On the Two-Fingered Sign of the Cross

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite 1749-1809

The ancient Christians used to make the sign of the Cross with a different configuration of the hand, that is to say, more explicitly speaking, with only the two fingers of the hand, namely, the index finger and the middle finger, as St. Peter Damascene informs us (pg. 642 of Philokalia), where he says that the hand as a whole signifies the single substance of Christ, while the two fingers signify His two natures. But the custom now prevailing among Christians is for the two fingers to be conjoined with the thumb; and with these three together to represent the Holy Trinity… (The Rudder, “The 92 Canons of St Basil the Great,” Canon 91, Footnote 79)

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