Why Catholics Bless themselves when entering a church

Some of my favorite things about reading the Bible are the “A-ha!” moments when I realize why we do or believe something. I had one of those yesterday while doing the Office of Readings. We finished up Exodus yesterday, and yesterday’s Scripture reading was Ex 40: 16-38, which describes Moses, Aaron and Aaron’s sons preparing to enter the “Dwelling” of the tent that served as the meeting place, where Moses and the priests would meet with God while wandering the the desert. Verses 30-23 state:

[Moses] placed the laver between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it for washing.

Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet there,

for they washed themselves whenever they went into the meeting tent or approached the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Just as Moses and the priests needed to clean themselves physically before entering before the presence of God, so too, do we Catholics bless our selves (to cleanse ourselves spiritually) before entering a Church, where Christ is present in the tabernacle.

The more I read the Bible, the more and more I realize how Scripturally based the Church truly is and how truly Catholic the Bible is. You can’t have one without the other.