Sign of the Cross

Signum Crucis Sign of the Cross
In nómine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
SPOKEN IN LATIN by Richard Poe
SUNG IN LATIN by Richard Poe

How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Roman Catholics make the Sign of the Cross in the following way: Open your right hand, with all four fingers extended. Using your right hand, touch your fingertips to your forehead, your heart, your left shoulder, then your right shoulder.

When touching your forehead, say, “In the name of the Father…” When touching your heart, say, “…and of the son…”. As you touch your left shoulder, then your right shoulder, say, “and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” See the diagram and video below:

When praying the Rosary, it is customary to hold the Crucifix in your right hand as you make the Sign of the Cross. Touch the Crucifix to your forehead, breast, left and right shoulder as you sign, then kiss the feet of the Crucifix after finishing the Sign of the Cross. See the video below:


Musical score and Latin text:
Liber Cantualis, (Sable-sur-Sarthe, France: Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, 1983), 15

English text:
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Città del Vaticano; Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2005), Appendix A: Common Prayers

Speaking and singing voice (except where otherwise indicated):
Richard Poe

“Holy Ghost” vs. “Holy Spirit”

Nowadays, the term “Holy Spirit” is preferred over the older expression “Holy Ghost.” This is because people in modern times tend to think of “ghosts” as spirits of the restless dead.

In centuries past, the word “ghost” had no such fearful connotation. It was simply the English equivalent of the Latin word “spiritus” and referred to any sort of spirit — good, bad or indifferent — including the Holy Spirit of God.

Wherever possible, I try to keep old traditions alive, and so favor the use of “Holy Ghost” in my private devotions. It derives from Old English “halig gast“, as in, “on naman Fæder and Suna and þæs Hálgan Gástes. Soþlice.”.

The words bring back warm memories of my childhood. My mother taught me to say “Holy Ghost” in my prayers. The term “Holy Ghost” appeared in the New Saint Joseph’s Children’s Missal presented to me on the occasion of my First Communion in 1967.

In fact, “Holy Ghost” was the accepted standard in the Church for generations. See these references:

“Holy Spirit”

Compendium (CCCC), 2005, Appendix A: Common Prayers

“Holy Ghost”

Rev. John F. Sullivan, The Externals of the Catholic Church: Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacramentals, and Devotions (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons; 1917), Imprimatur, John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of NY, August 24, 1917: The Sign of the Cross (go here or here) (download pdf)

“Holy Spirit” vs. “Holy Ghost”

See Wikipedia.