Biblical Studies/Christianity/Roman Catholicism/Prayers and Sacramentals

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The Stations of the Cross

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The fourteen stations of the cross are:

  • Jesus is condemned by Pilate
  • Jesus accepts His Cross
  • Jesus falls the first time
  • Jesus meets His Mother
  • Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross
  • Veronica wipes Jesus's face
  • Jesus falls the second time
  • Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem
  • Jesus falls the third time
  • Jesus is stripped of His garments
  • Jesus is nailed to the Cross
  • Jesus dies on the Cross
  • Jesus is taken down from the Cross
  • Jesus is buried in the Tomb.

Sometimes the Resurrection is added as a fifteenth station.

The Rosary

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The rosary is a Marian prayer attributed to St. Dominic. It is begun with the Sign of the Cross and the Apostles' Creed. One Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Glory Be are prayed. Fives sets of decades are prayed (composed of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be) are prayed. The Rosary is concluded with the Hail, Holy Queen and the optional prayers for the Pontiff.

Currently there are twenty "mysteries" commonly used for meditation (there is also a more uncommon set of five called the Consolation Mysteries):

The Joyful Mysteries (prayed on Mondays and Saturdays)
  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Birth of Jesus (also called the Nativity)
  • The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Luminous Mysteries (prayed on Thursdays)
  • The Baptism of Christ by Saint John the Baptist
  • The Miracle at Cana
  • The Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Institution of the Eucharist
The Sorrowful Mysteries (prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays)
  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Scourging at the Pillar
  • The Crowning of Thorns
  • The Carrying of the Cross
  • The Crucifixion
The Glorious Mysteries (prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays)
  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
  • The Assumption of Mary
  • The Coronation of Mary

Although the standard order is used by most Catholics, the selection of which set of mysteries to pray on which day is not obligatory.

The Scapular

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The scapular is a sacramental attributed to St. Simon Stock. The religious garb is worn by any Catholic. Although appearances differ, every scapular has the same form: Two wool squares connected in a fashion which requires the wearer to drape one square over the chest, and the other over the back or shoulder blades (or, scapular bone, hence the name).

The purpose of the Scapular as a devotion can vary from individual to individual, just as any use of a Sacramental. Some use it as an expression of their relationship with Mary the Mother of God, while others use it in a way similar to the Jewish yarmulke in which they attempt to always remember the presence of God and their internal marking of a Christian claimed for Christ. Both of these principles derive from its true purpose: A reminder to live a wholly Christian life by looking at the example of Mary, the perfect Christian, and showing a commitment to live in her and Christ's example.

The popularity of this devotion has remained steady in recent times, but is slowly decreasing due to the fact that many Catholics simply do not know what it is, or why they wear it, or a combination of both.

The Miraculous Medal

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The Miraculous Medal is attributed to St. Catherine Labouré. Around the edge of the medal is "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Other Sacramentals

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Other sacramentals are:

  • Holy Water
  • Blessed Salt
  • Saint Benedict Medal
  • Crucifix
  • Other Medals
  • Other scapulars (such as the green scapular)