The Christmas Novena: Day 1

by Dec 16, 2022Blog, Spiritual Resources0 comments

A novena (from Latin: novem, “nine”) is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost, when the disciples gathered in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer, is often considered to be the “birth” of the practice of praying for nice successive days before a feast, or for a cause.

Incarnate Word Sisters in the United States have the tradition of praying the “Christmas Novena.” The Christmas novena was composed by an Italian priest, Rev. Charles Vachetta, C.M., in 1721, for his parish in Turin, Italy. He wanted his parishioners to understand the intertwining of the Old and New Testaments that together tell the story of salvation – to see for themselves the love of God unfold from the beginning of time and for all eternity. Most of the material comes from the Old Testament prophecies and the Psalms referring to the promised Redeemer. The novena’s primary components are the Opening Responsory (dialogue), the prophecies, Psalm/canticle (Let the Heavens Be Glad), Scripture Reading, Magnificat with Daily “O” Antiphon and Closing Prayer. The Christmas novena begins on December 16, nine days before Christmas, and ends on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas novena, as it is now known, begins on December 16, nine days before Christmas, and ends on Christmas Eve. The novena is a lovely Advent tradition, originating in Turin, Italy in 1721 and continues to prepare hearts for the coming of Christ through the prophecies, psalms and Gospels.

From December 17 to 23, the liturgy uses seven short prayers that have special richness and importance. Known as the “O antiphons” or the “greater antiphons,” these prayers compress and express the Old Testament Messianic hope for Christ. These antiphons are read each day at vespers and are used as the alleluia verse of the Advent Masses.

We share with you the complete Christmas Novena 2022:



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