Q: It looks like the Sign of the Cross is omitted when beginning the Order of Conferral of Confirmation outside of mass.
A: I know that this sounds like a pretty stupid answer, but the reason is that it’s not Mass.
The sign of the cross is one of the markers that the community has gathered to celebrate the Eucharist. It is not used to begin every liturgical ceremony.
This is hard for many Catholics to grasp because we begin and end so many prayers with the sign of the cross—even the blessing before meals.
The group revising the Mass after Vatican II had quite a discussion about the sign of the cross at the beginning of Mass. The sign was almost eliminated, but Pope Paul VI personally wanted it there. You can read more about this in my book At the Supper of the Lamb.
So, it’s not that the sign of the cross is “omitted” from the Order of Confirmation without Mass. It was never there.