OLPH Church
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Byzantine Catholic Church

From the Pastor's Pen

Very Reverend
Edward G. Cimbala, D.Min
- Pastor -

Why do we wear a cross?

In pre-Christian times, the Cross was the instrument of a shameful and horrible death. The ancient Romans invented it and used it everywhere in order to intimidate the people whom they had dominated. Everyone looked on this instrument of execution ­ the shameful Cross ­ with horror. But a remarkable change took place with respect to the Cross after Our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on it. The Lord suffered and died on the Cross. He took horrible sufferings upon Himself in order to save us from sins. The Cross received great glory, such as no other object made by the hands of man has possessed. The Cross became the sign of our salvation, through which we receive the power of God ­ the grace of God.

The Cross is the first and greatest Christian sacred object. When the priest sanctifies water, he immerses the Cross in it, and the water becomes holy. When we wear the Cross, our body constantly touches it, and from this touch it, too, is sanctified. The Cross that we wear protects us from all kinds of danger. One ought not to look upon the Cross as some kind of jewelry like a bracelet or brooch. The Cross must adorn our soul and not our clothing, and must constantly remind us that we are Byzantine Catholic Christians, called to live according to our faith, which is founded on the Savior's sufferings on the Cross

Making the “Sign of the Cross” is an Act of Faith
To understand the Sign of the Cross, we need to look or begin with our right hand: The thumb, the index and the middle finger of the right hand are joined together, while the fourth and little fingers are joined and bent in the palm of the hand. The three fingers joined together express our Faith in the Holy Trinity: One God in three divine Persons. The two fingers joined together in the palm of the hand signify that there are two natures in Christ. He is truly God and truly Man united in the Incarnation of one divine person: Jesus Christ. When we make the “The Sign of the Cross”, we proclaim our Faith in the Redemption (i.e. that we are saved by the redeeming action of our Lord Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our salvation, that we might dwell with Him in His Kingdom forever).

Sincerely Yours in the Service of Christ and His People,

Fr. Ed Cimbala