“In the Sign of the Cross, we profess the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith: the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and the saving work of Christ on the Cross. The combination of the words and the action are a creed – a statement of belief.” (catholicism.about.com) Making the sign of the cross is a witness to our faith in the Trinity and in our redemption by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The sign of the cross can also be a prayer in and of itself.
Why do Catholic’s make the sign of the cross when passing a Catholic church/chapel? We do so as a sign of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament inside the Church. We believe that Jesus’ body is really, physically present in the tabernacle (gold box) on the altar. I’ll address this separately in my next post.
Why do Catholics sit, stand and kneel over and over again in church?
I think that you will enjoy this video explanation. It’s clever, informative and brief! With regard to why we stand for the gospel reading, I was also taught that standing is a posture of action – being poised to act. In the great commission (Matthew 28), Jesus tells the apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations… By virtue of our baptism, we are called to do the same. We stand for the gospel poised for action – to go and share the good news!