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Samuel Donahue wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • I was wondering, what is the proper way to make the Sign of the Cross?

The answers I have found through Google vary. Some say touch your left shoulder first, while others say the opposite.



  { What is the proper way to make the Sign of the Cross? }

Paul replied:

Hi. Samuel —

You touch your forehead, abdomen, left shoulder, than right shoulder.

Maybe other traditions do it differently, but that the Catholic form.


Eric replied:

Hi, Sam —

Eastern Christians (Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic, perhaps others) do it by bundling their first three fingers in a triangle to represent the Holy Trinity, with the last two fingers together against the palm, making the sign of the Cross from the right shoulder to the left shoulder.


Mike replied:

Hi, Sam —

For those unfamiliar with making the Sign of the Cross, I just wanted to elaborated on Paul and Eric's answer. As Paul said, the Catholic way is:

  1. You touch your forehead saying, In the Name of the Father
  2. You touch your abdomen saying, In the Name of the Son, and
  3. You touch your left shoulder, than right shoulder, saying In the Name of the Holy Spirit.

To add to Eric's answer, it's my understanding that Eastern Christians believe the last two fingers held against the palm of the hand represent the two natures of Christ:

  1. Divine, and
  2. Human.

You can't help but admire the deep theological symbolism that Eastern Christians make the Sign of the Cross.

Hope this helps,


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