Is it a Sin to pray with improper pronunciation?


Forgive me if I posted this thread in the wrong forum.

To keep this as short as possible, is it a sin to pray with improper pronunciation?

Lately, I have been more scrupulous than usual and now I feel that if I do not properly pronounce each and every single word in my prayers and emphasize His Name (God, Lord, Jesus Christ), and even that of the Virgin Mary, I have sinned (mortally if I did intentionally/lazily without fixing myself and venially if I did not notice).

May someone please provide me guidance on this issue? I would very much appreciate it. Forgive me if I do not reply right away: I am doing other things besides this.

Please cite the Bible or the Catechism if you can


I seriously doubt that there are any references about this, because it’s something very few people would think of as a sin. Why would God care about your pronunciation? And who gets to decide which pronunciation is “proper”, anyway, given how many dialects there are of each language?

This isn’t a sin- talk to your priest if you don’t believe me. Keep praying, and don’t worry about pronouncing things right.


Yes, it would seem so. This thread is an example of OCD/scrupulous thoughts. PLEASE get professional help. These compulsive thoughts are not going to go away on their own.

Neither of thse items cover OCD thoughts.


Don’t you think God is big enough to figure out your mistakes and know what you mean?
If he supports your thoughts then he certainly supports your mistakes as well.

You don’t have to worry, he understands.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.


I agree with the above… IF it did matter, who is to say the “right way” languages change. Americans pronounce Engllish differently than the English do. Americans don’t agree of the way to say things regionally. GOD loves that you are praying. I think He looks into the hearts and would rather have a poorly pronounced prayer that is straight from the heart than one said perfectlly but out of pride that that person KNOws how to pray “properly” (I mean praying “Thank you God that I know how to say these words the right way unlike this poor slob next to me”


If you are scrupulous, you need to find a spiritual director and bring your concerns before him/her.

As for this question, remember that a lot of what is sin depends on your intention.

See Rule #3.


The Holy Spirit (I can’t cite the Bible verse right now) hears even our groaning and sighs and translates the prayers for us. Peace be with you.


A prayer is sinful if:

  • We do it for our own prestige and image (as Christ rebuked some of the Pharisees, who made a mockery of prayer in public for this reason)

  • We do it for ignoble purposes (“Lord, I pray thee to smite my Aunt Margy with thy lethal arsenal of lightning bolts”)

Our prayers can be more or less edifying to our heart, body, mind, and soul depending upon our interior disposition to God’s grace, but “less good” is not “sin”. Not venial sin, let alone mortal sin.

There is no such thing as rubrics in prayer. Unless you make a deliberate mockery of prayer, such as in the two examples I gave, you’re never going to sin by having a conversion with your King or one of his beloved servants. He awaits your company with a heart burning with love, as a mother bird yearning to gather her chicks under her wing. You might consider reading some material by St. & Dr. Alphonsus Liguori, who spoke on the issue of people who approach prayer in a fearful and/or scrupulous manner.


You know, these types of thoughts can be a trick of the enemy’s to fix our attention on ourselves rather than on God. Please go to a good priest for help with your excessive scrupulosity–they are trained to help people with this. It is very important that you get help with this because it can affect your spiritual life negatively.


I’m Australian and would pronounce some words differently to you, and in some cases, with different emphasis. There is no sin in different pronunciations, or God would have to decide whose accent He most prefers, and I’m sure it doesn’t worry Him in the least.
He sees the good intentions of our hearts in our prayers.


I do this all the time. My kids love it. I pray in a German accent, Scottish accent, Russian Accent Spanish Accent. A Chicago accent. Sometimes an “Urban” accent.

I find nothing wrong with it.


Thank you all for your support and guidance. External input really helps me to deal with my scrupulous behavior. I will do my best to ensure that I pray with an emphasis on sincerity rather than pronunciation.

Thank you all again and God bless.


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