Is it okay to cross myself with my left hand?

Hello, I was wondering if it is okay to cross myself, or bless myself with holy water, with my left hand, since I’m left-handed? When I was very young and Vatican 11 was just being implemented I was servely reprimanded by my Nuns-Teachers for using my left-hand, since then I’ve heard “here and there” that I might be alright since it is my dominant hand.
Thank you, leeray

Yes, it’s permissible. I have an injury that prevents my right arm from being able to perform the last part of the sign of the cross & my priest said it was fine.

Well if you have an injury preventing you from doing it with your right then it alright.

The left has been associated with evil in the past e.g. the Latin word ‘sinister’, meaning left.

I’m left-handed, but I cross myself with my right. It’s not hard to do; it’s a simple motion.

Now, playing a guitar right-handed if you’re a ‘citeog’ (left-handed, in Gaelic), that’s tricky.

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Check out 1 Sam 16:7:

…"[M]an looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

Apparently the term “man” includes nuns.


For those who have an injury or physical handicap, yes, it’s permissible. Even for priests. Bur, for those who are simply “left handed” it’s not. Being left-handed is not an injury nor is it a physical handicap.

Doesn’t matter. It’s a superstitious notion and tradition that people do. Thing is, God doesn’t care. Follow His commandments. Repent. Trust Christ. You’re little rituals don’t save you.

God bless

Look, just because you are frustrated and you are having trouble doesn’t mean you need to take it out on us. The sign of the cross is a prayer in itself. It is a devotion to the Trinity. It is commonly used to fight off danger or temptation. All prayer is good, and the sign of the cross is a very good one. It’s not a “superstitious notion”. And tradition is good, which the Bible teaches quite clearly. Pray for inner peace my brother, and quit trying to insult Christ’s Church.

As for the original post, yes. If you have a legitimate reason, don’t worry about it. Of course, the proper way to do it is with the right hand, but again, if there is a real reason, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Michelle Arnold answered a similar question on the Ask An Apologist forum:

Do you have a right hand?

Can you use it?

Then you can make the Sign of the Cross with it.

Unless someone can point to a rule, regulation, or other means of determining the licitness of the issue, which hand we use is simply a custom. and customs do not have the weight of law; it is like which knee you bend to genuflect. Custom has us using the right knee.

It is disconcerting to see someone use the other hand or other knee to do what we customarily do; it “looks” wrong.

I attended a Mass in which the priest was obviously very left-handed. It was disconceting to see him make the Sign of the Cross left-handed, but he had nothing to be picked at other than that he did that, and when he raised the Eucharist, he was again obviously left-handed. and anyone who wants to pick at that needs to find something better to do with their time in Mass, like worship God.

If we are going to pick nits, lets find one that amounts to something…

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It’s not nit-picking… It shouldn’t even be an issue… doing the sign of the cross with the right hand when your right hand has no injury shouldn’t be so difficult.

Although there is technically no written “rule” (at least to my limited knowledge) against the use of the left hand by left handed people, they must use the right hand in order to preserve the harmony and unity of the congregation at mass. Mass is not a private event in which each individual is privately isolated from the other in prayer, it is a public event and we are to be united as a congregation in harmony as much as possible. It is important that we avoid scandal even if it be a little one. We should not want to give the impression to right handed people around you that they can break with the custom and use their left hand and cause disunity and distraction. That would be a minor small scandal, but a scandal none the less.

Now, if anyone feels they need to use their left hand due to some impairment of their right hand, I would suggest they do it in the same order as they would with their right hand. They should touch their forehead first, then the center of their chest, then the left shoulder first before crossing over to touch the right shoulder. In this way it would look less odd to others and would preserve the harmony and unity at mass much more. This could help in avoiding scandal to others.

May God bless you

It most certainly is nit picking. And you are obviously not left-handed.

It is a custom. It has a whole lot less to do with faith than it does with the fact that the vast majority of people are right handed.

By that same reasoning, the responses at mass are also custom. So, I guess some feminists and others have license to change the wording privately in the pews and say it out loud so others can hear and stumble? I don’t think so since it destroys the harmony. Indeed some have done so in my parish and it is very distracting and confusing almost making me stumble and err in my own responses. It then distracts me from the mass. What other people do at mass can be infectious to others in that they get tempted to copy and cause disruption. Indeed I often depend on the congregation to sometimes remember the words of the Creed and other prayers, it would not be a good thing if someone decided to intentionally change the wording all of a sudden and throw me off along with them. To do it accidentally and unintentionally is one thing, but to do so deliberately is an immoral liturgical abuse. Liturgical abuses are not committed only by the priests and lay ministers, but also can be committed by some people in the congregation as well.

Ok then do whatever you feel like!!!.. frankly if we have no uniformity at all… or simple little traditions… then why do we have mass…morning prayers… why do we have anything external??? after all doesn’t it just matter what’s in the heart???.? SO maybe we’re just a spiritual religion??? no we believe in the church being the body of christ right??? or maybe not… idk… sorry… if i sound frustrated right now… not your fault… just last tiny tiny straw… that broke the camels back…

AMEN! This is what I would have responded if I didn’t have other things on my mind… :smiley:

Absolutely not.

The Sign of the Cross is traced across the body with the right hand only. To do otherwise is disrespectful to those who taught you the proper rubric, a bad example to children, and offensive to faithful Catholics everywhere.

It is better to refrain from the Sign of the Cross entirely than to show overt contempt for it. There is no exception for rape, incest, life of the mother, global warming. second hand smoke, curvature of the earth, alignment of the planets, or being naturally left handed.

Which I do. I do think that perhaps you are being a bit scrupulous in calling it “scandal”.

Scandal in this sense is as simple as people noticing…

. It doesn’t mean it’s all out there and HORRIBLE!!!