We begin the Sacred Liturgy, as we do all good things: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit --the Sign of the Cross. After the entrance hymn, the priest invokes God's presence and power with these words – taken from the lips of Christ himself (Matt. 28:19).
We bow our heads and trace a cross, from head to torso, from left shoulder to right shoulder, as we already did with holy water upon entering the church, as a reminder of our baptism. We trace upon our body the Cross, upon which hung the salvation of the world. As Christ hung on the Cross for us, we now willingly take up that cross, and follow Him. First on our forehead – recalling the anointing we received in our Baptism. Ask God to sanctify your mind and your thoughts! Then our torso – we form the vertical beam of the Cross and touch our heart. The love of God reaches into our deepest self. "Search me O God, and know my heart" (Ps. 139:23) Ask God to sanctify your will and your emotions. As we move our hand from shoulder to shoulder, think of Matthew 11:29-30 "Take my yoke upon your shoulders, and I will give you rest." God is always with us to help us carry the load. Ask God to sanctify your strength. More on Introductory Rite segments next week!!BACK TO LIST