1. Religion & Spirituality
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Sign of the Cross

The most basic Catholic prayer

By

The Sign of the Cross

A mother teaches her child to make the Sign of the Cross.

Apic/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Since we make the Sign of the Cross before and after our prayers, many Catholics don't realize that the Sign of the Cross is a prayer itself. It should be said with reverence; we shouldn't rush through it on the way to the next prayer.

Using your right hand, you should touch your forehead at the mention of the Father; the lower middle of your chest at the mention of the Son; and the left shoulder on the word "Holy" and the right shoulder on the word "Spirit."

Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, reverse the order, touching their right shoulder on the word "Holy" and their left shoulder on the word "Spirit."

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.