Prayer before mass begins?

Hello, all-

I’m new to this forum, as well as new to the Catholic Church. Here’s my question:

At just about all of the masses I’ve attended, I’ve noticed that most people kneel when they first get into their pew and say a prayer. Is this a specific prayer to be said before mass? Or is this a personal thing?

I’m looking to enhance my prayer life, so any help is greatly appreciated.


  • Cody

the traditional prayers those in my generation were taught (and some of us still say) are those by St. Thomas Aquinas before Mass and after Communion. The purpose of the prayer is to recollect oneself and transition from the world outside to worship, and turn attention toward Christ and leave behind all other concerns. it is a good time to ask Christ to forgive through this Mass all our venial sins since our last confession, and especially to resolve any bad feelings that might have arisen (like road rage in the car on the way to Church or a fight with the kids as we walked out the door this morning).

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Thanks for the advice. Could you tell me where I could find those prayers?

  • Cody

It’s a personal thing.

For whatit’s worth, I’ll tell you how I do it.

First, kneeling in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, I place myself in the presence of God with this short prayer:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and purify my intentions that I may seek only to serve Thee more worthily.”

Then I say the following prayers to help me prepare for Mass:

"All-powerful and ever-living God, I thank Thee for the gift of this new day, and for Thy grace which leads me here to return this first part of it to Thee in gratitude. For Thou, O my God, art the Creator and Lord of all things, and all that Thou hast created rightly gives Thee glory, and honor, and praise forever. Heavenly Father, grant me the wisdom to know Thy will. Fill me with Thy Spirit that I might have the courage to do Thy will. And, in the fullness of time, bring me home to Thy Kingdom to be with Thee where Thou art Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Heavenly Father, it is by Thy grace and blessing that I may share in this, the sacrifice of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. In thanksgiving for this gift, I offer this Mass for (then I specify my intentions for that day’s Mass)"

Hope that helps.

most Catholic missals, such as the St. Joseph Missal (one year paperback or the big hardcover) or the Daily Roman Missals will have these prayers, as will most traditional Catholic prayerbooks like Fr. Hardon’s. Some missalettes have prayers in the back, take a look there, too. somebody will probably chime in with a website before long.

Thank you so much. That really helps a lot.


You can also pray with your own words. That’s what I usually do.
Give God thanks and praises, ask for His forgiveness.

There is a prayer after receiving the Eucharist, but I like to pray a few lines of it when I first enter the sancuary:

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

As long as you have a sincere heart, you can pray with your own
words, or you can pray with some written verses. Prayer is our communication with God, a heart to heart talk.

God bless!

**A Prayer Before Mass **

Almighty and ever-living God,
I approach the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.

in your great generosity, heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with humble reverence, with the purity and faith, the repentance and love, and the determined purpose that will help to bring me to salvation. May I receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, and its reality and power.

Kind God,
may I receive the Body of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so be received into His mystical body and numbered among His members.

Loving Father,
as on my earthly pilgrimage I now receive Your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament, may I one day see him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with You for ever.

I love the St Thomas Aquinas prayers. I haven’t got them memorised but as often as I remember to bring them to Mass with me I say them.

I’m fairly new to the Church, too. I was baptized into the church Easter 2003 and I’m still learning everyday. I’m going to find the St. Thomas Aquinas prayers. What I’ve done is just pray in my own words, and ask for forgiveness for my sins and to open my heart to the liturgy, so I can prepare to receive the Eucharist. But as I said, I’m still learning everyday, and I’m always keeping my ears open for ways to improve my spiritual journey and my personal relationship with God.

Other people’s prayers to God are wonderful for them and to God. Your prayers to God are wonderful for you and to God.

Pray with your heart either in words or in silence. Vocal prayers are wonderful, but we must seek to contemplate God. Spend a little time, a few minutes, before Mass in silence placing yourself mentally in the Presence of God and love God with your heart and listen to God. Do this regularly before Mass and any time you choose to outside of Mass. Listen to the inspirations in your heart and pray letting the Holy Spirit lead you as it is by His power that we can even offer a single prayer.

Of all the formal prayers the Our Father is a very powerful prayer, say it often it’s is God’s prayer, Jesus’ desires for us that He wishes to grant to us. Having said this God desires you, your soul and your heart and inspires your heart to talk with Him in a unique and special way that no other can.

Your prayers in your words will by God’s grace increase your likeness in Christ Jesus. Prayer is powerful it will transform you and the world because the One we converse with is All Powerful and All Mighty.

You may say any prayers that you wish to. I pray many different prayers before Mass.

I use that time to thank God for another week, for the many blessings I have received. I also pray for those I know who are in need and have problems. I ask that He keep me in His love for the coming week.

I always start out by saying “Thank you Lord Jesus for being here with us today and every day.” Then I usually start the begging… please help me with such and such… please bless so and so… I’ve wanted to learn a specific prayer of praise, so I’m glad you asked so I can read through all the responses!

I’ve always felt that it is a time to make a transition into worship, just as on of the previous posters said. It’s actually a huge relief for me to kneel and give thanks after the time I’ve been away from him. It feels like when you’re away from someone you love for a long time, and you finally get to see them again after looking forward to seeing them for a while.

You must find yourself a missal, either daily or weekly. Every missal has prayers before and after Mass. By far the most popular is the prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, I think. I try hard to not attend Mass without a missal. Godbless.

This prayer came to me after a reading of the Gospel where Christ starts out to heal the daughter of the synagogue official, but as He sets out through the crowd, a woman who had been hemoraging for years, reached out to touch the hem of His robe, believing that if she did that she would be healed. The Holy One felt the power go out of Him and turned to the crowd to ask who had touched Him. The woman admitted that she had and Our Lord told her that her faith had made her well. So I say this prayer, more or less, before Mass, after I’ve offered all of my Mass intentions:

“Lord Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, the lady stretched out her hand and took hold of the hem of Your garment and the power went out of You and she was healed. Lord, I do no know if my faith is as great as the lady’s, but I know I lay hold of something far greater than she did: not merely the hem of Your garment, but You Yourself, Your Body and Blood, Your Soul and Divinity. I pray You, Gracious Lord, let the power go out from you and let me be healed in mind and body, soul and spirit. Amen”

That’s beautiful!

All of our lives, every second of it should be worship (just as a bird soaring the skies worships by fulfilling his nature as a bird thus praising God in it’s limited non-spiritual soul, so we fulfill our nature as human by praying constantly by making every pot and pan sacred, every hour of work, every hour of leisure) therefore there is no transition to make from our lives to the hour of Mass just as a soul living in Love with God makes no transition at death but seemlessly like the garment of Christ passes into the infinite life with God from the finite life with God. This is the garment our souls must be clothed with the seemless garment of Christ, in other words clothed in and with Christ.

We come together at Mass , yes to worship God but primarily we come to Mass as a family of Christians of God’s children to thank (Eucharist means thanks) God and to offer ourselves in Christ to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit as living prayers. This way as living prayers we empty ourselves of all things, what gifts we have been given physical, material or spiritual, (whether trial or times of rest from trial either way each is a joy) we return to God and thank Him for. We come to celebrate, it is a holy party, it is a table set for those who love God and seek Him, a table set with a banquet and the feast is Christ Himself and it is by the spiritual food we offer the week just gone and we commend the next week to Him and in Him in His True Presence we are healed, strengthened and transformed to Christ’s likeness. Here Christ intimately unites with His people to accept their thanks and this is seen by the Father in Christ and their grateful hearts are enlivened. We are called to live the Mass (which is the whole of the Gospel) daily in our ordinary lives by our own bloodless martyrdom, our own self-giving in love united to the Cross of Christ and celebrate this in our hearts daily; it is this living of the personal Mass we bring to the Altar at Holy and Communal Mass and the transition is seemless.

‘I rejoiced when I heard them say let us go to God’s house’

We all must strive to worship every second of every day, to live the Mass in our daily lives not just get in the ‘mode’ prior to Mass on a Sunday because to become Christ-like is to ‘live’ Christ, is to worship every moment of the day in word and action recollected to God. Life is prayer and prayer is life.

The prayer he Angel of Peace taught the children of Fatima is good:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!

i never really thought about it.i guess it’s a personal thing,but you’re saying it’s a triditional one.where would i find these prayers at.i know ewtn does a prayer before mass thing.i guess i will just follow theirs.i always thoought it was personal.they didn’t teach me anything in grade school.:slight_smile: