Busy lives mean we often forget what day of the week it is. In periods of routine living, a Monday can look a lot like a Thursday. But one tradition of the Catholic Church challenges that deadening monotony by assigning a devotion for each day of the week, no matter the season.
Many people are familiar with the solemnities and feasts, as well as with the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time that invite penance and celebration each year. But the Catholic liturgical year is so much more than that. Beyond the annual rhythms, the Church is rich with guidance on how to structure our lives. Consider the movement of the day, expressed through daily Mass, the Angelus and the Liturgy of the Hours.
All this points to the reality that God our Father wants us to be in conversation with him each day. If you’re just coming into an active prayer life or you’re returning after some time away, the daily devotions can be great conversation starters to engage more deeply with the Lord.
That conversation might come by way of mental prayer. You could read a book or meditation on the day’s topic and spend a few minutes journaling about what you read. Your prayer also might be hand-lettering a verse or quote that corresponds to the day’s devotions. You could create playlists of sacred or worship music relevant to the theme. You might also draw, paint, or otherwise create something that represents your understanding of the devotion and invites you to go deeper.
Below, you’ll find the traditional devotion for each day of the week, as well as some specific ideas for how to meditate and reflect upon it.
Monday is the day to pray for the holy souls in purgatory. Incorporate the prayer of St. Gertrude, patron of the recently deceased, into your Monday morning routine. If you attend daily Mass, you can offer the Mass for those in purgatory.
Each Tuesday is devoted to the holy angels, specifically one’s guardian angel. Start the day with the Angel of God prayer and offer the prayer to St. Michael before you begin your work for the day.
On Wednesday we honor St. Joseph. You might add the Litany to St. Joseph into your morning or evening prayer or read a chapter from a book about St. Joseph to get to know him better.
Thursday is a day for the holy Eucharist. Try to stop in to a church that offers adoration, whether for a few minutes or for a complete holy hour. Time with the Blessed Sacrament is always well spent. If you can’t be physically present with the Eucharist, make an act of spiritual communion.
Friday’s devotion should be easy to guess: it’s to the Passion of the Lord and his Sacred Heart. Even if it’s not Lent, consider praying the Stations of the Cross. Pope St. John Paul II had a practice of doing this each Friday, even up until the day before he died. You can also consider enthroning your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Once you do, spend some time in prayer before this image each Friday.
Every Saturday is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You might pray the Litany of Loreto, a Memorare, prayerfully cultivate a Mary Garden, or sing a song to our Lady.
Last, but certainly not least, is Sunday — a day for the Holy Trinity. In addition to participating in the Holy Mass, spending time resting with family — which mirrors the loving relationship among the Holy Trinity — is a beautiful way to honor the Lord and evangelize those around us.
All of these practices can, of course, be offered on any day of the week. And there’s no expectation that one person will consistently complete them all. Rather, we are each called to holiness in a unique way. By asking the Holy Spirit to help us, and perhaps by having a conversation with a priest or spiritual director, each of us can find the devotions to which we are called — those that will draw us close to the Lord, while celebrating who we are as individuals.
There is so much to learn about the centuries-long traditions of our Catholic faith. What might seem overwhelming will feel more manageable when you commit to exploring them one day at a time.