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".
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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.
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 Hail Mary is a 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.
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 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 Apostles' Creed is a brief statement of the fundamental Christian beliefs. It is a profession of faith, like the Nicene Creed used at Mass. Tradition tells us that the Apostles' Creed was handed down from the Apostles themselves. It is likely that it was first written down, however, sometime after the Apostolic age.
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 into hell.
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.
An Act of Contrition
The Act of Contrition is usually associated with the Sacrament of Confession, but Catholics should also pray it every day as part of their normal prayer life. In it, we acknowledge our sins, ask God for forgiveness, and express our desire to repent.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven, and the pains of Hell; but most of all because I love Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.