Monday, November 19, 2012

Resources for Converts: Common Catholic Prayers

Being a convert to Catholicism is confusing!

Not only do you have a whole new theology to learn, but there's also all this stuff you have to figure out -- funny Catholic things like scapulars, indulgences, the Rosary, and even just genuflecting in church.

Besides the prayers in the Mass, there are a number of other little prayers that Catholics memorize and whip out for all kinds of occasions. After Frank entered the Church in May, he was excited to profess the teachings he had studied for years, but a lot of the cultural practices threw him for a looplike when my family said the Angelus at noon, or when our congregation recited the St. Michael the Archangel prayer after daily Mass.

So in order to acclimate him to some Catholic habits of prayer, I compiled a little guide to common Catholic prayers. I included descriptions of when each prayer is used, which Frank said he found helpful.

If you know someone who might find these guides helpful, here are links to them:

A Compendium of Common Catholic Prayers

I also made a little "Rosary cheat sheet" so he can follow along easily when we pray the rosary together:

Rosary "Cheat Sheet"

And the disclaimer that I told Frank:

Although a lot of the enclosed are prayers that Catholics have memorized, definitely don't feel the need to memorize them immediately, or work them into your schedule right away (although if you want to, great!). This is supposed to be a resource you can come back to over time.

In addition to this very simple little guide, I also love the Handbook of Prayers (or even the more extensive Daily Roman Missal) if you want to delve more deeply into the rituals of daily prayer.

Another really helpful resource is the Magnificat, a monthly subscription with the daily Scripture readings for Mass, AND lovely little meditations and prayers for each day. It's a wonderful guide!

Readers, do you know someone who might find this helpful? Or do you have any other prayers you would suggesting adding to my little list?

Suggestions from readers:

Deanna recommends the Miles Christi prayer book - "it's got everything!"

Holly recommends the NAC Manual of Prayers - she says, "When my house was broken into last year, I was more upset to lose this than my laptop." Convinced me! :)


  1. This Miles Christi prayer book has got everything. It's a favorite of mine.


    *ps, Love the "for when you want to get fancy" comment on the Latin version of the Salve (:

  2. Oooh sweet! I haven't heard of it before, but I'll add a link to it in the post. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. The NAC Manual of Prayers is my all-time favorite; it's got EVERYTHING. When my house was broken into last year, I was more upset to lose this than my laptop (thank goodness for used book sellers!).

  4. haha nice, and that's quite the story! Thanks for the recommendation. I'll add it to the list. :)

  5. Thanks for this post! I'm not Catholic, but my husband is (and maybe I will be too one day, but we'll see...) so I appreciate any guidance I can get. I want to support him, and participate as much as I can and my conscience will allow, but it is confusing for a newbie.