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Sign of The Cross

The act done by both clergy and people of reproducing the shape of the cross of Christ with the general idea of recalling that from Christ's death the grace of God flows to the church. In services of baptism and confirmation, from early times the priest or bishop has made the sign of the cross as part of the giving of God's blessing to the candidates. Also, in worship the priest gives God's blessing while making the sign of the cross in front of himself. Ordinary worshipers are taught to make the sign of the cross as they enter churches and during certain services. The traditional way is to take the right hand from forehead to the center of the chest, then from shoulder to shoulder, and then back to the center of the chest. In the West, the crossing of the chest is from left to right, and in the East from right to left.