Like most religions, Catholicism has specific prayers that believers say at certain times or on certain occasions. Vocal prayer is an important part of Catholic tradition. It underlines the fact that the Incarnation of God’s Son joined both the spiritual and physical and showed us the way to holiness in both parts of our human nature, joined together. “Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. To his disciples, drawn by their Master’s silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father.” (CCC 2700) When we pray to God vocally, we acknowledge that we are both physical and spiritual beings, and that both parts can and should give praise to God.
The prayers on this page are a part of the beauty of the Catholic faith tradition. They are drawn from Scripture, from the insights of the saints, and ultimately, from the Holy Spirit. “Through a living transmission (Sacred Tradition) within ‘the believing and praying Church,’ the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray,” (CCC 2650), because by ourselves, “we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us.” (Romans 8:26)
These prayers can instruct us, guide us, and our hearts to the graces which God continually invites us to share with him. Reciting a prayer, however, is not the same as praying. In order for these words to become true prayer, they must not only use the breath of our lungs, but also the breath of the Spirit that lives within us.
For those who practice the Catholic faith, the following prayers are important in and of themselves. And, while this list is certainly not an exhaustive one, it will illustrate the different kinds of Catholic prayers that help to form the treasury of prayers in the Church.
Do you have a favorite prayer that you’d like included here? Send it to us by clicking below. We can’t promise to include it, but we’d like to take a look and see if we can fit it in.
Seasonal Prayers for the Winter season
The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception
Each year, the Holy Father asks for our prayers for a specific intention each month. You are invited to answer the Holy Father’s request and to join with many people worldwide in praying for this intention each month.
During December, Pope Francis asks us to pray for Catechists
Allow me to praise Thee, O most holy Virgin Mary, with my personal commitment and sacrifice. Allow me to live, work, suffer, be consumed and die for Thee, just for Thee.
Allow me to bring the whole world to Thee. Allow me to contribute to your ever-greater exaltation, to Thine greatest possible exaltation. Allow me to give Thee such glory that no one else has ever given up to now.
Allow others to surpass me in zeal for Thine exaltation and me to surpass them, so that by means of such noble rivalry, your glory may increase ever more profoundly, ever more rapidly, ever more intensely as He Who has exalted Thee so indescribably, above all other beings Himself desires.
–Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Seasonal novenas can be found on the page containing the Schedule of Services.
Beauty of Winter
God of creation, thank you for the beauty of winter- for snow, icy window panes, evergreen trees, warm coats, sledding, and hot cocoa. Let us enjoy Your creation in all its glory, this winter and always.
– Author Unknown
Christmas Season of Thanks
Dear Lord, don’t let us miss You this Christmas season. Help us to simplify our activities and traditions so we can focus our celebration on Your birth. Thank You for being the Prince of Peace, and I ask You for that supernatural peace to reign in our hearts. Thank You for the simple but life-changing message of Your love for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Work of Christmas Begins
When the carols have been stilled,
When the star-topped tree is taken down,
When family and friends are gone home,
When we are back to our schedules
The work of Christmas begins:
To welcome the refugee,
To heal a broken planet,
To feed the hungry,
To build bridges of trust, not walls of fear,
To share our gifts,
To seek justice and peace for all people,
To bring Christ’s light to the world.
– by Michael Dougherty, a variation on Howard Thurman’s ‘When the Song of the Angels is Stilled’
A Prayer for the Whole Family (Feast of the Holy Family, First Sunday after Christmas)
DEAR Lord, bless our family. Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family. Obtain for him the strength, the wisdom, and the prudence he needs to support and direct those under his care.Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family. Help her to be pure and kind, gentle and self-sacrificing. For the more she resembles you, the better will our family be.
Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family. Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents. Make them more and more like You. Let them grow, as You did, in wisdom and age and grace before God and man.
Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like Yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.
An Epiphany Home Blessing
Lord God of heaven and earth,
you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house
and all who inhabit it.
Fill them (us) with the light of Christ,
that their (our) concern for others may reflect your love.
After the blessing is recited, the initials of the Magi are inscribed upon the doors with the blessed chalk. (The initials, C, M, B, can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “Christ bless this house”.)
Example: 20 + C + M + B + 19
May Christ Jesus dwell with us,
keep us from all harm,
and make us one in mind and heart,
now and forever.
Prayer to Saint John Vianney for the Pastor and the Parish
Saint John Vianney, we pray you to bless and help our pastor so that he may love dearly in this life and be richly rewarded in the next. Obtain for him the grace always to be kind and generous, self-sacrificing and zealous. Watch over the people of our parish, and keep them free from all evils. Help them to be loyal and generous in the support of our pastor.
Help us particularly always to give him the respect and honor due him as a priest. Except for him we should not have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or Your presence among us, or the other sacraments that we so dearly love and need. From his anointed hands we receive the food of our souls, the most precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ From his lips we hear the word of God. By the power given to him our sins are forgiven, and we are given all blessings And it is he who will anoint us when we are dying, and will offer the Holy Sacrifice for us when we are dead. Help us, dear Saint, to see Christ in him, and to cooperate with him in all his work for the good of our souls. Amen.
Rural Life Prayerbook by Alban J. Dachauer, S.J.
Moonless Darkness Stands Between
But the Bethlehem star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: Thou art Holy;
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and always,
Now begin, on Christmas day.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
A Wish for the New Year
Dear Lord, please give me…
A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value, without which the world would be the poorer;
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come.
– Author Unknown
A President’s Day Prayer
We make our earnest prayer:
– that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection,– that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government;
– and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large.
And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all:
– to do justice,
– to love mercy and
– to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.
Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen
Prayer for Brotherhood
Eternal God, out of whose mind this great cosmic universe, we bless you. Help us to seek that which is high, noble and good. Help us in the moment of difficult decision. Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world, a better distribution of wealth, and a brother/sisterhood that transcends race or color.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the Midst of Winter
In the midst of Winter, when the days are cold and wind can pierce remind us of the warmth of your love.
In the midst of Winter, when days are short, dawn comes late, and dusk arrives early remind us that in the darkness your light still shines.
In the midst of Winter, when the flowers of spring still lie hidden in the earth, when leaves are off the trees, and the world can seem bleak
remind us that Easter is but a short time away.
And when in our lives we feel as if we are experiencing a season of winter, reach out to us with the power of your resurrection so that we may feel the warmth of your love and see your light that alone can take away the darkness of our soul.
– Cal Wick
A Winter Intercession
God Our Father, you set the earth on its foundations and all elements of nature obey your command. Help us in this time of trouble; calm the cold and wind that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. And guide us, all those we serve and those who serve us, in the days ahead. In your name we pray, Amen.
-Prayer via the Diocese of Rockford.
Advent Family Prayer
God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your love.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.
– Author Unknown
Christmas Day Table Prayer
Lord God of Life,
together with the beautiful traditions
of decorating the Christmas tree,
of singing carols and giving gifts,
this Christmas dinner is an important part
of our celebration of the birth
of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Come, Lord our God,
and surround our feast day table
as we delight in this joyous season of Christmas.
Gift us in this meal with the taste of happiness
as we savor this coming together
of family and friends.
As sparkling stars and singing angels rejoiced
at the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem,
so may we take great joy
in this our Christmas dinner-celebration.
May You, our God, bless it and us
in Your holy name.
A Valentine’s Day Prayer
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
– Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Our Father (Lord’s Prayer)
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.
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.
Glory Be (Doxology)
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.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again 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 the life everlasting.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
Soul of Christ, make me holy
Body of Christ, be my salvation
Blood of Christ, let me drink your wine
Water flowing from the side of Christ, wash me clean
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Kind Jesus, hear my prayer
Hide me within your wounds
And keep me close to you
Defend me from the evil enemy
And call me at the hour of my death
To the fellowship of your saints
That I might sing your praise with them
for all eternity. Amen.
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
Act of Contrition
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 occasions of sin.
Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.
Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love
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 can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
Act of Hope
O my God, relying on your infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of those whom I have injured. Amen.
Prayers to Mary
O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
or sought thine intercession
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come,
before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy
hear and answer me.
V – The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R – And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
V – Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R – Be it done unto me according to thy word.
V – And the Word was made Flesh.
R – And dwelt among us.
V – Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R – That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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 vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots
Mother of fair love, I look to you.
Take into your hands the ribbon of my life,
and see the snarl of knots that keeps me bound
to sin, anxiety, and hopelessness.
I beg you, Mother, by your powerful intercession
and long fingers of love and grace,
undo the knots in my heart and in my life.
Free me to love as Christ loves.
Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.
Prayers to and of the Saints
Prayer to St. Anthony
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
The St. Francis Prayer
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide. Amen
Prayer to St. Michael
Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Prayer for Our Families
Prayer for our family
We bless your name, O Lord,
for sending your own incarnate Son,
to become part of a family,
so that, as he lived its life,
he would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you, Lord,
to protect and watch over this family,
so that in the strength of your grace
its members may enjoy prosperity,
possess the priceless gift of your peace,
and, as the Church alive in the home,
bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this thought Christ our Lord.
Prayer for a marriage
Heavenly Father, we come before you to thank you for all you have done and continue to do in our lives and marriage. Lord, we come before you on this day, Father, asking for a stronger bond of unity in our marriage covenant.
Lord, we pray that you will give us the power to be a united front for you. Letting nothing come between us.
Assist us, God, to identify and work through everything that is not pleasing to you. So we can continually attain higher levels of unity in our marriage spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Father, we are thankful and happy to see the work of your hands. As we try our best to find your grace daily. We love you and thank you for all of these things.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!”
Prayer for a child
Heavenly Father, I thank you that all good gifts come from you. I thank you that I can trust you for the future of my family. Please guide my child in every step they take. I pray they would know your provision and protection. Make steady their steps I pray. Amen
A Prayer in Gratitude for Our Mothers
Good and Gentle God,
we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women of theory who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life. You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return, not perfectly, but humanly.
Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children.
Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood. Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help when they need it most.
– Author Unknown
A Prayer for Fathers
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.
– Author Unknown
Prayers for Healing
St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Prayer Against Depression
O Christ Jesus,
When all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness,
Give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love and Your Strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power,
So that nothing may frighten or worry us,
For, living close to You,
We shall see Your Hand,
Your Purpose, Your will through all things.
Prayers for the Departed
Prayer for All the Souls of the Dead
O God, You willed that Your Only Begotten
Son, having conquered death, should pass into
the realm of heaven. I pray that all Your
faithful departed servants, who have left
this earthly life, may join Your Son, our Lord
Jesus Christ, and gaze eternally on You,
their Creator and Redeemer, in heaven.
Prayer for the Dead
Loving God our Father,
Your power brings us to life.
Your care guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to the dust from which we came.
Father, those who pass on still live in Your presence,
their lives are changed but do not end.
I plead in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known only to You.
Prayers during the day
O Jesus through the most pure Heart of Mary, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys and suffering of this day, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father the Pope. Amen.
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.
Prayer before meals
Bless us, O Lord
And these Thy gifts,
Which we are about to receive
From Thy bounty,
Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after meals
We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits,
Who livest and reignest, world without end.
Prayer for peace at work
May your love overcome my resentment
May your strength overcome my exhaustion
May your truth overcome deceit
May your hope overcome apathy
May your light overcome darkness
May your wisdom overcome confusion
May your peace overcome my stress
So that I might rise up with a new heart,
With rest and balance
With transformed thoughts
To face the challenges afresh
And bring the beautiful fragrance of your kingdom
Into my workplace.
Short prayers when time is limited
1. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
2. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
3. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
4. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
5. My God, and my all!
6. Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things.
7. Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, on fire with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee.
8. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.
9. Blessed be God.
10. Heart of Jesus burning with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee.