Saint Michael's Catholic Church, Gorey

including St. Kevin's Church, Tara Hill

picture of Michael the Archangel

Traditional Catholic Prayers

The Sign of the Cross


Our Father


Hail Mary


Glory Be


The Nicene Creed

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


St Patrick’s Breastplate

What is the difference between a holyday, a feast day and a solemnity?

We tend to use the word "feast" to cover all levels of celebration, but the precise definitions are as follows:

Solemnities are the celebrations of greatest importance. These include Easter, Pentecost and the Immaculate Conception; the principal titles of Our Lord, such as King and Sacred Heart; and celebrations that honor some saints of particular importance in salvation history, such as Sts. Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist.

Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are always considered solemnities. Other examples of solemnities include the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19), and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi). Some solemnities are also holy days of obligation: these vary from country to country.

Feasts are of second importance in the liturgical calendar and are celebrated on a particular day. Feasts honour a mystery or title of the Lord, of Our Lady, or of saints of particular importance (such as the apostles and Evangelists) or somebody of historical importance such as the deacon St. Lawrence.

Next in line are memorials, which commemorate a saint or saints. These may be obligatory (which must be observed) or optional (which do not have to be observed). For example, the memorial of St. John Bosco (January 31) is obligatory while the memorial of St. Blase (February 3) is optional.

Only the memorials of those saints who are of "universal significance" are observed by the whole Church and marked in the general liturgical calendar. Particular churches, countries, or religious communities may also celebrate the memorials of other saints of "special significance" in accord with their special devotions. For example, St. Patrickœs Day is celebrated as a solemnity in Ireland.

The celebration of memorials is also governed by the liturgical season. For instance, obligatory memorials occurring in Lent are celebrated as optional memorials.

Which solemnities occur in the Catholic church?

The following are solemnities in the Roman Calendar:

  1. Mary, Mother of God,
  2. Epiphany,
  3. St. Joseph,
  4. Annunciation,
  5. Easter,
  6. Ascension,
  7. Pentecost,
  8. Trinity Sunday,
  9. Corpus Christi,
  10. Sacred Heart,
  11. Nativity of St. John the Baptist,
  12. St. Peter and Paul,
  13. Assumption of Mary,
  14. All Saints,
  15. Christ the King,
  16. Immaculate Conception of Mary,
  17. and Christmas

What is the sign of the cross?

The Sign of the Cross a simple form of Christian devotion, used by Catholic and Orthodox Christians, is an outward sign (a sacramental) of our belief in Christ and of our faith in the redemption which flows from His Cross. When we make this sign we also invoke the Blessed Trinity, 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

When we make this sign we affirm our faith in Christ crucified and ask for His blessing and protection. It is also a gesture of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament.

Making the sign of the cross is probably derived from Ezekiel's prophetic vision of judgment, in which the Lord commands that a 'mark be set upon the foreheads' of the Israelites who cry out against the evil which surrounds them, so that by this mark God's people were identified as belonging to Him and saved from annihilation (Ezekiel: 9:4-6). Other biblical references to 'sealing' God's people with a sign on their heads are found in the Apocalypse (Revelations) 7:4, 9:4.

The sign of the Cross was in general by the second century. Tertullian recounts that 'in all our travels in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross.' This sacramental 'mark' is important to Catholics to this day. We are anointed, at baptism and at confirmation, by the priest making the sign of the cross on our foreheads with the Oil of Chrism (the oil blessed by bishops at the Mass of Chrism on Holy Thursday). The sign and the chrism are is also used at the ordination of a priest or bishop. In administering the sacrament of the sick the priest anoints the person with the sign of the cross made with blessed oil. Also, on Ash Wednesday, our foreheads are marked by the priest with the sign of the cross made with blessed palm ashes.

There are two forms of the Sign of the Cross:

The Great Sign of the Cross: (This is the one most people think of, and the one people use most often.) A cross is traced with the right hand, touching the forehead, the chest, then the left and right shoulder. [In Orthodox churches, from right to left.] The Doxology is said aloud or silently as the sign is made.

The Little Sign of the Cross: A cross is made on the forehead with the thumb or index finger (this form is used by the priest when anointing or administering ashes). Or a cross is traced with the thumb on one's own head, lips and heart, a gesture which asks Christ to instruct our minds, aid us in our witness, and renew our hearts. (This sign is made at the reading of the Gospel by both priest and people.)

Another form of the sign of the cross is made by the priest several times during the celebration of Mass and when he grants absolution and gives other priestly blessings, by making an invisible cross with the the first two fingers and thumb of his right hand extended. A similar gesture of blessing is made when a priest blesses religious objects (these objects used in worship are also called sacramentals), such as rosaries, medals, vestments and articles used used in connection with Mass.

Why do Catholics venerate the cross?

The Crucifix, Crosses and Symbols of ChristThe most #uintessentially Catholic object of devotion is a crucifix-a cross (Latin: crux) with the image of Christ's body nailed to it. Crucifixes are always found in Catholic churches and chapels over the altar and are always carried in liturgical processions. This image is venerated by the faithful in a special ceremony on Good Friday. They are a customary fixture in every room and office of Catholic institutions (schools, hospitals), and on the walls of Catholic homes. This form of representing the Cross of our Lord adorns Rosaries, prayer-books, private altars, vestments, and many other devotional articles; also the Pectoral Cross worn by a bishop as a sign of office. The Pope's ceremonial staff has a crucifix attached to it (unlike an ordinary bishop's staff, which is formed like a shepherd's crook.) A crucifix is fre#uently worn by Catholics on a neck-chain. A less common form of the crucifix bears an image of Christ glorified, wearing the vestments of a priest and with his arms extended in blessing.

One way to help increase children's reverence and love for Christ and his cross is to introduce them to traditional Christian symbols. Help them draw several kinds of crosses in addition to the Crucifix (with Christ's body, or 'corpus') -- such as the Chi Rho, the first two Greek letters in 'Christ' (looks like a capital P with an X through the elongated tail ), the Latin Cross, the Jerusalem Cross, the Greek Cross, the St. Andrew Cross (an X shape). You might look for various types of crosses in churches, on vestments, and in other places.