Is not making the sign of the cross after the Rosary in public a sin?


Ok so I’m a bit scrupulous and I’m able to move past this seeing it as not sinful but I just need some confirmation from fellow Catholics.

Today I was walking in a park saying the Rosary and I was in a quiet area of the park and I was the only one on the road, then a lady came running in my direction and coincidentally I was just finishing my final prayers of the Rosary, I was embarrassed to make the sign of the cross when she could see me so I waited until she passed me to do it.

Now the scrupulous side of me thinks I’ve mortally sinned by denying my faith and MT 10:33 is in my head and I’m having trouble shaking it.

I know I need to get better at making the sign of the cross in public but for right now I just need to know that what I did wasn’t sinful?


Well , Saint Bernadette the young girl from France mentioned to some of the other girls in the convent that blessing yourself is something which isn’t hurried in its manner.

if a person comes along, it might have been rushed or hurried because there was an opportunity for sharing the kindness and charity . plus patience is a good virtue as well.

not recognizing others in the day to day wouldn’t be a good thing, a person could slip or fall for many reasons and an impression of being somewhere else wouldn’t be re-assuring in the general day day.


Mathew 10:33 condemns those who “disown Christ before other men”. Did you do so? I don’t think so. Disowning is a definitive action, you simply did not acknowledge Him publically at this point in time. When we go to a restaurant as a family, we always say the catholic prayer before meals before we eat. But the sign of the cross is typically very muted or even absent. What is the motive: probably not so much embarrassment as not wanting to call attention to ourselves. There is a time and place for everything. One has to be careful even about public prayer, so as not to go against Mt 6:5-6.

Moderation in all things.


Next to anxiety, scruples are the plague of our age. I do hope that you are taking action against them.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had a bit to say on the sign of the cross:

The Sign of the Cross

  The most basic Christian gesture in prayer is and always will be the sign of the cross. It is a way of confessing Christ crucified with one's very body ... To seal oneself with the sign of the cross is a visible and public Yes to him who suffered for us; to him who in the body has made God's love visible, even to the utmost; to the God who reigns not by destruction but by the humility of suffering and love, which is stronger than all the power of the world and wiser than all the calculating intelligence of men. The sign of the cross is a confession of faith: I believe in him who suffered for me and rose again; in him who has transformed the sign of shame into a sign of hope and of the love of God that is present with us. The confession of faith is a confession of hope: I believe in him who in his weakness is the Almighty; in him who can and will save me even in apparent absence and impotence. By signing ourselves with the cross, we place ourselves under the protection of the cross, hold it in front of us like a shield that will guard us in all the distress of daily life and give us the courage to go on. We accept it as a signpost that we follow ... The cross shows us the road of life — the imitation of Christ. . .Whenever we make the sign of the cross, we accept our Baptism anew; Christ from the cross draws us, so to speak, to himself. . .We make the sign of the cross on ourselves and thus enter the power of the blessing of Jesus Christ. We make the sign over people to whom we wish a blessing ... Through the cross, we can become sources of blessing for one another. 
  • Pope Benedict XVI


Perhaps next time you will be a little bolder.
I notice Latin Americans have no problem with publicly crossing themselves. If you watch the upcoming World (Soccer) Cup in Brazil you will notice that most Latin players cross themselves before kicking a penalty (petition) or after scoring (Thanksgiving).

We live in a Godless Age & a Godless society which subtly makes us ashamed of our Faith or any demonstration of it. Perhaps we should take a stand more often & the unbeliever will be amazed at your ‘courage’. However it is not a sin to be discreet- remember Jesus advised folk to go privately into a room & pray to the Father. No need to antagonize the atheists in our midst but it is nice to bear witness sometimes.


if you delayed the sign of the cross so as to overcome the distraction first, then you did right. but you clearly said it was because you were EMBARRASSED to make it; dear that is indeed a sin. we should be proud of our faith and show it out.

a deeper issue is ‘why were you embarrassed?’ you have to examine your mind and evaluate your priorities. 1. what do you think will please other people? 2. What kind of people will it please?


I will politely take issue with above.

Embarrassment is only a word which describes a feeling of shame. How could it be known the shame is to do with the faith, and not a feeling of being out of touch with reality, the day to day life and people in public who deserve to be recognized as surviving human being’s needy and not in any way detached themselves from others ? What has above got to do with charity and love thy neighbor ?

There is no shame told in going to church if asked, no shame told in being a believer. Believers do not lower themselves to billboards but acknowledge the realities and freedom of others, else whats the point in believing anything. Being out of touch with reality is not open to charity, love thy neighbor, and if over done a full insult.

Billboards do not inspire person hood. People need genuine person hood, example and so on, that’s what it is.


I would like to object in the strongest possible terms to the foregoing post. I find it relentlessly obtuse, if not entirely silly.




Have you condemned yourself by denying Christ as your saviour before this woman by not making the sign of the cross? Are we looking at your eternal damnation?
Now let’s get real for a moment. You were quietly adoring your God by saying the rosary in the little personal time we normally have in a hurried world.He loves you for it. You were caught worshiping and did not want to open your beliefs to the world. No sin. You did not actively deny Christ as Peter did and was forgiven. You did nothing more than keeping yourself to yourself. No sin. Most of us have an Anglo-Saxon reserve that is different to other cultures such as Latin Americans. Our comfort space between each other is wider than say in Mexico. These culturally learnt behaviours of reserve are not sins.


thanks for taking out your time to respond. I am truthfully not in a position to judge him: it all boils down to What he meant by EMBARRASSED. we seem to understand the word differently (and possibly differently from what he meant in the first place).

…but {personally} I won’t be ‘embarrassed’ to complete my rosary with a sign of the cross even at the middle of a market. I wear a Sacramental always to be identified as a Catholic just as a soldier would were his camouflage (and by Chrisma I’m a soldier).


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