Wednesday 2 February 2011

The sign of the Cross.

When I was in hospital I saw something I'd not seen since I was a child.

They have a chapel in hospital. The door to the chapel is an ordinary door, like all the others in a long hospital corridor. It says on it "Chapel" as opposed to "X Ray" or "Pharmacy" or whatever else is posted on the other doors.

I noticed that several people whilst passing by this door did the sign of the Cross. A few opened the door and looked in for 5 or 10 seconds, did the sign of the Cross, and then continued on their way.

Now this is something I've not seen for many years when, as a child, we were taught to do the sign of the Cross whenever we passed a Church. I certainly did not expect to see it in secular Britain.

I wonder whether this sign of respect is prevalent elsewhere. For example, do people make the sign of the Cross before meals when they are at a restaurant or in public?

I remember when young, on Ash Wednesday, some people used to go to work with ash on their forehead having been to Mass first. Not seen this in public for some time nowadays.


  1. Not seen too much in secular USA either, Victor. I believe it is returning to these seemingly small signs of devotion that will bring our nations back to God in bigger ways as well.
    God bless!

  2. Still seen in Greece! But for how much longer...? Such a lovely thing to do and so much power in it... we are missing out on so much these all our hurry and so-called educated ways...

  3. Hi Karinann and Ann.

    I suspect people these days are too embarrassed to make the sign of the Cross in public.

    God bless.

  4. I suspect you're right, Victor. I never see people making the sign of the Cross. It's sad, isn't it?

  5. Hello my friend, I have missed you but have not been very well lately, still not 100% but a bit better.
    Victor, I do see people make the sign of the cross quite often even if just walking in front of our church. Now our town is small and mostly Catholic but it is not unusual to see the sign of the cross at restaurants or even hear a family say grace. Maybe that is why I love my small town....Hope you are doing well....Hugs

  6. Hi Victor, how wonderful that you witnessed this while you were sick in the hospital. I work with children and am slowly reintroducing some of these beautiful practices. The best part is that they are receptive to them. We must continue to pray.

  7. Many people in our area go out with ashes on the foreheads, and some of us say grace in public and make the sign of the cross. The people who know about making the sign of the cross when passing a church still do, but knowledge of this practice has diminished over the years due to poor catechesis. So glad you had the consolation of seeing that.

  8. I certainly see my Catholic friends make the sign of the cross at mealtimes, but I've never seen anyone do it when they pass a church. A handful of people wear ashes on their foreheads at work, but I didn't even know what it meant until a couple of years ago.

    I think it's wonderful that people went out of their way to show respect at the hospital chapel.

  9. Greetings Mary, Bernie, Andie, Barb and Sarah.

    It's great to see you visiting me again. I hope and pray you're getting better Bernie. Barb, I'm having difficulties visiting your Blog. My computer always seizes up and freezes when I visit your Blog. I have to do Control Alt Delete and start all over again. It happens on your Blog only for some reason.

    I'm so glad that you report that the sign of the Cross, and ashes, are prevalent where you live. Sadly, not so much in the UK.

    God bless.

  10. Hi Victor,

    I started "Visions" this week and am enjoying it very much. I love quiet, gentle books like yours. Last time I visited your blog, I don't remember your personal message being here. Anyway, it's a nice addition. I think your accent is cute. We live in what's known as the "Bible Belt" part of the US where the Catholic population is less than 4% but the Southern Baptists are more than 60% ... so while I don't expect to see The Sign of the Cross, I make sure I always make it myself when I eat out in public. I consider it a sign of reverence as well as a tool for evangelization.

    Great post as always Victor! Have a blessed day!

  11. Hello Booklady,

    It's so nice to see you visiting here again. Thanx.

    I'm so pleased you are enjoying my book. And thanx for your comment about my accent. I have recorded a few messages which can be found in the Blog Archive on the right of this post.

    It's sad when people don't do the Sign of the Cross - like here in Britain.

    I look forward to your return visits.

    God bless.



God bless you.