Welcome to Catholic Basics
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed by Your name; Your kingdom come; Your 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
Hail, Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your 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 will be forever. Amen
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am sorry for my sins. In choosing to sin, and failing to do good, I have sinned against You and Your Church. I firmly intend, with the help of Your Son, to do penance and to sin no more.
Grace before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts, which we are about to receive from Your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen
God, my Father, I give You today, All that I think and do and say. And I unite with all that was done By Jesus Christ, Your dearest Son.
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 to the dead. 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 life everlasting. Amen
Examination of Conscience
How to pray to the rosary:
1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the "Apostles'
Creed," on the crucifix
MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY
JOYFUL MYSTERIES (Say on Mondays and Thursdays)
SORROWFUL MYSTERIES (Say on Tuesdays and Fridays)
GLORIOUS MYSTERIES (Say on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Advent: From the fourth Sunday before Christmas to December 24
Preparations for Christmas take place during December. This preparation is called Advent. The word means "coming." The deepening darkness of Advent can remind us that one day our lives will end and so will the world. But, Christ is coming to bring creation to a new birth.
In this mysterious season of waiting, with John the Baptist, we muster the strength to struggle against injustice. With expectant Mary, we await the holy birth.
Christmastime: From Christmas Day to the feast of the Baptism of the Lord
During the last week of December and the first weeks of January, we keep Christmas, "Christ's festival." To announce God's epiphany--the glorious appearing of heaven on earth--we drive away the winter with lights and flowers, we gather around the shining tree of life, we give gifts, and we open our homes in love to every guest.
Advent and Christmastime--the preparation and celebration--bring us from the old year to the new. In Christ, our years form a staircase, a Jacob's ladder, leading us out of time and ever upward into God's bright eternity.
Lent: From Ash Wednesday morning to Holy Thursday Afternoon
Lent is the 40-day preparation for the Paschal Triduum. The number 40 calls to mind the days of rain during the great flood, when evil drowned and the earth was washed clean. For 40 years the Hebrew people traveled through the desert to the promised land. For 40 days, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus fasted in the wilderness.
Lent is like Friday-- a time for prayer, fasting, and works of charity. The word "Lent" comes from the same root as the word "lengthen." Days grow longer during Lent. Now is the time to give the earth and ourselves a spring cleaning. Now is the time to turn away from wandering and to travel home to God.
The Paschal Triduum: From Holy Thursday sundown to Easter Sunday sundown
When spring comes, daytime grows longer than night. On the Sunday after the first full moon of spring, we Christians keep a Lord's Day with all our might. We fast on Good Friday and Holy Saturday because we are so anxious for this day. We are eager for Easter. The fast and the feast together-Holy Thursday evening, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday--are the Paschal Triduum, meaning "the three days of Passover."
The Triduum is the year's heart--the three days of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. During these holiest of days, we celebrate our Passover in Christ, especially through the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Eastertime: From Easter Sunday to Pentecost
Eastertime is the 50 day celebration that flows from the Triduum. It's the church's most ancient and most beautiful season. Fifty days are a "week of weeks," 7 x 7, with a day added so Eastertime has eight Sundays--a mystical sign of eternity.
Each week we have the Lord's Day. And each year we have Eastertime--50 days to sing Alleluia, 50 days to live as if God's rule of justice and peace were fully with us. Together, the seasons of Lent, Triduum, and Easter are the "Paschal Time," the holy springtime of the church.
Ordinary Time: Between Christmastime and Lent, and between Eastertime and Advent
There are about 32 weeks outside the five church seasons. These weeks are called "Ordinary Time," from the word "ordinal," meaning "counted." Each week is given a number to help us divide the scriptures into readings that are proclaimed from a book called the lectionary.
A short period of Ordinary Time falls in winter during the carnival days between Christmastime and Lent. The long span of Ordinary Time between Eastertime and Advent lasts about half the year, through summer and autumn, the growing time and the harvest time of the church.
On a somber Wednesday, we gather to smudge every forehead with ashes, admonishing each other to remember that dust returns to dust and that the only way through death to life is Christ. The ashes are made by burning palms--given to us on Passion (Palm) Sunday the year before with the invitation to "go forth in peace, praising Jesus, our Messiah, as did the crowds who welcomed him into Jerusalem." Our baptismal life is a lifelong pilgrimage with Christ toward Jerusalem. Yet like our best intentions, last year's palm branches now have become dried and brittle--fodder for the fire. So our pilgrimage leads us into Lent...We are marked with ashes as a sign of our willingness to pray, fast and give alms.
ABSTINENCE from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years old and older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and on all of the Fridays of Lent.
FASTING is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age, but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one's needs, but eating solid foods beetween meals is not permitted.
The Seven Sacraments
Page last Updated: 03/06/99