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Teaching the Sign of the Cross
by Amy Swager
The celebration of every Sacrament includes the Sign of the Cross.
The celebration of every Sacrament includes the Sign of the Cross.

Do you remember being taught how to make the Sign of the Cross? You’ve probably been doing it so long that it’s become second nature. It is important to teach our children the proper way to make the Sign of the Cross, and the following idea is one way to use the teaching of the movements as an opportunity to impart some of the deeper truths of our faith.

In the name of the Father…

Start with the right hand because Jesus sits at the “right hand of the Father,” as we say in the Apostles’ Creed. To sit to the right of the most important person at a gathering is a great honor. Jesus has that seat in Heaven. Then say “In the name of the Father…” and touch your forehead. 

God is our Father. He is the Father of everything. His throne is in heaven, so move your hand to the highest point on your forehead.

…and of the Son…

Next say “and of the Son.” Who is the Son? The Son of God is Jesus. When you say this part, touch your chest in the middle, right where your heart is. You love Jesus and you put him in your heart. With Jesus in your heart, you reach out to others with love.

…and of the Holy Spirit…

The Holy Spirit is God. Through the Holy Spirit we are touched by God the Father and God the Son. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit fill the world with love. The Holy Spirit moves around us and in us and through us. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is so powerful that we can feel the love. When you pray “and of the Holy Spirit,” touch your hand to your left shoulder and sweep right across to your right. This is a way of showing how the Holy Spirit flows around, in, and through you.


Amen is a Hebrew word that means “it is so.” When you say “Amen” at the end of the Sign of the Cross—or any prayer—you proclaim your belief and faith in God. This is a way to praise God, to tell him that you know he is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Many people bring the palms of their hands together in a position of praying when they say “Amen.”

Amy Swager has been blessed with a loving husband (Luke), four sons, three daughters, one grandson, and a growing hunger to know God better. She has taught fourth-grade religious education for two years, currently co-teaches the Confirmation class, and has been active with the youth ministry team at St. Martin of Tours Church in Vicksburg, MI. 

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