Sign of the Cross


For the past weeks, I’ve been starting to truly appreciate the Holy Cross and really thanking Jesus for his sacrifice. So I was wondering, how were you guys taught to do the sign of the cross? Any special way? I usually do the usual forehead-chest-left shoulder-right shoulder and then I make a mini-cross with my right hand’s thumb and pointer finger and kiss my thumb. It’s supposed to symbolize kissing the cross. I also do the mini-crosses on your forehead, lips, and heart during the Gospel reading during Mass.

The sign of the cross is so awesome because it teaches you three things (and many more possibly):

  1. It reminds you of your baptism.
    2.) It reminds you who you belong to (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.)
    3.) And it’s like the condensed story of Jesus’ life: The motion when making the sign of the cross that goes from forehead to chest depicts the Incarnation, how Jesus descended from heaven. The motion to your left shoulder reminds one of the Passion, how Jesus died and descended into hell. The motion to your right shoulder depicts the Ascension, how Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

I also just remember how I’ve developed a habit of saying: “By the sign of the cross, deliver us from our enemies, O Lord” after I make the sign of the cross. I think I read somewhere that St. Benedict preferred saying that short prayer after crossing himself.


Wow jdc209…great insight!

We truly are blessed when we begin to see the immensity of Christ’s gift of the cross and our Father’s love for us…

We always stuck to the basic forehead, chest, left shoulder, right shoulder. The kissing your fingers to kiss the cross was something that I saw growing up at my parish, but it was mostly the Italian families…I am half Irish and half Polish and no one in my, rather large, family (either side) ever did that. Is it perhaps more prominent among different cultural groups? I would be interested to check into that…beautiful imagery nonetheless.

We begin and end all of our prayers with the sign of the cross, but moreover, we begin and end our days with that sign: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. When you think about it that way, your entire day is a prayer being lifted up to God…you begin to focus a little more about how you live and what you put into that prayer. That simple sign is a powerful tool to keep your days focused in the right direction!





I want to add more about the sign of the cross. When we make the sign of the cross, we proclaim the message of salvation purchased by Jesus on the cross and to keep away from satan and bad spirit. Through this, we acknowledge God and receive the Holy Spirit.
That’s all i want to add. But if i knew more about this, I’ll share what i’ve learned.


God Bless!


I’m gonna have to remember this :slight_smile: I especially love the Benedictine prayer :wink:

Do you have a Crucifix? You can kiss Jesus’ Face, Heart, and Wounds in veneration and in reparation for the offenses and blasphemies committed against Him.


Yep! We live each day by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.


In death, life! In suffering, strength! The Sign of the Cross is the paradoxical message of salvation :slight_smile:

It also drives demons away, because they can’t stand the Grace of God.


Two good reflections on the Sign of the Cross: by Bert Ghezzi by Julie McCarty


Yeah I’ve heard that the kissing of the cross motion is more predominant in cultures that have Spanish influences.

Yup I wear a pardon crucifix everywhere I go. It seems my love for Jesus’ sacrfice on the cross also comes from how my last name is Dela Cruz or de La Cruz meaning “of the cross.” :slight_smile:


The Sign of the Cross is actually one of my favorite prayers. Along with the Prayer to St. Michael, it is my first line of defense against the “wickedness and snares of the devil.”

Whenever I do the Sign of the Cross, I take care to do it reverently. The Sign of the Cross is a powerful prayer, and I really dislike it when people do it really quickly and messy.

I hold my hand in one of two ways:

  1. Four fingers extended, all touching each other. The thumb is tucked into the hand. Palm is facing me.

  2. Pinky and ring finger are tucked into the palm. The thumb touches these, symbolizing the Holy Trinity. The index and middle finger are extending upwards, symbolizing the dual natures of Christ (both fully Divine and fully human). The middle finger is bent slightly down to symbolize His Incarnation and coming down from Heaven.

I really like the info on the Sign of the Cross given at this website:

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