The Catechism of the Catholic Church is composed of four pillars: the Creed, sacraments, commandments and prayers. If you haven’t yet read the Catechism, we urge you to purchase your own copy and keep it handy for lifelong learning about our Catholic faith.
In particular this page is devoted to the 4th pillar: Catholic prayer.What is prayer? Let’s get our answer directly from the Catechism: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God… Only when we humbly acknowledge that we do not know how to pray as we ought are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer…Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.” (CCC 2559-2560).
On this page you will find traditional Catholic prayers and more at the bottom of this page that include pdf files of more detailed prayers and novenas. We hope you enjoy and utilize these prayers and when in need, don’t hesitate to send us your prayer requests contacting Becky Ready.
Holy Land Prayer Request Link
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
The sign of the Cross which recalls how Christ redeemed us, has accompanied Christianity since the beginning. It was traced on the forehead with a finger of the right hand. The first Christians often used this sign at the beginning of the day, upon entering or leaving their house, or before facing martyrdom.The large Sign of the Cross—in which the right hand moves from the forehead to the lower part of the chest and from the left shoulder to the right has been used since the fifth to sixth century.“We make the Sign of the Cross before prayer in order to recollect and compose ourselves spiritually and to focus our thoughts, heart and will upon God. We make it after prayer so that God’s gifts might remain in us. We make it in temptation, to find strength; in danger, to be protected. It is made when giving blessings so that the fullness of God’s life might penetrate the soul…Do it properly. Take your time, make a large cross, think of what you are doing” (Romano Guardini).
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
They 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.
The Our Father is the prayer taught to us by Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew we read: “In prayer, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray. (Mt 6:7-9).In reciting the Our Father, we give glory to God. We ask him for our needs and for forgiveness of our sins. For an entire night, St. Francis of Assisi was heard saying over and over: “My Father, my All.” Love does not need to use many words!:My Father, I abandon myself to you; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do with me, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all, provided only that your will be done in me and in all your creatures…” (Blessed Charles d Foucauld).
Glory Be to the Father
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Hoy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning
is now and ever shall be
world without end.
The Glory Be to the Father, a formula of praise to the three Persons of the blessed trinity, is a simple development of the Trinitarian baptismal formula: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).We do not know exactly who its author was or when it was introduced into the liturgy. The second part was added in the fourth century. It is historically certain that it was in regular use at the time of St. Benedict during the fifth to sixth century.Believers can use the invocation as a profession of faith.
The Hail Mary
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
The Hail Mary is the most beautiful and well-known prayer addressed by the Christian people to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is divided into two parts. The first is the greeting made by the Angel and St. Elizabeth to our Lady. The second part was added by the Church.The central word is “Jesus,” showing that the Mother’s greatness rests in that of her Son. This idea is well expressed by Dante in Paradiso XXXIII where, through the mouth of St. Bernard, he calls her “daughter of your Son.”In the Hail Mary we greet our Lady and ask her to obtain forgiveness of our sins and a happy death.
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
This is one of the best-known prayers of the Christian Tradition. It is the sign of a pilgrim on the way to the homeland, who feels the need for firm support for the journey. In reciting the Hail, Holy Queen, our spirit is refreshed and our heart begins to trust in the “Mother of Mercy.”The authorship of the Hail, Holy Queen is uncertain. While it is no longer attributed to St. Bernard, the antiphon has been used daily by the Cistercians in their recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours since the middle of the twelfth century.The expression “Mother of Mercy” was a favorite one in Benedictine spirituality.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Eternal rest is an ancient prayer asking God to grant rest, peace and eternal happiness to the souls of the faithful departed by giving them the joy of paradise.
Since the time of the first Christian catacombs the Church has prayed for the dead and remembered them in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Paradise, which is eternal union with God, does not mean isolation. It is based on a perfect “communion of saints,” since in Christ the living intercede for the dead and the dead intercede for the living.
Angel of God
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.
Angel of God, a brief synthesis of ancient prayers, is an expression of the Christian people’s devotion to guardian angels.
In his Rule, St. Benedict reminds the monks that the Divine Office is recited in the presence of God and the angels. St. Thomas Aquinas says that every person, from the moment of birth is given an angel.
The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith” (CCC, no. 328)
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither, deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
The act of Faith—together with the Acts of Hope, Love and Contrition—appeared as a catechetical formula at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The French Revolution (1789) had shocked the world and given birth to an age hostile to Revelation. These formulas, which became part of the Tradition and have come down to our own day, sprang up in order to provide direction for believers.
The Act of Faith is an expression of the believer’s commitment. The certainty of faith surpasses all doubts and conveys trust in God and the Church.
Act of Hope
O Lord God, I hope by your grace for the pardon of all my sins and
after life there to gain eternal happiness
because you have promised it
who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind and merciful.
In this hope I intend to live and die.
Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
In opposition to the eighteenth century Enlightenment, which thought it could solve all of human society’s problems by the light of reason alone, prescinding from God, Christianity offers a hope that does not deceive, “My God, I hope,” means “My God, I expect with certainty.
Act of Love
O Lord God, I love you above all things
I love my neighbor for your sake
because you are the highest, infinite and perfect good,
worthy of all my love.
In this love I intend to live and die.
At a moment in history marked by hatred, terror, violence and war the Church repeatsChrist’s new commandment: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you” (Jn 15:12).
So it was that in the early nineteenth century, many religious congregations sprang up, especially a women’s congregations, whose charism was to perform works of charity.