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A boy prays for Ukraine

The Sign of the Cross – Ukraine

I have made the Sign of the Cross regularly, decade in, decade out. I mostly hold my right hand in the way imaged below. That is how I understand Carthusians make it. Throughout these years, I have touched my left shoulder first, and then my right shoulder. But, having seen Ukrainians doing the right shoulder first, I try to remember to do it their way, conscious of Christ’s cross, of my need to have the reality of the Cross grow in me, and of the suffering currently being endured in Ukraine.

Ukrainians describe making the sign of the Cross:

We make the Sign of the Cross by touching

  1. Our Head,
  2. Then our Heart,
  3. Then our RIGHT Shoulder
  4. And then our Left Shoulder.

Then we make a bow. (We generally always make a bow when crossing ourselves.)

The entire gesture is called a “Reverence”.

We touch the Right Shoulder first (i.e. before the left) in order to symbolize Christ, Who sits at the Right Hand of God. This is the most ancient manner of making the Sign of the Cross, a practice not only used by Byzantine Christians, but also preserved by Church which has retained the most primitive and original liturgical rites – the Great Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East (which uses the Chaldean rite).

We make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand held thus:

  1. The first three fingers together (symbolizing the Oneness of the 3 Persons of the All-Holy Trinity.
  2. The remaining two fingers are tucked down into the palm.These 2 remaining fingers represent the 2 Natures of the Christ [Divine and Human]. The placing of these 2 fingers down into the palm symbolizes the descent of the Word into our world, i.e. the Holy Incarnation.


Now, watch the child praying in the video at the top. The lad in Ukrainian prays:

I sing, God, for the living and for the dead.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

And I say “God, save us and Ukraine.”

I say to God “I love you.”


And see how he concludes with the Sign of the Cross.

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1 thought on “The Sign of the Cross – Ukraine”

  1. The video of the boy shows the power of ritual. This is sadly something we have lost in many churches in NZ.

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