The Correct Way To Make The Sign Of The Cross

by Catholic Church, Mass, Prayer

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 how to make the Sign of the Cross as well as discusses the Catholic tradition of making the Sign of the Cross in this week’s Catholic-Link YouTube video.

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 How To Make 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

“The illusions of this world soon vanish, especially if a man arms himself with the Sign of the Cross.

The devils tremble at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord, by which He triumphed over and disarmed them.”

– St. Anthony the Abbott

“The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the devil.”

– St. John Vianney

“When, then, you make the sign of the cross on the forehead, arm yourself with a saintly boldness, and reinstall your soul in its old liberty; for you are not ignorant that the cross is a prize beyond all price.”

-St. John Chrysostom

“Let the sign of the cross be continually made on the heart, on the mouth, on the forehead, at table, at the bath, in bed, coming in and going out, in joy and sadness, sitting, standing, speaking, walking in short, in all our actions. Let us make it on our breasts and all our members, that we may be entirely covered with this invincible armor of Christians.”

-St. Gaudentius

Why Do Catholics Make The Sign Of The Cross?

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