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#398129 08/15/13 10:19 PM
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What does it mean when I see a "+" in front of someone's name? At first I thought maybe it was an indicator to show the person has passed away, but I've seen it used on living bishops, too. I realize the "+" sign is likely a representation of the Cross.

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A cross (+) in print is usually an indication that the Sign of the Cross is to be made.

In liturgical books, or prayer books, you may see a + used to indicate that the celebrant is to bless.

When placed before the name of a layperson, it indicates that the person is deceased. This probably stems from the custom of making the sign of the Cross at the mention of the departed.

If a bishop signs his name with a cross, it is his way of bestowing a blessing upon the recipient(s) of the letter.

Fr. David

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Bless, Father David!

Some lay Orthodox friends of mine like to place a three-bar Cross at the top of their letters and notes to me and then "sandwich" their signatures on same between two three-bar Crosses.

I like that, but not if it appears to imitate how the clergy sign their letters.

How may a layperson place a Cross on correspondence?

Also, does a priest place a Cross before his signature and a bishop after it?

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

Alex

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The same useage within liturgical Lutherans and Anglicans, with the augmentation that a double cross (++) is placed before the name of the Presiding Bishop or Archbishop...perhaps to distinguish rank as in one star vs. two star generals.

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Thanks for the responses!


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