Before receiving their First Holy Communion, children will need to undergo the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Preparation for these two sacraments go hand in hand. Through the Catechism, they learn of the significance and meaning of such sacraments. They are also taught the basic Catholic prayers during such lessons. Most catechists provide prayer books or at least a copy of the prayers to help the children in their memorization. They are to pray these prayers during both occasions.
Teach your children "The Lord's Prayer." According to scriptures, it is the prayer taught by Jesus himself, so it is important for kids to learn, as it teaches us the basic components prayers should have. Here is the older version, which is commonly prayed in Catholic churches in the U.S.: "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. Amen."
Let your kids memorize another common Catholic prayer, which is the "Hail Mary." Explain to them that this is a prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, to ask for her intercession, and one commonly given by priests as a prayer of penance during the Sacrament of Reconciliation: "Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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."
Teach your child a third prayer, the "Glory Be." This prayer is typically prayed together with the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary," also usually given as penance and said during the partaking of the sacraments. It also teaches children of the basic mystery of the Catholic faith -- having three persons in one God in the Blessed Trinity: "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."
The Act of Contrition
Another prayer to teach your child is the "Act of Contrition." It is usually required during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is necessary to partake of the Sacrament of First Holy Communion: "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 are 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."
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