what does it mean
I know only upright middle finger. mlm
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The pattern represents the process. As one makes the sign of the cross, it means that "The teachings of Jesus are in my mind, in my heart, and carried by my shoulders". Nothing upside down about it, really. Edit: Matthew P; Actually, I am Orthodox, and the reason the Romans go in a different direction remains unknown. The Orthodox teaching is that you touch the right shoulder first, because Jesus sits at the right hand of God. Further, Romans keep their hand outstretched. Orthodox join their thumb to the middle and index fingers to represent acceptance of the Trinity, and turn the other two fingers into the palm to represent the dual nature of Jesus. Edit2: Paul B. My privilege. Thank you for your kindness. Edit3: Matthew P. You're welcome. I apologize if I came across as condescending. There's much more to it, actually. It is also a request that your thoughts and heart be blessed, and that your shoulders are able to do good works. I can write many pages on it, but all I have written to this point touches the immediate basics.
Orthodox, I presume? We wonder why you cross yourselves backwards as well. IHS Lawrence, thank you, I've always wondered that. My guess was that, whichever way was original, certain people would wind up doing it the opposite way, as the priest's blessing of them after Mass/Divine Liturgy while facing them would be so. Thus left-to-right crossing and right-to-left crossing developed customarily among different populations. I don't really think there's a right way or a wrong way, as I touch the right first when visiting a Byzantine Catholic Church and the left first when visiting a Latin Church out of deference to custom.
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