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Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.

Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.

Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:

Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Our Father (The 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.
The Our Father in many languages of the world. 

Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Act of Contrition

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.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Prayer of St. Clare

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
Place your heart in the figure of divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation.
Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart,
and give me, Lord:  a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge,
so that I may carry out your holy and true desires.  Amen.

The Holy Rosary

How to Pray the Rosary
Rosary Center, Confraternity of the Holy Rosary  from the Order of Saint Dominic. They have been promoting the Rosary for over 500 years and have lots of materials on how to pray the rosary and to foster true devotion to Mary.

Contemporary Ways to Pray

There are many contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow as long as we remember not only to speak but also to listen with our hearts. God will speak heart to heart with us in Sacred Scripture, the Sacred Liturgy, spiritual readings, nature and in the silences that we provide for God.

  1. Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
  2. Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
  3. Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts and reflections related to your prayer life.

Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar

For informaton about praying holy hours in common or in private before the Holy Eucharist, click here.

Liturgy of the Hours

The Divine Office, or Breviary is the prayer of the Church through the hours of the day. It consists in five "hours" or times of prayer: early morning, morning, day, evening and night. It is a means of turning our lives to God throughout the day. Holy Mother Church asks bishops, priests and deacons to pray the Hours and men and women in religious orders also pray the hours. The Laity are also strongly encouraged to participate in the praying of the Hours even if they cannot complete the five times due to their family responsibilities.

Hour of the Day |Latin Name | English Name
During the Night | Matins | Readings
Sunrise |Lauds  | Morning Prayer
First Hour of the Day |Prime | (suppressed)
Third Hour of the Day |Terce | Mid-morning Prayer
Sixth Hour of the Day | Sext  | Midday Prayer
Ninth Hour of the Day | None | Mid-afternoon Prayer
As evening approaches | Vespers |Evening Prayer
Nightfall | Compline | Night Prayer

  Material provided by Rev. Felix Just, S.J. at
  Liturgy of the Hours Hymns  Go to our Breviary Hymns page here.
  EWTN Global Catholic TV resource Overview of the Liturgy of the Hours from EWTN

The Examen

This form of prayer comes from the Ignatian spirituality and involves an examen of reflection and prayer at two times of the day, normally morning and night.  It is not the same as what is called the "examination of conscience" but it has some similarity.  It is a deeper entrance into our relationship with Christ.

You might want to check out Reimagining the Ignatian Examen to find out about a mbile app, book and website about how to integrate the benefits of the Ignatian Examen in your daily life.

For more information about other Jesuit resources see material provided by Rev. Felix Just, S.J., at






Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation written in an inspired and inerrant way. Read More


The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ; they teach us how to live faithful and holy lives. Read More


Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. Read More


More Catholic Prayers Online



St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

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