There are thousands of years of Catholic prayers and traditions, but there are a few that stand out as especially important, powerful, and well-known. Here are some of the most common Catholic prayers:
The Sign of the Cross
Catholics typically begin and end their prayers with the Sign of the Cross. To make the sign of the cross, you start by touching your forehead, then your chest, then left shoulder followed by right shoulder. At the same time you say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” This is a simple way to ask God for protection and blessings!
The Our Father
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he taught them the Our Father. This prayer is also commonly known as The Lord’s Prayer, and it’s one of the most well-known and widely used prayers in the world!
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail MaryThe Hail Mary prayer is a powerful intercessory prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The majority of the Hail Mary is taken from the Gospel of Luke!
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
The Glory BeThe Glory Be is a short prayer that helps you to pray to the entire trinity–the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Apostles’ CreedThe Apostles’ Creed is a statement of the core Catholic doctrine - the Trinity, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the communion of saints. It is often prayed at the start of the rosary and sometimes during Mass.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
The Act of ContritionAt the end of confession, the priest will invite you to say an Act of Contrition. This prayer helps you to express how sorry you are for your sins. If you’re ever in confession and forget how to say this prayer, just ask the priest to lead you through it!
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
My God,I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
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The Guardian Angel PrayerThe Guardian Angel Prayer is a way of asking for the guidance and protection of your guardian angel.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen
The RosaryThe Rosary is an ancient and powerful prayer that leads you through a meditation of different scenes of Jesus’ life like his birth, Crucifixion, and his Resurrection (to name a few!). As you meditate on these scenes, you say other prayers including the Apostles creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Hail Holy Queen, and others. People usually use Rosary beads to help them keep track of the prayers. The beads make the Rosary a physical prayer as well as a spiritual prayer. The simple motion of moving your fingers from one bead to another creates a powerful rhythm. This physical motion and the rhythm it creates add to the soothing of your heart, mind, and soul that praying the Rosary produces. The Rosary has been named one of the most powerful prayers and a favorite of many saints–but don’t just take our word for it! You can learn how to pray the Rosary here!
The Divine Mercy ChapletThe Divine Mercy Chaplet is a powerful way to ask Jesus for mercy and love and was popularized by St. Faustina. People typically use Rosary beads to lead them through a series of prayers, including the Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Glory Be.
Nothing will change your life so completely, absolutely, and forever like learning how to really pray. In prayer we learn who we are and what we are here for, what matters most and what matters least. Through prayer we discover-the-best-version-of-ourselves, and are given the courage to celebrate and defend it in each moment of each day. In prayer we learn how to love and be loved, because we discover that we have been loved, are loved, and will continually be loved by God.
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