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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
Sign of the Cross
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by Lori Andrada

TITLE:  Sign of the Cross

Age: 3+

Doctrinal Content:

  • The cross is the sign of Jesus
  • Prayer is the turning of our whole being (body, mind, spirit) to God, deepening and strengthening our connection, drawing us ever closer.
  • Praying in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we confess/affirm that we belong to God
  • God is one, and three persons in that one:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and this is a mystery we can never plumb


Direct Aim:  To introduce the gesture of the sign of the cross as the sign of Jesus, demonstrating how to make it on one’s body as prayer


Indirect Aims:

  • To offer an aid to prayer
  • GPL
  • To prepare for the intimate closeness of the Good Shepherd
  • To prepare for future Eucharistic presentations
  • To introduce gesture as a (prayer) language unto itself
  • Education to wonder
  • (with older children) to begin to explore the mystery of the Holy Trinity


Who and When:  This can be done with a group of children around the altar in the atrium or in church.  It can also be done with a single child who isn’t currently engaged in work in the atrium.   It can even be done anywhere in the atrium; if the altar is currently being used, the basket of crosses and any workspace can be a jumping-off point for this presentation.


Presentation:  I want you to think about the altar and how we set it up.   What are some of the things we put on the altar?


Which one of those things tells us whose meal it is?  (The crucifix.)


Would you like to get the crucifix?


We call the shape of the crucifix the cross.  There is a way that we can bring the cross very close to us.  Watch.  (Demonstrate the sign of the cross.)


It’s so close it even touches us.  Now you can make that sign.  (Move next to the child and show him/her how to make the sign of the cross, then make the sign of the cross together.)  Use this hand.  (Show the child/children which hand to use.)


Older children:  There are words that we can use when we make the sign of the cross on ourselves.  Here are the words:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Children’s Work:

  • Mount a mirror on the wall or on a door.  Put four numbers at child standing height.  You can also mount the words next to the numbers.
  • Keep a basket of crosses and crucifixes in the atrium for the children to explore.   

CGS Level 1 Catechist Training