why do we make sign of the cross

The sign of the cross is closely tied to baptism. Jesus told the apostles, БGo therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy SpiritБ (Mt 28:19). The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that when Catholics are baptized Бthe sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the Redemption Christ won for us by his crossБ (CCC 1235).

Thereafter, each time we make the sign of the cross we remember that we belong to Christ. The Christian begins his day, his prayers, and his activities with the sign of the cross: БIn the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Б The baptized person dedicates the day to the glory of God and calls on the SaviorБs grace which lets him act in the Spirit as a child of the Father.

The sign of the cross strengthens us in temptations and difficulties. (CCC 2157)
The first prayer that most parents teach their children is the Sign of the Cross. This ancient gestural prayer customarily begins and ends our formal prayer, from grace before meals to the ChurchБs principal prayer, the Mass. According to the 1911 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, the ancient origin of the Sign of the Cross is unclear, but its form has evolved over time: It s now a large gesture rather than a small one; uses three fingers instead of two, and goes from left-to-right instead of right-to-left.

What has remained largely unchanged is the meaning of the gesture. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are united to his passion death and resurrection. б We take the sign of his cross on to our own bodies.

This central symbol of our faith becomes the beginning point of our prayer, and its conclusion. ItБs how we place boundaries in time and space that say, БNow IБm praying; this time belongs to God. Б Our actual words, БIn the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,Б reflect this delineation of sacred time and space, and recognize that all we are and all we do is connected to the mystery of the Trinity.

In addition to beginning and ending prayer, the Sign of the Cross is used at other times as well, for example, when receiving a formal blessing, receiving absolution, and entering a church and blessing oneself with holy water. Generally speaking, itБs appropriate to make the Sign of the Cross any time you hear the words, БIn the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Б