Sign Of The Cross Problem


Hi. I’m sure you don’t remember me but I posted over a year ago and was having trouble being scrupulous about praying the rosary and saying prayers perfectly.

Well I’m happy to say I’m over that BUT I have one more issue with praying the rosary. I’m being scrupulous about making the sign of the cross completely and correctly in the beginning. I worry if I didn’t make it right then the rosary won’t count.

I know I’m wrong thinking these things but I’d just like some reassurance.

  1. If I don’t make the sign of the cross completely or correctly at the start, does my rosary still count? Like if I somehow forget to touch a spot or miss and not realize it.

  2. If I get distracted by anything when making the sign of the cross; do I have to start over? Like if something random pops into my head. I don’t mean a “bad thought” that people with OCD talk about I just mean anything because I can be kinda ADD at times lol. Does my taking attention away from the sign of the cross mean I should start over?

Thanks! I basically know the answers to these questions, but I’d really appreciate the reassurance.


The Rosary is a prayer, not a magic spell. God will know that you are doing your best. Don’t worry about making mistakes.



You do not need to make the gesture, just say the words.


Thanks! It helps a lot. :slight_smile:



Really? I read somewhere that you didn’t have to say the words only make the gesture lol. It was something from the 1800’s I think from a Pope.

Also I kind of have to ask this now but I suppose it’s also OK if I don’t say the words right, correct? I only ask because I had been telling myself that the most important thing was the gesture; not the words per what I had read.


The rosary is a private devotion. People pray it “generally” in a certain way, but many folks add prayers according to their local custom.
Don’t worry about this. No prayer is ever in vain. I think you know this.


Nothing you’ve mentioned will invalidate the rosary. Additionally, praying the rosary is better than not praying it. I sometimes pray the rosary while driving to work, it’s a great blessing even though I must pay attention to my driving.


same here

to the OP: do the best you can and try not to get hung up on trivial details

mother mary knows what is in your heart

just keep praying the rosary


As stated, the Rosary is a prayer. And the MOST important thing about any prayer is intention, not rubrics. The rubrics can add to the prayer by making it public and visible but don’t validate it or invalidate it. Keep in mind that the Sign of the Cross is a prayer in itself, and the body motion (rubric) makes it visible.

I would recommend you read the short book by St. Francis de Sales titled, “Sign of the Cross.” I found it fascinating. And a quick read. There’s even a Kindle version. It will give you historical perspective and deeper insight to this most basic of Catholic prayers.


If a prayer must be PERFECT to “count,” then that would mean that many children’s prayers are done in vain…do you believe that? Do you think Jesus will look at my 7 year old son who consistently forgets or adds words or gets distracted and say, “Well, that was a waste! He mispronounced ‘thou!’”

Of course not. And what’s really the difference between adults and children? We all make mistakes and get distracted. God doesn’t care. He’s just happy that we’re talking and worshipping him. :smiley:


Making The Sign of the Cross is not a “must” but if you remember that this sign reminds us that we belong to Christ, you would want to pay attention while doing it and so do it properly. It is a prayer on its own.


Just take your time. Don’t hurry and don’t worry.


You are worrying over nothing.

Padre Pio once said that if he had to start the Rosary again from the beginning every time he got distracted he never complete one Rosary during his lifetime.


I believe that!


Prayer isn’t computer programming where everything has to be correct down to the last semicolon or it fails. There no such thing as prayer that “counts” versus prayer that doesn’t. It’s a conversation. You wouldn’t think that your conversation with a friend didn’t “count” because your grammar wasn’t 100% perfect, or because you slightly mispronounced a word. Just pray and don’t worry.


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