How to Bless a Cross

Two Methods:Blessing the CrossUsing a Blessed Cross

Anyone may conduct a blessing over a cross, but understand that the blessing is a plea to God, not a guarantee of any effect. In many Christian traditions, a priest or other ordained church leader may conduct a formal blessing over a cross before displaying it in the church or using it in church ceremonies.

Method 1
Blessing the Cross

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    Choose a cross or crucifix. A plain cross consists of only the shape of the cross, while a crucifix also has an image of Christ on the cross. Either can be blessed, but only the crucifix is used in most official Catholic and Orthodox ceremonies. Protestants typically prefer the bare cross, not the crucifix.
    • Many variations on the cross and crucifix exist, with different numbers and types of crossbars, and the appearance or lack of various letters. If you belong to a church, you may wish to ask your priest or minister what type of cross your denomination uses.
    • Some crucifixes include a skull beneath Christ's feet, representing the bones of Adam. This is more common in Catholic tradition, but is not required or banned by most denominations.
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    Consider having a priest or other religious leader bless the cross. In many churches, including the Catholic church, a blessing from a priest, deacon, or other church leader is considered to be more effective than a layman's blessing. For a small cross, such as one you would wear around your neck, the blessing used is up to the priest.
    • One possible Catholic blessing: "May this cross and the one who uses it be blessed, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."[1]
    • One possible Orthodox blessing: "O Creator and Author of mankind, Giver of spiritual graces and Bestower of eternal salvation: Do Thou, the same Lord, send down Thy Holy Spirit, with a blessing from on high, upon this cross, that, fortified by the might of heavenly protection, it may be potent unto bodily salvation and succor aid aid, unto all who shall desire to make use of it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."[2]
    • For more information on the difference between a priest's blessing and another person's, see the section on using the blessed cross.
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    Bless the cross yourself. Blessing the cross yourself may not carry the same effect as a priest's blessing, but anyone may plea to God to bless their cross or other object. You may recite any prayer while doing so, for instance one of the following:
    • Lord, bless this Cross that it may be an instrument of Your Divine Mercy in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
    • Bless this Cross in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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    For a publicly displayed Catholic cross or crucifix, have a priest recite the official blessing. While the Bible does not include any rituals for blessing the cross, the Catholic church has created a collection of official rituals called the Rituale Romanum. Here is a solemn blessing intended for crosses for display, such as on the wall of a church:[3]

Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Priest: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Priest: Let us pray. Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, be pleased to bless this cross, that it may be a saving help to mankind. Let it be the support of faith, an encouragement to good works, the redemption of souls; and let it be consolation, protection, and a shield against the cruel darts of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Priest: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, bless this cross by which you snatched the world from Satan's grasp, and on which you overcame by your suffering the tempter to sin, who rejoiced in the first man's fall in eating of the forbidden tree.

(Priest sprinkles the cross with holy water)

Priest:May this cross be hallowed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; and may all who kneel and pray before this cross in honor of our Lord find health in body and soul; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

(After the recitation, the priest kneels before the cross, venerating and kissing it. Others may do the same.)

Method 2
Using a Blessed Cross

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    Understand sacramentals. In official Catholic practice, and in most other denominations, sacramental objects are most commonly created by God through the church, not through laymen. Sacramental objects, also called minor sacraments in the Orthodox tradition, potentially have similar, but not identical, effects, as the sacraments, which are rites of extreme importance to the church. Even within the same denomination, experts disagree on how effective sacramentals are, but according to some theologians, a cross blessed by a priest may be able to ward off evil or forgive venial (slight) sins.[4]
    • Protestant denominations have fewer official sacraments, and often avoid using the term.
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    Understand the nature of a blessing without a priest. An unordained person is welcome to conduct blessings, but these are pleas to God, not the ordained creation of a sacramental object. There are no guarantees that the cross will become holy, or consecrated. It may not be suitable for use in church ceremonies until it has received an official blessing by a church leader.
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    Wear small crosses or crucifixes with respect. The Catholic church doesn't give mandatory instructions for how to wear a small cross. Wear it as you like, but treat it with reverence. Do not wear it as a fashion statement or jewelry. Catholics are discouraged from wearing the cross in a manner that causes scandal or offense, even if you do not consider it disrespectful.[5]
  4. Image titled Bless a Cross Step 8
    Learn how to dispose of an old cross. A cross loses its blessing if it is sold for a profit, or if it is substantially broken. If it hasn't been broken, you may have the cross blessed a second time. If you are disposing of it instead, melt or break it into pieces to remove the appearance of a cross. You may use the melted metal for another purpose, or bury the pieces to return it to the earth.


  • Many blessings originated in another language, usually Latin, and may have multiple English translations. You may recognize a blessing but be used to a slightly different wording; feel free to use the version you are accustomed to, as long as the meaning is not changed.
  • The Catholic "Rituale Romanum" also contains an alternate, longer blessing for a publicly displayed cross.


  • A Catholic cross cannot be officially blessed during Ash Wednesday, the three days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, or on All Souls Day.[6]

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