Right before the reading of the Gospel

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Timmy

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What is the history and meaning behind the signing of the three crosses, on our forehead, lips, and heart, right before the priest reads the day’s gospel passage?
Thank you!
 
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states: “[The Priest] says, Lectio sancti Evangelii (A reading from the holy gospel), making the sign of the cross with his thumb on the book and on his forehead, mouth, and breast, which everyone else does as well.” (GIRM 134) This is an ancient practice that is a sign of veneration of the Gospels.

For more in-depth information see the Catholic Encyclopedia article:
 
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