Do most Catholic Churches have prayer time?


The Church I am going to is very nice, I have been looking on there bulliten and I do not see any times where I can just go in and pray. I enjoy praying and would love to take a couple days out of my week to pray the Rosary inside the church. Is there set specific times or would I need to call the Parish office?


Hi Linoge1 – what a great question.

I’m a new-ish Catholic and you should take everything I say with a grain or so of salt. I would call the parish office.

I also think that Eucharistic Adoration might be what you’re looking for. I’m not sure how that works (i.e., whether you have to sign up in advance or whether you can just show up at the time) but it’s a time to pray in the presence of the Host, which seems like one of the best circumstances you could pray in.

I wouldn’t be shy about asking a priest or a friendly parishioner whether you can just show up and pray. I have found nothing but friendliness when I’ve asked stupid new-to-Catholic questions.

God bless you. Keep praying!


Many Catholic churches, sadly, are locked most of the time, for security. Many cathedrals, shrines and other churches that are tourist attractions stay open most of the time. Parishes with perpetual Eucharistic adoration have a chapel that’s open all the time, although it may be open only to scheduled adorers who have a key code at night.

The best thing to do is to call the parish office and ask when the church is open. There’s probably some time before or after daily Mass when you can slip in and pray.



Wow, it’s unusual here for a parish church to be totally locked during the day unless there’s been a problem of some kind. The street-facing doors are locked but there are other entrances that aren’t. Is your parish office open? Maybe they’d let you in?


ANY time that a Catholic Church is open - that there isn’t Mass or some other liturgy going on - is prayer time.

Some churches have a very much ‘open door’ policy and will be open most of the day.

Some even have 24-hour Adoration Chapels so that you can literally go and pray ANY time at all.

I know one church near me is closed except for Mass and Adoration, but has a side entrance with keypad entry - they will give the code to you if you ask, so again you can go pray any time, you just need the code to get in. These sort of security measures are sadly necessary in some churches.

Ask your local parishes what their arrangements are.


call the office or look in the bulletin, usually either there are set hours the church is open, or if that is not practical because of security concerns, cost of utilities etc., most often there is a side chapel somewhere open at least during business hours.

there may be a shrine or cathedral or basilica near you that is open all day and evening, or even all night for perpetual adoration and prayer. consult your diocesan website or office.


While there was a time when Churches were open all day / night – sadly, there’s come a point where even Churches are not respected as the House of God and have been vandalized. I’ve seen it growing up where previously open-door Churches had to be locked due to the Poor Boxes being broken into. It’s a sad commentary on humanity. Yes, for those here who expressed surprise, there are times when you won’t find a Church door open unless Mass or service is scheduled - UNLESS you’re aware of the one door left unlocked during the day. I’m thrilled to find a door opened on a spur-of-the moment visit. (It gives me quiet time alone with Our Lord.)

As for prayer time (i.e. Adoration, etc.) - I’ve seen Churches slowly discontinue “prayer time” - perhaps due to lack of attendance. It’s sad. Churches that once scheduled weekly novenas, Adoration, etc. - now either not at all - or the attendance so small, I’m moved with sadness recalling the way it was.


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