Since the recent rise of the global COVID-19 pandemic, health organizations around the world have stressed proper handwashing as one of the keys to stopping the spread of germs and keeping yourself and others healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends scrubbing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap. If you’re tired of singing “Happy Birthday” as you wash your hands, consider reciting one of these 10 prayers.

Each of these prayers takes at least 20 seconds to recite, depending on how quickly or slowly you say it. Consider offering your prayers for those diagnosed with coronavirus; those who have died; those who are most vulnerable to infection; and the doctors, nurses, other health care workers, and scientists who work around the clock to provide medical treatment for the sick.

1. One Our Father

2. Two Hail Marys

3. One Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

4. Four Conversion Prayers from the Divine Mercy Chaplet

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.

5. Five “Hail Mary bead” prayers from the Divine Mercy Chaplet

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

6. One Salve Regina

Hail, Holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

7. Two Guardian Angel prayers

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

8. Sing one chorus of “How Great Thou Art”

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

9. Sing one verse of “Be Thou My Vision”

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art —
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

10. Make an Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

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Vicky Wolak

Vicky Wolak spent her first year out of college teaching middle school English in northern France. She is now a full-time copy editor in New York City. You can find out more about her here.

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