Did not anybody answer the question? I didn't feel like reading the whole thread. I have the answer as to what the father, son, holy ghost, ritual is used for but do not want to say as to avoid being redundant.
Please, tell us. With the answers we've gotten, so far, I doubt you'll be redundant.
Some of the things we've said:
~It confirms you're one of "the club".
~It's a case of instilled OCD.
~It's a "holy" good-luck charm.
~It solves nothing, adds to nothing, doesn't change the person or the world.
~Something one does before starting a prayer, although many people do it as a substitute for actually saying a prayer.
~It depends on denomination. It's somewhat contextual too.
~It's a general purpose mini ritual. Petitioning god for assistance or at least asking for divine permission to succeed independently.
~And people do the sign of the cross because: The magpie is always watching!
I think you should take the time to find out who said what so that you can get to know each of us a little bit better. There's some hilarious stuff as well.