Catholic Dictionary




The form of prayer that is a "conversation" with God, or the angels and saints, and is formed in words or equivalent symbols of expression. More technically, vocal prayer involves the use of some set formulas, since it is assumed that even when a person prays mentally he necessarily employs some form of at least internal speech. So that in practice the distinction between mental and vocal prayer is more a matter of emphasis, whether one's own unrehearsed sentiments predominate (mental prayer) or a person rather employs verbal expressions that are not, at the time, the immediate product of communidation with God (vocal prayer). (Etym. Latin vocalis, speaking, talking; from vox, voice.)