Prayers & Devotions
Many young Catholic families are rediscovering the importance -- and the joy -- of praying together -- but sources for classic Catholic prayers may not always be easy to find. The family Rosary is a fine tradition, and some families are able to find time during their busy week to say the Rosary together. But many families cannot do this, or even if they would like to, it is sometimes hard to know how to begin.
How can we start? We have found that starting small -- especially during the season Lent or Advent -- can often make it easier to begin a new family "tradition" of praying together. We suggest starting with the Angelus at mealtimes during Advent or Lent. Even very young children can learn to say the simple responses of the Angelus with the family at mealtimes.
In addition to family prayers, special prayers or novenas are often useful for special occasions or intentions. The Novena for the Protection of the Unborn, for example, has been used in parishes and even diocesan pro-life conventions. You might suggest this as an activity your parish pro-life committee could sponsor, or for your prayer group or home-schooling group.
You may reprint these pages for your family or parish use (please note WFF as the source. For any other use, please contact us for permission.) Many of the pages below appear in our popular Family Sourcebooks, used by hundreds of Catholic families and many schools.
Our own families have found many of the prayers and devotions that appear on this web site helpful -- and we hope your family will, too.
About the Prayers and Devotions section:
There are five principal parts within the Prayers & Devotions section:
1) An interactive Liturgical Calendar, which allows you to click on any month to bring up that month's feasts, solemnities, etc, with links to individual pages.
3) Favorite Prayers & Devotions links to pages in our collection of special prayers and devotions for various occasions throughout the year, such as the Rosary and Stations of the Cross, a Prayer for Mothers, and a First Holy Communion page.
4) Marian Feasts and devotions;
5) Individual pages in the Prayers and Devotions section.
New Saints and Blesseds: Check the Vatican Website - Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (Link to the Vatican web site.)
Cathechism of the Catholic Church (Link to the Vatican web site.) Your family would be able to read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year if you read eight paragraphs each day!
Excerpt from the Cathechism
Prayer as God's gift
2559 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought,"5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. "Man is a beggar before God."6
2560 "If you knew the gift of God!"7 The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.8
2561 "You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."9 Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!"10 Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.11