New answers tagged mass
Why do Catholics sign themselves three (3) times just before the Gospel is read? To understand the significance of this tradition, let us take a look into its origins. Concerning the making the sign of the cross at the proclamation of the Holy Gospel, after the deacon or priest says, “A reading from the Holy Gospel according to ….,” he and the faithful ...
Before the Gospel is read, a Catholic makes signs of the cross, with the thumb, on his or her forehead, mouth, and heart, which represents that the Catholic must understand the Gospel, proclaim it, and "take it to heart," i.e., put it into practice, with charity. Dom Prosper Guéranger's Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of the Holy Mass (...
Contrary to what you say about missals, the rubrics in my missal (The CTS New Daily Missal) say that before the reading of the gospel, "He [the deacon/priest] makes the Sign of the Cross on the book and, together with the people, on his forehead, lips, and breast." (emphasis added)
Having been a lifelong Catholic, I have only picked this up through seeing other people do it. That being said, I have always seen it as being symbolic of keeping the Gospel in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart. You can find some other perspectives on it here and here.
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