Is it ok for a non Catholic to make the sign of the cross

I was just wondering is acceptable for a non Catholic to make the sign of the cross at mass? I’m not Catholic but when I was little my stepmom taught me to cross myself after prayers and such, and since I’ve been recently attending mass, I was wondering if it was ok for me to do so there too. Also, she taught me to make the sign with my right hand, and to put my thumb and ring finger together and then hold my index and middle fingers together. I’ve noticed that some people at mass do it a little differently, is the way she taught me ok to do? She passed away when I was around 12 so maybe I started doing it different from what she taught me over the years.



It’s fine.

just as long as no one shows them our secret handshake… :slight_smile:

Catholics are not the only ones to use the sign of the cross and it’s perfectly OK for a non-Catholic to make the sign at Mass. I was taught to make the sign of the cross with a flat hand rather than with joined fingers but it’s the symbol of the cross that matters, not the shape of the hand during the sign.

I am not sure, but, I think that Anglicans also make the sign of the Cross. During Princess Diana’s funeral, Princes Charles, William and Harry, and her brother, Earl Spencer, made the sign of the Cross behind the gun carriage carrying her casket.

Yes, Anglicans do. So too, Methodists (not all but some) and Lutherans.

The Greek Orthodox make the sign of the cross as well- although they do it backwards.

I thought that they used their left hand instead of the right. That would make it reverse.

Absolutely. Anybody who makes the sign of the cross, regardless of denomination, is stating his/her belief in the Triune God.

The Orthodox variation is different from the Latin rite in that the hand moves from right to left for the Holy Spirit indicating that the Son is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Ligourian had a great article a few months back on the efficacy of the Sign of the Cross as well as differences over time and between denominations, and what those variations mean.

No, they can’t. It’s copyright. That’s why after you put your fingers in a circle (for ©) and kiss them. :smiley:

No, any Christian can make the Sign. A Protestant co-worker of mine started doing it whenever she saw an ambulance, as a form of petition for whoever might be inside – she got that from an Irish Catholic friend, and thought it was a beautiful action.

I think the Good Lord loves it when anyone does it sincerely – it shows we’re thinking of Him.

Yes, it’s absolutely fine. My Aunt always used to do it when she saw a hearse go by.
Other Christians of some denominations also make the sign.:slight_smile:


The Sign is a prayer and anyone can pray to God. He excludes no one from His Mercy.

The way you make the Sign is by reverently tracing your hand from forehead to bosom (“In the Name of the Father…”), and from right shoulder ("…and of the Son…") and to left shoulder ("…and of the Holy Spirit.") The full prayer is “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The reason we trace down while invoking the Father is because He is the Principal of God, the Person from whom the Son is begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds; the reason we trace from the left to the right shoulders is because the Son is the Word of God, the Person who is begotten of the Father and through whom the Holy Spirit proceeds, and the Holy Spirit is the Wisdom of God, the Person who proceeds from the Father through the Son, proceeding from both the First and Second Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity. By tracing the Sign of the Cross, we ask God to give us every grace through the Son in the Holy Spirit, for He creates, redeems, and sanctifies man through His Word in His Wisdom, just as a father commands his son to love his sibling through every word which comes forth from his mouth, in his wisdom.

That’s the Eastern Rite way, isn’t it? We Latin Rite Catholics do it 'forehead, chest, left shoulder, right shoulder.

It is fine for anyone who has a belief in the Trinity, or is at least open to it. An actor portraying a Christian could also do it in that context; otherwise, only Christians could portray Christian behaviors on the stage. We aren’t that strict. And of course it would be admirable for others to join us as a sign of solidarity; for instance, if we were being persecuted. That would be meaningful, as it shows solidarity with us as fellow human beings, across the lines of religion.

Having said that, it would be more respectful if others would refrain from performing the Sign of the Cross as if it were an empty ritual. Some people believe that it hurts nothing to perform a ritual that one has no belief in and no intention to believe in, but it is more respectful of the religion and those who hold it to refrain. One might also scandalize those in one’s own religion, as well. Certainly this should be our stance concerning the rituals of others. If we don’t believe in the ritual, we should avoid performing it without reason.

We would also not invite those of non-Christian religions to join in, particularly their children. To do so puts them in an untenable position.

The Greek Orthodox make the sign of the cross as well- although they do it backwards.

**Actually, Westerners are the ones who make it backwards.


I thought that they used their left hand instead of the right. That would make it reverse.

Where did you get that idea?

Sure, why not.

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