RCIA 266-268: Signing with the Cross

img_6803These next three sections parallel the adult rites we looked at in RCIA 54 through 56, blogged here (54,55) and here (56). RCIA 266 instruct the presider as follows:

266. Next the cross is traced on the firehead of each child [or, at the discretion of the diocesan bishop, in front of the forehead (see RCIA 33.3, 54)]; at the discretion of the celebrant, and especially if the children are somewhat older, the signing of the other senses may follow. The celebrant alone says the formularies accompanying each signing.

267. The celebrant first says the following formulary.

N. and N., Christ has called you to be his friends. Always remember him and be faithful to him.

Therefore I mark your forehead with the sign of the cross. It is the sign of Christians; let it remind you always of Christ and how much he loves you.

The rubrics then direct the presider to sign each child.

Then RCIA gives two options. If there are no signing of other senses, the parents, sponsors, and catechists are invited to sign the children. The assigned acclamation text is:

Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

But “another suitable acclamation” may be sung.

RCIA 268 gives the signing of the senses. As with adults, either the presider (priest or deacon) may sign or this may be done by parents, sponsors, or catechists. That’s the order of preference given in the rubrics here–a slight change from RCIA 56, in which “special circumstances” are cited for the presider and assisting clergy to sign the group.

The text for signing senses is simplified from the adult rite:

I (we) mark your ears with the sign of the cross: hear the words of Christ.

I (we) mark your eyes with the sign of the cross: see the works of Christ.

I (we) mark your lips with the sign of the cross: speak as Christ would speak.

I (we) mark the sign of the cross over your heart: make your heart the home of Christ.

I (we) mark your shoulders with the sign of the cross: be strong with the of Christ.

I (we) mark your hands with the sign of the cross: touch others with the gentleness of Christ.

I (we) mark your feet with the sign of the cross: walk in the way of Christ.

While the sign of the cross is traced over the whole person:

I (we) place you entirely under the sign of Christ’s cross in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: live with Jesus now and for ever.

As with the adult rite, an acclamation may punctuate each signing. Given the tendency for a child’s faith imagination to be sparked, I cannot see why a parish would choose not to sign the multiple senses. Otherwise, just as the adult rite, only with a slightly leaner text.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to RCIA 266-268: Signing with the Cross

  1. Liam says:

    At St Paul’s in Cambridge, the acclamation used is the same as is used as the Gospel acclamation during Lent, a very evocative if short bit of chant by Ted Marier that works particularly well in this ritual.

  2. I am a roman catholic only in religion because i am in the remotes place in the world. when i studied i only know how to sign of the cross not even know how important of it and i want to know where it comes or what is its origin. i ask this question because when i attend other christian service they ask me this question and i was so hurt because i can not explain the meaning and why am i doing this. they even told me that it is only a rituals for the catholic. kindly give me brief explanation of it. thank you and i hope that you will intertain me. GOD BLESS

  3. i already type my comment in the above portion.

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