Basic Prayers That Everyone Should Know

Following upon my post about the Guardian Angels, with the traditional prayer included in it, it occurs to me that maybe it would be good to compile a list of bacis prayers that every Catholic should know cold – by heart, at their fingertips, on demand, etc.

The Angelus

I once was in close proximity to a serious accident, and the person affected by it – lying in extreme pain and shock – was continually reciting the Memorare. That person must have known that prayer very well and said it many times, to be able to think of it and recite it in that moment of great suffering. (FYI, they are alive and well today.)

And so all of our memorized prayers serve us at different points in our life: from fairly frequent occurrences, such as trying to pass the time well when we are driving, to singular and difficult experiences, such as when we lay dying.

What are the prayers that every Catholic should know by heart? Submit your suggestions in the comment box. Here is a list to get us started. And I will be the final judge as to what makes the cut in my later post on the topic. Thanks!

  • Our Father
  • Hail Mary
  • Glory Be
  • Act of Contrition
  • Memorare
  • Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)
  • Angel of God
  • Angelus
  • Grace Before and After Meals
  • Morning Offering (here is one, though probably not the one I would memorize)
  • Certain Aspirations (short prayers that we say throughout the day)
  • Fatima Prayer (“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins…”)
  • The “O God” prayer at the end of the Rosary
  • …?

Another post would be on which of these should you also know in Latin. For example, I think everyone should know how to sing the Salve Regina. Everyone should know the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be in Latin. And so forth…. But this could also be expanded, so as to include a list of other Latin hymns we should know, such as the O Salutaris (used at Benediction) and so forth. So many possibilities! Let’s stick with the basic prayers for now.

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