Hi, growing up I attended a church with very few pews. They were Substituted with folding chairs, this left no place to kneel. I then got older and more distant from the church but in recent years I have returned to a new church after moving.
Here there are pews and kneeling cushions, and I noticed others praying before mass and right after mass has finished. This is new to me because i never saw it before in my old church or maybe was not paying attention in Catechism. I have gone along and said my own prayers before and after but was wondering if there are certain prayers to be said at these times (before and after the mass).
I like this one by St Thomas Aquinas. There are links to more prayers below. I also just talk with God after Communion or just listen, but I also like written prayers because they say much more than I can think of.
Each person prays differently so why not buy a Catholic prayer book or Google “Catholic Prayers before Mass” and try to see which works best for you? I have found this one helpful
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.
Lord, 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.
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.
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.
Growing up, and also during my younger adult years, I never saw anyone staying after Mass to pray (perhaps because my childhood parish was not air conditioned and had very little heat!). For me now, an hour just isn’t enough, especially after this most beautiful way of honoring God as a community as Sunday Mass. Yes, I pray during the week, as well as attending weekday Masses; even then I generally stay after to pray.
When I pray before Mass, I will thank God for His blessings, ask forgiveness for my sins, and may have special intentions in my heart for the Mass (often, family members and friends, especially those who are away from the Faith, or have died, or are struggling in some way).
During Mass, at the Offertory/Blessing of the Gifts, I will offer the gifts that God has given me, my talents, my good things, as well as my trials, sufferings. Before Communion, I will pray in thanksgiving, as well as in humility, as I’m about to receive the Eucharist. I often will ask that all graces I would receive in receiving the Eucharist, be given to my son, who is away from the Faith, as well as our other son, who is not attending Mass. After Communion, I will offer more prayers of this sort. I especially like the Anima Christi:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me,
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come to Thee,
That, with thy saints, I may praise Thee,
For ever and ever.
I recently prayed the Way of the Cross after Mass; you can do that from your pew, or via each station around the sanctuary. I also prayed a Litany to the Blessed Mother on Tuesday after Mass, for the Annunciation.
I never knew that there were special prayers for before and after Mass; I didn’t know what or how to pray before or after Communion. I’m so thrilled to have discovered yet more ways to pray the Mass, in order to give even more praise and glory to our Lord!