Holy Cross in the life of the Church
We can but only see the importance of the holy cross in the life of the Church. Every faithful makes the sign of the holy cross day and night. During prayers and Holy Qurbana we make the sign of the holy cross so often. Where ever there is a blessing or something to be blessed priest uses the only structure of the holy cross. The priests employ it and the faithful too. A child is baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity by the sign of the holy cross. A church or a house is dedicated to the Lord with the sign of the cross all around. The holy altar should have at least one holy cross on it. A man and woman are united in the holy matrimony by the sign of cross, especially with the song, namely, ‘the blissful emblem is the holy cross, the banner of victory is the holy cross and our boast is on the cross that saves us.’ A candidate is given holy orders through the sign of the cross. A monk must carry thirteen crosses on the veil that is covering his head. A person can get absolution and remission of sins only in the sign of cross. Holy unction is made with the sign of the cross. The holy myron is blessed and is administered in the sign of the holy cross. When one gets up, the sign of the cross is made and the same is done, when one goes to sleep. In short, the life of the Church is filled with the sign of the holy cross and that explains the importance of the holy cross in the life of the Church unmistakably.
The holy cross is symbolizing the holy gospel too. Meaning of making the sign of the cross is that the Son of God, who was sitting at the right hand side of the Father (Acts 7:55, 56) came down to sinful humans on earth, who because of their sins were to inherit the hell and made them inheritors of the Kingdom of God by His salvific death and resurrection. There are two poles for the cross, one vertical and the one horizontal. There are two movements in making the sign of the cross, namely one vertically downwards from forehead to the chest and one horizontally sidewise from the left shoulder to the right. The forehead is seen as heaven, where the Lord is seated at the right hand side of the Father. Also the forehead is the place where noble thoughts and divine instincts in humans rest. The chest is where the heart remains and the heart is depicted as the seat of emotions. Emotions are seen as those relating to the world and worldly, which can have evil traits in it. Therefore the vertical motion symbolizes that the second person of the Holy Trinity descended from heaven to the world, where the sinful humans live, who did not recognize the divine presence in it (Jn 1: 9,10). It was these sinful humans, who were inheritors of hell that He made inheritors of heaven, the Kingdom of God and that action is depicted by the movement from left shoulder to the right, which we see in Jn 1: 29, the witness that John the Baptist gives, namely, “Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. This act is the sign of the cross and this very act is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news from heaven, the Christ-message (cf. Acts 15:7) that St. Paul always affirmed. When we observe the feast of the holy cross, we have to understand that the Old Testament and the New Testament have together affirmed the holy cross as the instrument with which our Lord has penned salvation to the world and humans, which the Holy Church always has affirmed and will do for ever too.