The Sign of the Cross  

We make the Sign of the Cross by touching:

  1. Our Head,
  2. Then our Heart,
  3. Then our RIGHT Shoulder
  4. And then our Left Shoulder.

Then we make a bow. (We generally always make a bow when crossing ourselves.)

The entire gesture is called a “Reverence”.

We touch the Right Shoulder first (i.e. before the left) in order to symbolize Christ, Who sits at the Right Hand of God. This is the most ancient manner of making the Sign of the Cross, a practice not only used by Byzantine Christians, but also preserved by Church which has retained the most primitive and original liturgical rites – the Great Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East (which uses the Chaldean rite).

We make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand held thus:

  1. The first three fingers together (symbolizing the Oneness of the 3 Persons of the All-Holy Trinity.
  2. The remaining two fingers are tucked down into the palm.These 2 remaining fingers represent the 2 Natures of the Christ [Divine and Human]. The placing of these 2 fingers down into the palm symbolizes the descent of the Word into our world, i.e. the Holy Incarnation.