Do you bless yourself?

Curious if readers make the sign of the cross. Some Christians bless themselves during prayer at meals, upon entering a church, when in danger, when receiving holy Communion, etc.

Do you make the sign of the holy cross in the traditional Western Church way [head, heart, right shoulder, left shoulder] or Eastern Church [opposite shoulders], trace the cross over your own heart, bless yourself with little crosses on the forehead, lips and heart at the reading of the holy Gospel? Is the custom of blessing oneself “too catholic” for some Christians?

I do. Didn’t till my senior year of college (about 2 years ago). I felt so weird when i first started but now I’ve come to realize how great of a reminder it is. I grew up in a staunch reformed church. Since college i have started going to an anglican church.

No, I don’t 'bless" myself with “the sign of the cross”…I see no reason for it. To me “blessing oneself” especially when “facing danger” or passing a site seems too…“hex sign” like.

I don’t do it because it is “too Catholic”…I don’t do it because I see no reason for it, nor do I see any benefit spiritually for me…that’s not to say others may find a spiritual significance to it…but I do not.

Yes. I always have. I have been doing it for years.

Of course, using the Western method.

I’ve always thought of it as a Catholic tradition.

It is not a magic sign to ward off evil, but a physical but silent mini-creed.

And I’ve always found a poorly done one, especially in a play or movie, to be irrationally annoying.

We (some of us, that is) make the sign of the cross when passing a Catholic Church because the Eucharist is reserved in the tabernacle there. We also make the sign of the cross when passing a cemetery as an intercession for the souls whose bodies lie there.

I have done it since about 2 - 3 years old. At prayer, at Mass, entering and leaving home, Church. I do the Gospel blessing of the 3 crosses (forehead, lips and heart). I do it when I pass a Church in my car. I do it when I hear the siren of an ambulance. It is a part of my life, and is a prayer in itself. Don’t know what the “Western”/“Eastern” differences are, though I recognize they are done differently. I do: forehead, heart, left shoulder, right shoulder. Learned it very young from my Great-Aunt, the only Catholic in my family. Have used it ever since, especially when I pray. (before and after my prayer times) I also have Holy Water at home, and bless myself when leaving the house to drive. Old habit and a comforting one, as I accompany such a blessing with a short prayer for help, protection, etc.

Its one of the nicest Catholic traditions we have, what I feel I am saying is " I believe in you Lord and your Resurrection " will always do when I think its needed, passing a Catholic Church, a funeral, at Mass, at Confession, before an Exam, etc.

:thumbsup: for tradition.

Yes, I learned at St Mary’s in the second grade to make a big sign of the cross and say in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Its how we put ourselves in the presence of God.

Yes, often during worship - invocation, announcement of Holy Absolution , announcement of the Gospel, etc. Also during personal prayer and the like.


We cross ourselves frequently for all the same reasons. In practice, we touch our forehead, navel, left shoulder, right shoulder, and finally heart. We also make the three small crosses before reading the Holy Gospel; and for clergy, a small cross over our heart and lips when reciting the Munda Cor Meum before proclaiming the Gospel.

No doubt it is. For Anglo-Catholics, it is commonplace. At a guess, during an average Mass, I’ll cross myself 12+ times.


In the Orthodox Church, you cross yourself from head, heart, right shoulder, left shoulder…I thought you crossed yourself head, heart, left shoulder, then right shoulder in the Western/Catholic Church…am I missing something? :confused:

You’ve got it right :slight_smile: I make the Sign of the Cross before blessing meals and I do it no matter where I am.

That’s what I thought too! :confused:

The Sign of the cross is the first prayer that most Catholics learn.
It in itself is a prayer.
And, yes we do it all the time in all the above mentioned places.
Interesting side note: recently was eating at Cracker Barrel, made the sign of the cross with my husband and prayed grace. A waitress came over and thanked us for praying before the meal. She said people almost never do that in public, and she was happy to see that people still thank God in public. Was kinda nice. :slight_smile:

The Poster “Publisher” is a Quaker, and they do not follow Catholic traditions. Having grown up until about 7 years old in a town that was at least 1/2 Quaker, their traditions and practices are quite different, although I think they are considered Christian, as far as the Church is concerned. Certainly they behave and live in a very Christian way in their traditions…

For me, it signals the beginning of a time of faith, similar to saying “hello” when answering the phone or door. I do not consider it a “hex” sign or a superstition, just a way of starting a conversation…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit