The Sign of the Cross is a Catholic tradition and a simple prayer on its own. There is a correct way to make the Sign of the Cross and specific times to do the Sign of the Cross. Father George answers all this and discusses the Catholic tradition of making the Sign of the Cross.
The Correct Way To Make The Sign Of The Cross
How Do We Make the Sign of the Cross?
We touch our forehead and say, “In the name of the Father,” then move down to the middle of our chest, saying “and of the Son,” and our left then right shoulder stating “and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
Our moving down from our forehead to our chest recalls the incarnation of Christ, his coming down from heaven. Moving from left to right symbolizes moving from the curse to the side of blessing, or from Hades to Paradise.
If we hold three fingers together while making the sign of the cross, they symbolize the trinity, and the two other fingers together represent Christ’s two natures, that he is fully man and fully divine. If we use an open hand with all five fingers extended, we express an openness to Christ and symbolize his five wounds.
More Resources On The Sign Of The Cross
“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our eal made with boldness by our fingers…on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are on the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor’s sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor.”
– St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315-386