The Essentials: Basic Catholic Prayers
These are the basic Catholic prayers. We use some of these at Mass (the Catholic liturgy). A lot of other prayers also include one or more of these.
The sign of the cross
The simplest, most basic Catholic prayer.
Catholics begin their day and many activities with the sign of the cross. It is a sacramental, a practice that helps us open ourselves to receiving God’s grace more effectively.
While saying this prayer, bless yourself by making the sign of the cross with one hand: touch your fingers to your forehead at the word “Father”, to your heart at the word “Son,” to your left shoulder at “Holy”, and right shoulder at “Spirit”.
Also called The Lord’s Prayer, since Jesus taught it to his disciples (see Matthew 6:9-13).
The Our Father is the foundation of Christian prayer (Catechism, 2759). Most people learn it before all other basic Catholic prayers.
The Hail Mary is well-loved and beautiful basic Catholic prayer. It combines two lines from Scripture (Lk 1:28 and Lk 1:42) with a humble request for Mary to pray for us.
Also see the separate article on the Apostles Creed.
The main article on Catholic prayers contains many other wonderful basic Catholic prayers. You’ll also find sound guidance for easily developing your prayer life.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also has many wonderful pages about the Our Father, which comes first before all other basic Catholic prayers (opens a new browser window; be sure to use that page’s “Next” button to read the subsequent pages there).
More articles for the beginning Catholic available from our home page.