The following Prayers, Beliefs and Practices are found in the Compendium - Catechism of the Catholic Church ©2006 and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults ©2006. Prayers are organized from the most foundational to more complex; Belief and Practices are alphabetized. The Prayers, Beliefs and Practices have been subdivided into the grades in which it is recommended that they are to be taught. While there is no definitive statement which assigns the Prayers, Beliefs and Practices to the various grade levels, the Prayers, Beliefs and Practices coincide with suggestions and recommendations as presented in “By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them. . .” (NCEA) and Sowing the Seeds of Faith (NCCL) which reflect developmentally appropriate levels.
This entire listing is also consistent with the following publications of the Archdiocese of Dubuque: the Catholic school religion standards/grade level expectations developed by the Office of Catholic Schools and the Basic Elements of Catholic Faith from the Office of Catechetical Services.
While other prayers of cultural/liturgical significance may be recommended and used as designated by the local site, students are expected to have an understanding of the Prayers, Beliefs and Practices contained herein, and they will be part of prayer in the school and religious education programs.
The sections are available in both English and Spanish and include:
- Beliefs and Practices
- Prayers, Beliefs and Practices by Grade Levels
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Father/The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it 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.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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. (Traditional wording)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. (Found in the Liturgy of the Hours)
Angel of God
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Grace Before a Meal
Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grace After a Meal
We give thee thanks, for all thy benefits, Almighty God, who live and reign forever. Amen.
Morning Prayer (younger children)
God, my Father, I give you today all that I think and do and say. I’ll work and study, have fun and pray. Jesus be with me all through the day. Amen.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy. Amen. (Alternate version from the Rite of Penance)
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen. (Traditional version)
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come 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 life everlasting. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
How to Pray the Rosary:
Make the Sign of the Cross.
Holding the Crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
On the first bead, say an Our Father.
Say three Hail Marys on each of the next three beads. Say the Glory Be.
Go to the main part of the rosary. For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery, then say the Our Father. While fingering each of the ten beads of the decade, say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery. Then say a Glory Be.
Announce the second Mystery and continue in the same way until each of the five Mysteries of the selected group or decades is said.
After saying the five decades, say the Hail, Holy Queen.
Mysteries of the Rosary
Joyful Mysteries (recited Monday and Saturday)
The Nativity (birth of Jesus)
The Finding in the Temple
Mysteries of Light or Luminous (recited Thursday)
The Baptism of Jesus
The Wedding Feast of Cana
The Proclamation of the Kingdom, with the call to Conversion
The Institution of the Eucharist
Sorrowful Mysteries (recited Tuesday and Friday)
The Agony in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Crowning with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
Glorious Mysteries (recited Wednesday and Sunday)
The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ our Lord.
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Hope
O Lord God, I hope by your grace for the pardon of all my sins and after life here to gain eternal happiness because you have promised it who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind, and merciful. In this hope I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Love
O Lord God, I love you above all things and I love my neighbor for your sake because you are the highest, infinite and perfect good, worthy of all my love. In this love I intend to live and die. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done to me according to thy word. Hail, Mary
V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us. Hail, Mary
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Mary’s Prayer (Magnificat)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Come, Holy Spirit (Prayer to the Holy Spirit)
V. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
R. And kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray: O God, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit, help us to know what is truly right and always to rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of St. Francis/Prayer for Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side. With your rod and staff that give me courage. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.
Vocation Prayer (Archdiocese of Dubuque)
Lord Jesus, life is Your gift to us.
Through Baptism You invite us to
share the gift of our lives in service to others.
Give us the courage and generosity
to respond to Your call.
Through the Eucharist You fill us with Your
life-giving presence and strengthen us in holiness.
Give us the grace to make our efforts in Your service
fruitful in Your kingdom.
Through Confirmation You seal us
with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and send us forth.
Give us the strength to proclaim Your Word
and make known Your Will to all the world.
Open our hearts to Your service and
move the hearts of men and women to follow You as
Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Brothers.
Help parents, grandparents and teachers to share their
Catholic faith and to encourage our young people
to explore religious vocations.
Guide all people, Lord, in Your ways
of compassion, truth, and peace,
that we may find joy
in fulfilling our vocation. Amen.
Prayer of Discernment
Lord, God, we know that by baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit, you reign in our lives, and you call us to holiness and truth. Renew us that we might be all that you want us to be, so that we live in accord with your desires. We strive to be attentive to your promptings. Help us do what is right. Grant us the gift of knowledge, to be informed; the gift of wisdom, to use our experience; the gift of understanding, to learn from one another; the gift of right judgment, to make good decisions; the gift of courage, to enact what we decide; the gift of faith, to trust You. We ask this in the power of your Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Beliefs and Practices
Formulas of Catholic Doctrine
Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart (or pure of heart), for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (or righteousness’ sake), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
- As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently.
- In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should be conscious of no grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour.
- A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (CIC, can. 916).
- A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
- We are expected to fast from food or drink for at least one hour prior to the reception of Holy Communion.
- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Holy Days of Obligation - On these days, there is an obligation to attend Mass and to refrain from servile work as much as possible.
- Mary Mother of God - January 1
- Ascension of the Lord - 40 days after Easter or the following Sunday (celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter in the Archdiocese of Dubuque)
- The Assumption of Mary - August 15
- All Saints Day - November 1
- The Immaculate Conception of Mary - December 8
- Nativity of our Lord or Christmas - December 25
- Advent-Christmas Season (Christmas day until Sunday after Epiphany)
- Ordinary Time
- Lent (Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday)
- Easter Season (Easter Sunday until Pentecost, 50 days after Easter)
- Ordinary Time
Parts of the Mass
- Gathering Song
- Penitential Rite (or blessing and sprinkling with holy water)
- Glory to God
- Opening Prayer
Liturgy of the Word
- First Reading (usually from the Old Testament)
- Responsorial Psalm
- Second Reading (usually from one of the letters of the New Testament)
- Gospel Acclamation
- Homily (an explanation of the readings)
- Profession of Faith (Creed)
- General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful)
Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Preparation and presentation of the gifts
- Prayer over gifts
- Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
- Eucharistic Prayer (during this prayer the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus)
- The Great Amen
- Communion Rite
- The Lord’s Prayer
- Sign of Peace
- Breaking of the Bread
- Lamb of God
- Reception of Communion
- Prayer after Communion
Regulations for Fast and Abstinence
- Fasting is refraining from food or drink to some degree.
- Abstinence is refraining from eating meat.
- In the United States, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence, and all Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
- The obligation to abstain from meat binds all Catholics 14 years of age and older. The obligation to fast, limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals in the course of a day, binds Catholics from the ages of 21 to 59.
- Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist
- Sacraments of Healing: Penance and Reconciliation; Anointing of the Sick
- Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders and Matrimony (Marriage)
The Four Cardinal Virtues
The Four Last Things
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Counsel (Right Judgment)
- Fortitude (Courage)
- Piety (Reverence)
- Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe in God’s Presence)
The Golden Rule (cf. Mt 7:12)
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
The Five Precepts of the Church
- You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and remain free from work or activity that could impede the sanctification of such days.
- You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
- You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
- You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
- You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.
The Seven Capital Sins
The Stations of the Cross
- Jesus is condemned to death.
- Jesus accepts his cross.
- Jesus falls the first time.
- Jesus meets his mother.
- Simon helps Jesus carry the cross.
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
- Jesus falls the second time.
- Jesus meets the women.
- Jesus falls the third time.
- Jesus is stripped of his clothes.
- Jesus is nailed to the cross.
- Jesus dies on the cross.
- Jesus is taken down from the cross.
- Jesus is placed in the tomb.
The Ten Commandments
- I, The Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- You shall not covet neighbor’s goods.
The Three Theological Virtues
The Two Commandments of Love
- You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
- You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
Works of Mercy
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
- Feed the hungry.
- Give drink to the thirsty.
- Clothe the naked.
- Shelter the homeless.
- Visit the sick.
- Visit the imprisoned.
- Bury the dead.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Counsel the doubtful.
- Instruct the ignorant.
- Admonish sinners.
- Comfort the afflicted.
- Forgive offenses.
- Bear wrongs patiently.
- Pray for the living and the dead.
Prayers, Beliefs and Practices
Suggested/Recommended at Developmentally Appropriate Grade Levels