Like with other things. People simply believe that the Syriac-East simply does this the way the Greek-East does it. However this is not the case.
The sign of the cross is done as follows
- The index, thumb and middle finger are all joint together the way it is done in the Byzantine rites. This represents the Trinity. The index finger is slightly ahead of the rest symbolising the One way to heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The cross is drawn from the head to the chest.
- Then left to right, like the Latins and not like the Greeks.
- Sometimes it is a nice gesture to finish by touching the chest once more. I am not sure why this is the case. But it seems that many traditional priests and bishops do this.
This symbolises Christ coming from the glory of heaven (touching of head) to earth (touching chest). To lead us from sin and darkness (left shoulder) to the path of Joy and light (right shoulder)
Through the prayers of the Birth-Giver of God Maryam and Mor Ephrem. God Bless you all.