Mass? Make your guess, and then read to find out the answer.

Battle of the Milvian Bridge – First Battle with soldiers wearing a cross on their shields

Finding of the Cross of Jesus by St. Helena, Mother of Constantine

Constantine and the cross

Thanks for reading. I’d be honored if you would sign up to receive an email each time I update this blog.

Check out my website for Gospel related devotionals, crossword puzzles, wordsearch puzzles, and skits: http://www.joanyedwards.com

May God bless you and keep you warm.

Joan Y. Edwards
http://www.joanschildrensliturgy.wordpress.com

Coloring Sheets for Christmas

Dear Readers,

Thank you for reading my blog and checking out my website: http://www.joanyedwards.com/

Here are four sites that allow you to download Christmas coloring pages free. I thought perhaps you might like to use them for your family, friends, Sunday School, or Children’s Liturgy.

1. Bible Coloring Pages http://www.coloring-page.net/bible.html

2. Coloring Book Fun-Christian http://coloringbookfun.com/christian/

3. Christian Christmas Coloring Pages http://www.calvarywilliamsport.com/christian_christmas_coloring_pages.html

4. Microsoft Office Templates: Coloring Book Pages for Christmas http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=books#ai:TC010360982|

May the Peace of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be within you, beside you, behind you, and in front of you.

Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards

Materials for Children’s Liturgy

Dear Children’s Liturgy Leader,

The following Gather the Children books explain all of the readings for each Sunday of the liturgical year. I found that I didn’t have time to do all the readings and explain them in detail. So I just concentrated on the Gospel. Others do the responsorial psalm and the Gospel. After I greeted them, I explained what the Gospel was about. Then I read the Gospel and let them act it out. I related the Gospel to their own experiences, and sang a song. Wow! My time was up before I knew it.

The first few years I did the Children’s Liturgyat St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC,  I used the following books. I would suggest you order one of the current church Cycle copies to see if you like it.

Gather the Children by Mary Berglund Cycle A  If it says it’s not available, click on Mary Berglund’s name or search title again.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0912405643/qid=1065402872/sr=1-7/ref=sr_1_7/102-0345724-2735301?v=glance&s=books

Gather the Children by Mary Berglund Cycle B

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0912405309/qid=1065402951/sr=1-12/ref=sr_1_12/102-0345724-2735301?v=glance&s=books

Gather the Children by Mary Berglund Cycle C

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1569290377/qid=1065402951/sr=1-19/ref=sr_1_19/102-0345724-2735301?v=glance&s=books

We gave the children “Explaining God’s Word” as handouts. You can order as many copies as you think you’ll need each week. Children look forward to taking these home. Liguori Publications Phone Toll Free (800) 325-9521.  Liguori also has a handout for older children. You could call and ask for samples of both.

Our religious education classes sent home a publication called “Catholic Corner,” J.S. Paluch Co., Inc. 1-800-566-6150 http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/3292.htm

Now they use “The Liturgy of the Word with Children” to teach Children’s Liturgy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/1585957003/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

At St. Ann’s church when I did Children’s Liturgy, they used Pflaum materials: http://www.pflaum.com/catalog/liturgy/index2.htm called “Children Celebrate.” It has a teacher’s guide and activity sheets to give out to children each week. Toll free 866-532-2608.

I hope that this will help you. May God bless you.

The Holy Spirit will guide you, as He did me. I promise.

Sincerely,

Joan Y. Edwards

http://www.joanyedwards.com

Children’s Liturgy Is a Wonderful Thing

Instead of writing a newsletter or having a yahoo group to send messages about Children’s Liturgy, I decided to change and write a blog about Children’s Liturgy. I hope people will ask questions and give their opinions. I’ll give references to my website with devotionals, wordsearch and crossword puzzle, and skits for children’s liturgy. I’ll also post about other resources for Children’s Liturgy on my website: http://www.joanyedwards.com.

You can sign up to receive my blogposts by email  so I can contact you if you win a prize.
Thanks for reading. What would you like to read here? What resources do you need for your children’s liturgy service or children’s church?

Joan Y. Edwards

http://www.joanyedwards.com