Traditional Prayers — Common Prayers

From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

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.

The Lord's Prayer 'is truly the summary of the whole of the Gospel'. (CCC 2761) The Lord's Prayer is presented to those preparing for Baptism in the Fifth Week of Lent — a pdf of the Lord's Prayer is provided for this purpose.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The sign of the cross is both an action and a statement of faith. A physical reminder of our redemption in the cross and an epxression of faith in the Trinity.

Glory be to the Father

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 doxology is a short expression of praise of the Trinity dating back top the Early Church. It is used extensively in the Liturgy of the Hours and in devotions such as the Rosary.

The 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.

The first part of the Hail Mary is biblical drawn from Gabriel's greeting to Mary at the Annunciation and Elizabeth's greeting at the Visitation. The second part of the prayer has its origins in 15th century Italy.

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.
Amen.

The prayer is based on one by Reginald of Canterbury in the early 12th century.

Eternal Rest

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

Based on the Entrance Antiphon of the Mass for the Dead.

The Magnificat

My soul glorifies the Lord,
My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness;
Henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength
And scatters the proud hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
And raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
Sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons for ever.
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.

Mary's song of praise was first sung to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:46-55). It is sung daily at Evening Prayer.

The Benedictus

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
In the house of David his servant,
As he promised by the lips of holy men,
Those who were his prophets from of old.
A saviour who would free us from our foes,
From the hands of all who hate us.
So his love for our fathers is fulfilled
And his holy covenant remembered.
He swore to Abraham our father to grant us,
that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes,
we might serve him in holiness and justice
all the days of our life in his presence.
As for you, little child,
you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
To prepare his ways before him.
To make known to his people their salvation
Through forgiveness of all their sins,
The loving-kindness of the heart of our God
Who visits us like the dawn from on high.
He will give light to those in darkness,
Those who dwell in the shadow of death,
And guide us into the way of peace.
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 Canticle of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, is taken from Luke's Gospel (Luke 1:68-79) It is sung daily at Morning Prayer.

The Te Deum

We praise you, O God: We acclaim you as Lord.
Everlasting Father,
All the world bows down before you.
All the angels sing your praise,
The hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers,
All the cherubim and seraphim
Call out to you in unending song:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Is the Lord God of angel hosts!
The heavens and the earth are filled
With your majesty and glory.

The glorious band of apostles,
The noble company of prophets,
The white-robed army who shed their blood for Christ,
All sing your praise.
And to the ends of the earth
Your holy Church proclaims her faith in you:
Father, whose majesty is boundless,
Your true and only son, who is to be adored,
The Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
Son of the eternal Father.
When you took our nature to save mankind
You did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the power of death
Opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in you.
Enthroned at God’s right hand in the glory of the Father,
You will come in judgement according to your promise.
You redeemed your people by your precious blood.
Come, we implore you, to our aid.
Grant us with the saints
a place in eternal glory.

Lord, save your people
And bless your inheritance.
Rule them and uphold them
For ever and ever.
Day by day we praise you:
We acclaim you now and to all eternity.
In your goodness, Lord, keep us free from sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
May your mercy always be with us, Lord,
For we have hoped in you.
In you, Lord, we put our trust:
We shall not be put to shame.

4th century in origin; possibly by St Nicetas of Remesiana

The Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, be my sanctification.
Body of Christ, be my salvation.
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins.
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains.
Passion of Christ, my comfort be.
O good Jesu, listen to me.
In Thy wounds I fain would hide,
N’er to be parted from Thy side,
Guard me, should the foe assail me.
Call me when my life shall fail me.
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.
Amen.

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 occasion of sin.
Amen.

Other forms of the Act of Contrition are available in the Resources for the Rite of Penance.

bowl of burning incense