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Introducing Prayer: Sing a Song

Introducing Prayer: Sing a Song

family prayer  |  Catholic Family Fun  |  Hail Mary

When my firstborn was a baby, I started the habit of singing the Hail Mary to her at night as a lullaby. I hadn’t thought much about it at the time, but soon enough she was singing along with Mama—praying without even knowing what prayer was yet. And so began our family’s tradition of starting bedtime prayers by singing the Hail Mary. 

I can already hear the reactions of those of you who can’t carry a tune. Guess what? Me too! But the Hail Mary with its gentle melody can be sung with a quietness that doesn’t really bend anyone’s ear if you aren’t quite in tune. When sung in harmony with little voices that might be overzealous or creating their own tempo of the song, it’s a precious way to pray—tone deaf or not. 


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I have found beginning in song is an easy way to settle everyone down as we move into our prayer time. I can say the sign of the Cross and start singing. Arguments fade away, bodies lay down into their beds, and voices join together in prayer and song. 


Prayer of Praise

Through the years, we added prayers to our routine with some spoken in the middle, but we also ended in song, a prayer of praise from my husband’s childhood bedtime prayers, one of their cousins also sang, weaving generations and family prayers together. Our closing song, we liven up a bit with clapping or snapping: Praise the name of Jesus. He’s my rock… 

It might seem silly to add something as active as clapping or snapping just before bed. However, I have found this also helps bring the kids back to focus if they begin fidgeting or trying to talk to one another instead of listening during personal petitions. In the end, everyone is back to the song. The sound takes over in a way and one can’t help but join in. Ending in unison, our family closes giving praise to God just before going to sleep. 


Sing a Holy Song

I’ve found that getting children into the habit of singing a holy song with you is an easy way to get them to pray while having fun using their voices and bodies. They might not realize the significance of the song’s words, but what a precious way of sealing that song in their heart. We are teaching them to pray twice as some priest friends of ours like to remind us; in song, our prayers are elevated and joined with the angels. Using songs as prayers is a great alternative or addition to regularly recited prayers and has blessed our family’s way of praying immensely.  

About Nicole Berlucchi

Nicole Berlucchi is a writer, wife of Joe, mom of four, a Philadelphia, PA native living in the Nashville, TN area. Devoted to Jesus and Mary, she finds the Eucharist, Adoration and the Rosary to be a continuous source of light and life for her spiritual journey. You can find her at NicoleBerlucchi.com or on Instagram @berlucchiwriting.