"Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it." - Proverbs 22:6
Parenting is a ministry of evangelizing children. Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and the privilege of evangelizing their children.
It is important to begin instructing children about the mysteries of the faith at an early age and to associate them with the life of the church. Teach your kids to pray at an early age.
It is a great way to instruct them in the core beliefs of the Catholic faith and develops an interior disposition in them that will remain with them as adults.
#1 - The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross tells God that we believe in Him and the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. It demonstrates belief in Jesus' divinity and humanity (body and soul). The cross is a symbol of our salvation from sin and death.
In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Tip: Practice making the sign of the cross when praying before a meal. Use this time to see if your child knows their right hand from their left.
#2 - The Glory Be
The Glory Be is called a doxology, from the Greek word meaning an expression of glory or praise. When Our Lady prayed the Rosary with St. Bernadette, it was the only prayer she said aloud.
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.
Tip: Pray the Glory Be after morning prayers and evenings prayers with your child and keep encouraging them to bless themselves correctly.
#3 - The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is taught to us by Jesus in the Gospel. It teaches us to put our faith in God, to ask God for what we need, to seek forgiveness for our sins, to acknowledge our need to forgive others, and put our hope in Him who saves us from all evil.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy 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.
Tip: Teach your child to pray with their hands together. Orans Posture "hands out-stretched" is used in the Roman Missal only for priests.
#4 - The Hail Mary
The Hail Mary is the oldest, most repeated, most imitated, and most powerful Christian prayer which asks Mary, Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us sinners to her son now and at the hour of our death.
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Tip: Sing Hail Mary, Gentle Woman to your child when you are putting them to bed.
#5 - Guardian Angel Prayer
We know from Jesus that Angels are guardians and intercessors for children to the Father. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father". (Matt 18:10)
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day [or night] be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Tip: Make this prayer part of your child's bedtime routine to remind them that God loves them and has given an Angel to guard them.
#6 - Morning Offering
The Offering, by Fr. Francois Xavier Gautrelet, is meant to be prayed first thing in the morning, thereby consecrating the day to the Lord and preparing us to give all our whole day to God.
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 Thy Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world, in reparation for my sins,
and for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
Tip: Purchase a devotional candle at your local grocery store or gift shop. Light it when you pray the Morning Offering with your child.
#7 - Act of Contrition
In the Act of Contrition, we acknowledge our sins and awareness that we are still learning to grow in the love of God. We ask God for forgiveness and express our desire to repent. We promise to seek God's help to avoid future occasions of sin
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven
and the pains of Hell, 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 confess my sins,
to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
Tip: Purchase an Act of Contrition Pocket Coin for your child to take with them for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
#8 - Prayer to St Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel's name means "one who is like God". He led the army of angels who cast Satan and the rebellious angels into hell. He saves souls from the power of Satan, protects the people of God, and leads the souls of the departed from this life both for particular judgment and at the final judgment.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
Tip: Keep prayer cards, coloring pages, and images of angels in your child's room to help them feel safe at night.
"Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words which I command you today.
Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up."
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