The sign of the cross is a prayer gesture in which a Christian depicts a sign on himself, namely the cross, and pronounces God's name, thereby attracting divine grace on himself (or on the one whom he overshadows). To this definition, we can add that the cross must have the proportion of the human body, which, in turn, is close to the "golden ratio".
According to legend, the holy apostles established the bulls to sign themselves with the cross, and since that time not a single prayer has been performed without this sacred rite. In Orthodoxy, there are two types of the sign of the cross: two-fingered and three-fingered (three folded fingers symbolize the Holy Trinity). The two-finger sign was used in Russia until the reforms of Nikon II in the 17th century. This sign is not welcomed by the official church today, but it is not openly condemned either. They won't catch you by the hand in the temple, but you still run the risk of meeting a condemning glance.
To cross correctly, fold your right thumb, forefinger, and middle finger together. Press the two remaining fingers tightly to the palm - this is a symbol of the descent to earth of Jesus Christ and his dual (divine and human) nature.
First, touch the forehead with three fingers - to illuminate the mind, then the abdomen in the solar plexus region (about 2 cm above the navel) - to illuminate the feelings, after - the right shoulder, then the left, which symbolizes the illumination of bodily forces.
After you lower your hand, you need to make a waist bow. If you are baptized outside of prayer, silently repeat: “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen".
You cannot interrupt the sign with premature bows - this is called "breaking the cross." You need to overshadow yourself with the cross at the beginning of prayer, during it and at the end. If you are not sure of the correctness of your own actions, look at the priest or novices.
Do not wave your hands during the sign of the cross, do not be distracted, try to immerse yourself in yourself and your prayer.
Do not baptize others without good reason, it is believed that only a church minister and a close relative can impose a cross, blessing a loved one for something.
Always be baptized when entering the temple, touching the icon, the cross, and at important moments in life, no matter whether they are joyful or sad.