Is the sign of the cross mandatory at the beginning of mass?


I have a question that I have been needing an answer to for a while, and have come up short in my attempts to find such an answer.

In my parish, the priest does not begin mass with the sign of the cross (although my family and I still do it regardless), and it bothers me if truth be told, as I fully believe it is necessary to recite the sign of the cross at the beginning of the mass.

Some clarification would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


While this liturgical abnormality does not invalidate the Eucharist, it is nonetheless illicit to omit the sign of the cross at the beginning of Mass.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

  1. …Once the Entrance chant is concluded, the priest and faithful, all standing, make the Sign of the Cross. The priest says, In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). The people answer, Amen…

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 214 The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church.

Can. 846 §1. In celebrating the sacraments the liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be observed faithfully; accordingly, no one is to add, omit, or alter anything in them on one’s own authority.

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