A Christmas Novena for the Last Nine Days of Advent| National Catholic Register

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Even if you’ve been negligent in preparing for Christmas so far this Advent, you have a special nine days to refocus. Use it well!

On Dec. 16, we are just nine days until Christmas! The Church’s liturgy begins today to make a shift: the first part of Advent is far more eschatological, focusing on Jesus’ Second Coming and our need, here and now, to prepare for it. In the last nine days of Advent, the focus moves to the historical events that led to Jesus’ First Coming in Bethlehem over two millennia ago.

Catholics’ popular devotions also reflected this shift. For one, the Church’s liturgy began to pray the great “O Antiphons” at the beginning of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours — from Dec. 17-23, the Church commemorates Christ’s historical birth by praying the titles that foretold his Messianic coming.

For another, Catholic popular devotion began praying the “Christmas Novena” on Dec. 16. “Novenas” are nine days of prayer for a particular intention. They were very common in popular Catholicism before Vatican II (e.g., many parishes had Miraculous Medal or St. Jude novenas) but their origin is biblical: the first novena was made by the Apostles with the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Jerusalem Cenacle, where they waited from Ascension Thursday until the Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost.

So, even if you’ve been negligent in gearing up spiritually for Christmas so far this Advent, you have a special nine days to refocus. Use it well!

A Christmas Novena for the Last Nine Days of Advent| National Catholic Register

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