Before the Gospel is read, a Catholic makes signs of the cross, with the thumb, on his or her
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 (...
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 ...
The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
The cross was originally traced by Christians with the thumb or finger
on their own foreheads. This practice is attested by numberless
allusions in Patristic literature.
It's unclear when it began, but it's true there are "numberless allusions" indicating it was an early and widespread tradition. For example, ...
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)
The Jehovahs Witness teaching of the symbol of the cross was changed about the 1930's by Joseph Rutherford.
Prior to this they accepted the cross that is widely accepted in Christendom today.
So the magazine would still have a cross on it as it's publication was prior to this time
Facts about Jehovahs Witnesses
As far as the symbolism on the magazine is ...
For Catholics, it's using the right hand, forehead-chest-left shoulder-right shoulder.
The Sign of the Cross (from the Fountain of Catholic Knowledge,
OFFICE OF CATHOLIC PUBLICATIONS, Imprimatur, 1877; and from THE
CATECHIST, by the Very Rev. Canon Howe, Imprimatur, 1898)
MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
The Sign of the Cross is a sacramental ...
Is it appropriate for a Catholic to make the sign of the cross when passing an Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox or Church of the East church?
Of course it is!
It is also a tradition for some Catholics to make the sign of the cross when passing in front of cemeteries, whether a Catholic one or otherwise. Of course there would be some of the faithful ...
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.
Thre is no Biblical prophecy about a sign of the cross appearing in the sky. However, some have interpreted Matthew 24:30 to be that sign.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (KJV)
The reason a Catholic does physical acts of devotion, and not simply mental ones, is because he is composed of a body and a soul. Bodily acts affect one's soul.
St. Thomas Aquinas writes in Summa Theologica II-II q. 84 a. 2 co.:
As Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv, 12*), since we are composed of a twofold nature, intellectual and sensible, we offer God a ...
Of course Eastern Orthodox church, like Russian, or Greek, have the tabernacles of Eucharist gifts in their churches. Orthodox christians called it as kibot (ru: Кивот, gr: κῑβωτός). It is always resided at the altar. Frequently, in modern time it has a form of mini church. Usually tabernacles is being covered with a glass hood, and the only bishops, priests,...
The sign of the cross is a sacramental (a sacred sign instituted by the Church, not one of the seven sacraments, but still a way to bring one's focus onto holy things, to become more prayerful in the moment). Specifically this sign is a reminder of our Baptismal promises (because we invoke the Trinity) and is a reminder of the cross. Stephen Ray writes:
How do I know when to cross myself during the Mass of Pope Paul VI (Novus Ordo)?
To start with, prior to Mass, we bless ourselves with Holy Water at the entrance of the church by dipping our fingers in into the Holy Water and making the sign of the cross on ourselves.
The same is done when exiting the church after Mass.
Dipping Your Hand in Holy ...
It is in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal Number 134:
At the ambo, the Priest opens the book and, with hands joined, says, The Lord be with you, to which the people reply, And with your spirit. Then he says, A reading from the holy Gospel, making the Sign of the Cross with his thumb on the book and on his forehead, mouth, and breast, which ...
Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross at the Eucharist?
It is an act of Catholic piety!
Before going on into the main body of my answer, I would like to point out that in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, Communion was given in to communicants in the following way:
As the priest places a Host directly from the chalice into the mouth of each ...
Growing up, I was taught that it was tradition to silently say while making the Threefold Sign of the Cross just before the gospel is read with these words: "May the words of the Gospel be on my mind, on my lips, and in my heart."
The origin of the sign of the cross on the forehead and the heart is Frankish or German, and it probably entered into the ...
Why do we have to make the Sign of the Cross physically?
There are several reasons why we make the sign of the cross physically.
Man is composed of a soul and a body. As such the body is united in the prayer of the soul though a physical action.
The sign of the cross sets us apart from other men.
Our salvation was secured by the Cross which hung the Savior ...
The short answer to your question on when the participant of the Holy Mass and you cite Novus Ordo make the sign of the cross is there are two types or classification.
There are certain part on the Holy Mass that it is "required" and there are others that are called "optional".
Your question falls on the so called "optional". ...
Although the Orthodox are, in the traditional Catholic view, schismatic, they do have valid priestly orders, which means they are able to validly consecrate the Eucharist, so I don't see what would be wrong with making the sign of the cross out of respect for the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in these churches.
Is there any Biblical prophecy mentioning that there will be a sign of the cross put in the sky? Either in the Old Testament or the New Testament?
The closest we can find to such a possible statement comes from Matthew 24:30 in regards to the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the sky.
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then ...
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The manual act of tracing the cross with the hand or the thumb has at all periods been quite commonly, though not indispensably, accompanied by a form of words. The formula, however, has varied greatly. In the earlier ages we have evidence for such invocation as "The sign of Christ", "The seal of the living God", "In the ...