sign cross

sign of the cross

noun
a movement of the hand to indicate a cross, as from forehead to breast and left shoulder to right or, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, from right shoulder to left.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English

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World English Dictionary
sign of the cross
 
n
chiefly RC Church a gesture in which the right hand is moved from the forehead to the breast and from the left shoulder to the right to describe the form of a cross in order to invoke the grace of Christ

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

sign of the cross definition


A ritual gesture common in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Anglican Communion, made at the beginning and end of prayer as a reminder of Jesus' death on the cross. Worshipers make the sign by touching first the forehead, then the breast, and then each shoulder in turn, thus tracing in the air the shape of a cross.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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