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 – Christmas

A Root shall come forth from the stock of Jesse And a Flower shall rise out of his root! And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness. The people that walked in darkness shall see a great light, For a Child is born to us and a Son is given to us. To Him all power shall be given. His Name shall be: Wonderful One, Strong God, Eternal One, Prince of Peace. He shall sit on the throne of David, And He will found a new Covenant which will last for ever and ever. Amen.

In This Holy Season

Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel’s song, for infant’s cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wise men. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.

– Author Unknown

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.

Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine
Let the just rejoice, for their justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, For their saviour is born. Let the captives rejoice, For their Redeemer is born. Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born. Let free men rejoice, For their Liberator is born. Let All Christians rejoice, For Jesus Christ is born. Amen.

I Am There

Now God says to us
What He has already said to the earth as a whole
Through His grace-filled birth:

I am there. I am with you.
I am your life. I am your time.
I am the gloom of your daily routine. Why will you not hear it?
I weep your tears – pour yours out to me.
I am your joy.
Do not be afraid to be happy; ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living
That is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who have no hope.

I am the blind alley of all your paths,
For when you no longer know how to go any farther,
Then you have reached me,
Though you are not aware of it.

I am in your anxiety, for I have shared it.

I am in the prison of your finiteness,
For my love has made me your prisoner.

I am in your death,
For today I began to die with you, because I was born,
And I have not let myself be spared any real part of this experience.

I am present in your needs;
I have suffered them and they are now transformed.

I am there.
I no longer go away from this world.
Even if you do not see me now, I am there.

My love is unconquerable.
I am there.
It is Christmas.
Light the Candles! They have more right to exist then all the darkness.
It is Christmas.
Christmas that lasts forever.

– Karl Rahner, S.J., “The Eternal Year”

A Christmas Prayer

Not gold, nor myrrh, nor even frankincense
would I have for you this season,
but simple gifts, the ones that are hardest to find,
the ones that are perfect,
even for those who have everything (if such there be).

I would (if I could)
have for you the gift of courage,
the strength to face the gauntlets
only you can name,
and the firmness in your heart to know
that you (yes, you!) can be a bearer of the quiet dignity
that is the human glorified.

I would (if by my intention I could make it happen)
have for you the gift of connection,
the sense of standing on the hinge of time,
touching past and future
standing with certainty that you (yes, you!)
are the point where it all comes together.

I would (if wishing could make it so)
have for you the gift of community,
a nucleus of love and challenge,
to convince you in your soul
that you (yes, you!) are a source of light
in a world too long believing in the dark.

Not gold, nor myrrh, nor even frankincense,
would I have for you this season,
but simple gifts, the ones that are hardest to find,
the ones that are perfect,
even for those who have everything (if such there be).

– Rev. Maureen Killoran

Pope John XXIII’s Christmas Prayer

O sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of men and women this peace for which they sometimes seek so desperately and which you alone can give to them. Help them to know one another better, and to live as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness and purity. Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude for your infinite goodness. Join them all together in your love. And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.

A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Loving Mother of the Redeemer)

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.
Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to Candlemas

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if you were already there,
and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
(Saint Alphonsus Liguori)

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.
Amen.

Hail Mary

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.

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.

Amen.

Apostle’s Creed

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.

Amen.

Nicene Creed

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.

Amen.

Anima Christi

bread becomes the body of Christ in the hands of the pope, holy fatherSoul 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.

Divine Praises

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

Memorare
Remember,
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.

Amen.

The Angelus

V – The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R – And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

(Hail Mary….)

V – Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R – Be it done unto me according to thy word.

(Hail Mary….)

V – And the Word was made Flesh.
R – And dwelt among us.

(Hail Mary….)

V – Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R – That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts;
that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son,
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by His Passion and Cross,
be brought to the glory of His Resurrection
through the same Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

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 A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are listening to their teacher read a storybook in class.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

 

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.
Amen.

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.
Amen!

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

Morning Prayer
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.

Evening Prayer
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.
Amen.

Prayer after meals
We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits,
Who livest and reignest, world without end.
Amen.

Prayer for peace at work
Lord,

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.

Amen.

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.

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