Should We Make The Sign Of The Cross After Receiving Holy Communion?
#11
One can make the Sign of the Cross, but they must know they're imposing a private devotion in a liturgical setting. At any length, I tend to do it.
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#12
(08-02-2009, 06:17 PM)Credo Wrote: One can make the Sign of the Cross, but they must know they're imposing a private devotion in a liturgical setting...

Yeah, to be honest, I've always found it to be kinda showy.  But sometimes I do it.  Sometimes not.  Depends.
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#13
I was always taught that this was the appropriate thing to do. To be honest, I don't really think it needs to be intellectualized to this degree, but that's my cradle Catholicism speaking. It just comes off as natural to me and to everyone I know. In short, it's tradition and one that won't, and shouldn't, be going away anytime soon.
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#14
Just make sure the Priest is past you and the paton is out of the way,  :)
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#15
   This question was on my mind as well recently, but in a slightly different context:  I was attending a Divine Liturgy in the Maronite Rite and made the Sign of the Cross after receiving Holy Communion, but in the process was wondering if that was done in the Maronite Church.  Does anyone know what the custom is for the Eastern Catholic Churches?

   As to your question, I personally make the Sign of the Cross after receiving Holy Communion, except for when I'm serving, because I'm not sure if the rubrics permit this. (Does anyone know and care to clarify?)  Further, since I'm almost always 2nd Acolyte, I have to stand up and descend the Altar steps as soon as I receive, and I don't feel that I could reverently make the Sign of the Cross while doing that.  If I'm serving at Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form however, I do, since you normally [in my experience] either stay in your spot after receiving, or receive in the same manner as the faithful.

   In Christo Rege et Maria Regina,
       ~Steven
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#16
(08-02-2009, 06:17 PM)Credo Wrote: One can make the Sign of the Cross, but they must know they're imposing a private devotion in a liturgical setting. At any length, I tend to do it.

The sign of the cross is not a private devotion, and they are not imposing it on anyone but themselves.  It would technically be part of the thanksgiving after Communion except they don't wait to get to the pew to do it.
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#17
(08-02-2009, 01:48 PM)anamchara Wrote: I had First Communion training during the 1963-64 school year.  I remember as a second-grader thinking reception of the Precious Body and Blood was an opportune time to make the Sign of the Cross, but our Vatican I-trained nun disabused us of the notion.  As I recall, her reasoning was something along the lines of "you're receiving your Savior Himself--Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity--so there's no need to bless yourself with the Sign of the Cross.   

this is the same thing I was taught in 1965.
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#18
(08-03-2009, 08:11 AM)timjp77 Wrote:
(08-02-2009, 01:48 PM)anamchara Wrote: I had First Communion training during the 1963-64 school year.  I remember as a second-grader thinking reception of the Precious Body and Blood was an opportune time to make the Sign of the Cross, but our Vatican I-trained nun disabused us of the notion.  As I recall, her reasoning was something along the lines of "you're receiving your Savior Himself--Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity--so there's no need to bless yourself with the Sign of the Cross.   

this is the same thing I was taught in 1965.

Back in the 70's they told us that you were supposed to pray after you received, and if you felt like starting to do it while you were walking to your seat, it was perfectly acceptable to do so - hence, the sign of the cross.  Most people in my diocese do, both at TLM and Ordinary Form. 
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#19
I would tend to side with the group that says, "You just received our Lord and Savior. He, himself, is still present in that little host in your mouth and that's one of the reasons that you're not genuflecting after receiving. Hence, blessing yourself, while not necessarily harmful, is not an appropriate action.

As I mentioned earlier, the whole priest blessing children who cannot receive is also out of place.

That said, it's a private devotion, and so long as it doesn't impose on others or cause distraction, I don't think it's that bad. There are questions to ask yourself, however.

1. Am I distracting myself from concentrating on the Real Presence which I have received?
2. Am I making the sign appropriately without showing off  or distracting others (playing the over-pious part by adding bows and lots of silly gestures)?
3. When I make this sign is it causing me to spend any extra time at the Communion rail or place where I am receiving and thus prevent the next person from kneeling or moving into place in a timely manner or preventing the orderly distribution of Communion?
4.  Am I or my children aware that gesture is a devotion? If they learn by suggestion or direct words that it's a required action it may create a nucleus for scruples where the child may think, if they forgot to sign themselves, that they did something horribly wrong.

Since we're on the subject of Communion and I like to always point out side points: If you have a Communion Rail at your Church and you kneel for Communion there there are a couple of things to remember:

1. It is required by (the older) liturgical law that there be a white linen cloth which can be turned to cover the rail itself. The Communion Plate which the server carries is actually not required, but the Communion cloth is.
2. One should never put their hands under the cloth to pull it towards themselves. for two major reasons:
  - On a symbolic level the cloth is an extension of the altars cloths, in particular the corporal, which no one who is not at least a cleric should be touching (except out of necessity).
  - On a practical level, the cloth has a far better chance of catching a dropped host or directing it into the sanctuary if one is "belly-up" to the rail with hands down at the sides or in front at waist level, with the cloth flat. If the cloth is pulled, it creates the tendency for a dropped host to slide toward the knees of the communicant, outside the rail. Finally, hands on the cloth make it dirty.
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#20
(08-03-2009, 09:02 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: I would tend to side with the group that says, "You just received our Lord and Savior. He, himself, is still present in that little host in your mouth and that's one of the reasons that you're not genuflecting after receiving. Hence, blessing yourself, while not necessarily harmful, is not an appropriate action.

Hmm.  Should we hold back on prayers after reception until the Host has been consumed?  It would seem to follow the same logic.

(Note that I disagree with the logic, but I am wondering about consistency in application).
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