By Innocent Anguyo and Juliet Lukwago
Christians should make the sign of cross because it’s a way of asking God to purify their thoughts and actions, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church Cyprian Lwanga has said.
“When we touch the face, we ask the Lord to bless our minds; when we touch the chest, we ask Lord to bless our hearts; and when we touch the arm, we ask Lord to bless the work we do so that we can effectively sustain ourselves,” narrated Lwanga.
Lwanga said Christians therefore need to make the sign of cross whenever necessary since they all need God’s blessing to effectively pursue their endeavors. He further noted that the sign of the cross has a great bearing on making righteous actions.
“Is it only the Catholics and the Orthodox (they make sign of cross) who want their minds and hearts to be purified by God? We all need his (God) blessing to work effectively and that is why we must make the cross,” Lwanga said.
Archbishop Lwanga further noted that the cross signified the victory of Jesus Christ over death, after shedding his blood to take away the sins of the world.
“We (all Christians) should actually be making the sign of the cross but some of us are not doing so because of division,” said Lwanga.
The Archbishop was speaking at Rubaga Cathedral during a service organized to mark the end of the Ecumenical Week.
Activities during the week were organized under the auspices of the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), a body that brings together the Ugandan Christian denominations of Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox.
The Ecumenical week, which is largely regarded as the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” is an international prayer period observed annually between January 18 and January 25. It is an observance lasting eight days.
This year’s Ecumenical celebrations were launched at Orthodox Church’s St Paul’s Cathedral Namungoona, located in the outskirts of Kampala. The year’s theme was, “Has Jesus been divided?” picked from the book of First Corinthians.
Bishop Edward Muhima, the former Prelate of Kigezi North Diocese, then representing Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, noted that the activities of the week were a manifestation that Christians in Uganda are beginning to realize that they belong together.
“Whether you are an Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, or Adventist, we all serve the same God,” said Muhima.
UJCC Executive Secretary Fr. Sylvester Arinaitwe said unlike in the past when prayers for the Ecumenical week alternated in the city parishes of the participating churches, this year’s prayers were undertaken in the cathedrals.
The “Week of Prayer for Christianity” is an agreed upon activity in the global Christianity family.
Documents for the week are prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Archbishop Lwanga challenges Christians on sign of the cross