When do we bow, genuflect and make the Sign of the Cross?


Dear Catholic Answers Panel,
A question, or rather confusion, came up during a bible study discussion regarding when we should bow, genuflect and do the sign of the cross. I have always been taught to genuflect and make the sign of the cross before the Tabernacle, and to bow before the alter. Recently one of the churches in the area has been remodeled and the Tabernacle is no longer located inside the main sanctuary, but behind a wall and off to the side (I think a small chapel). According to one of the members, they are now to genuflect and do the sign of the cross before the alter, and bow before the Tabernacle. Which is correct? Please advise.

In the Two Hearts,


Hi Barb,

We are to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. There is no requirement that we make the Sign of the Cross at that time. Usually we do this with holy water when we enter the church. We bow to the altar when the Blessed Sacrament is elsewhere.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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