The Christmas Novena, the St Andrew Novena is I believe, one of the most popular Catholic Advent prayers.
My family and I love to say this novena each year in preparation for Advent. We offer the intention as a family intention, one we wish to gain for the family as a whole, and also a private intention, one that each one of us would like to gain like a particular virtue or help in fighting against a vice.
Because the prayer is longer than nine (9) days, and not quite 27, it's technically not a novena or a set of novenas, but, because it is prayed 'novena style', that is, repeatedly for a set amount of days, it is referred to as a novena.
In my family, we have found that we remember to say the novena best when we attach it to our daily Rosary. We set the slips of paper that we have written or printed the prayer out on next to our Rosary bowl. I do know other families say this novena with their grace before dinner while they light the candles as part of their Advent wreath prayers.
The prayer can be said at anytime during the day, but if you have a regular time the whole family is together like for the Rosary, morning/night prayers, or at meals, it might be a good idea to say the novena at a set, regular time.
Imagine a child who loves you...he is willing to do just about anything in his power to please you.
NOW imagine the Christ-Child. He too is willing to do just about anything for you. Everything is in His power to do and to give, as long as the petitioned favor isn't contrary to what Our Lord deems necessary for your eternal salvation. This is an important caveat that I have trouble remembering! ;-)
In this Advent season of preparing for Christ's coming, the St Andrew Christmas Novena is a loving way to prepare ourselves and our families.
St Andrew holds the honor of being the first apostle to be called by Christ to follow Him.
This novena is a bit different in that it does not invoke the intervention or aid of the saint himself, but is adoring, glorifying the hour of Christ's birth and seeking aid from God Himself!
The novena is begun on the Feast of Saint Andrew, November 30th, and is said thru Christmas Eve, December 24th.
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