Why You Should Pray Novenas (and How to Pray Them)

all about novenas

As Catholics, prayer is an essential element to living an authentic spiritual life. There are many ways to pray and one of my favorite ways is by praying a novena. If you haven’t prayed a novena yet, I hope the following tutorial will convince you to give it a try.

What is a novena?

Traditionally, a novena is a prayer that is said everyday for nine days straight. (The root of novena is “novem” which means nine.) There are, however, other types of novenas, such as the St. Andrew Christmas novena which is 26 days. There are also novenas where the prayer is repeated several times a day like the Glory Be to the Father novena.ย  There are even novenas that are prayed weekly or monthly such as the Sacred Heart Devotion. However, normally, a novena is one prayer said once a day for nine days.

Why pray a novena?

Novenas are beautiful and a very efficacious type of prayer. The prayers are often centered on a particular theme and thus can help you stay focused in prayer, particularly when you are praying for special intention. Additionally, if you are in the habit of praying regularly, praying aย  novena elevate your prayer life to the next level. On the flip side, if you are not in the habit of praying, a novena can help you get back into the habit of prayer.

How do you pray a novena?

Usually, especially for a big feast day like Divine Mercy Sunday or the Immaculate Conception, you will use preset prayers. You can find those prayers online or in a Catholic prayer-book. Thus, all you have to do is follow along the prayers for each day. There are many, many different novena prayers that can be said in honor a saint, a feast day, or other need.

There are other ways to pray a novena as well. Really, you can make up your own prayers and pray a novena at any time for any intention. For example, you can pray a novena of Hail Marys every day for nine days for a loved one who is ill, looking for a job, or in thanksgiving for favors received. Another idea is to pray short aspiration prayer for nine days for you and your spouse before your wedding anniversary (or for another couple).

There are many ways of praying a novena and the types of prayers prayed in a novena are endless. You could even do a novena for 12 days or 24 days or even three or five days if that works for you. The basic idea is the same: a set of prayers (or single prayer) said over the course of several days or weeks.

I encourage you to pray a novena soon. And when you do, let me know how it went. I am sure it will enrich your prayer life as it has done for mine!

Other resources to learn about novenas

New Advent

About.com

praymorenovenas.com This is a great site that I found that automatically sends you the prayers of a novena as they come up during the year. it’s website states, ” The PrayMoreNovenas.com community prays 1 novena together each month. You will get the novena prayers for each monthly novena delivered to your inbox on the morning of each day.” This is very handy if you are interested in praying more novenas or at least want to be informed of the various novenas as they come up. I signed up for the emails and although I don’t pray every novena, every month, and impressed with the many different novena prayers that are offered.

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Saint Andrew, Pray for Us!

Saint Andrew, Pray for Us!

Image by unknown author (13th Century) via Wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

Today is the feast of Saint Andrew, a wonderful and powerful saint. He was a great Apostle and missionary of the Lord. He is mentioned several times in the gospel. In fact, he brought Saint Peter to Jesus. I love that Saint Andrew told Peter, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) after only one encounter! Of course there were ups and downs in his relationship with the Lord, but after the Resurrection and St. Andrew receives the Holy Spirit he becomes a mighty instrument for the Lord!

Saint Andrew died a martyr on a cross that was in the shape of an X. He was not nailed, but bound, to the cross and suffered for two days before finally passing to the Lord. Saint Andrew is the patron of fisherman and the countries of Russia, Scotland, and Greece. He also has the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena named after him.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

The Saint Andrew Christmas novena starts today, November 30, and continues until Christmas day. The prayer is very short and simple. All you have to do is say the following prayer 15 times a day, every day from now until Christmas. (I promise you, it only takes a few minutes.)

“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother. Amen.โ€

By the way, you don’t have to say the prayer 15 times all at once. Some years I do, but some years, I break it up and say the prayer five times in a row, three times a day. I just added it to my prayers before meals. Some years, I break it up and say the prayer two times a day (7 times and then 8 times). Also, don’t be scrupulous if you miss a day or two, I’ve done that, too!

(You can get a printable version of the prayer here. Subscribers go to your page to download printable.)

Resources

Here are some links to peruse and get to know Saint Andrew better.

AmericanCatholic.org

New Advent

Catholic.org

SaintAndrew.us

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Tweetable: Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Didn’t get much done at all last week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning. (Mostly got up by 8am…)

3. Pray over devotional for bible study I am participating in. (I missed several days, but I made up most of them so I’m counting it. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Write review for โ€œBiff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation.โ€

6. Finish oral presentation for Literary studies class. (I was a nervous wreck, but I survived. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

7. Write first drafts for both research papers.

8. Work on final project for Health, Healing and Laughter class.

9. Enjoy Thanksgiving with my family!

Here’s my goals for this week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day and St. Andrew’s Novena.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Pray over devotional for bible study I am participating in.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Write review for โ€œBiff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation.โ€

6. Finish both research papers and upload them to class dropbox.

7. Work on final project for Health, Healing and Laughter class..

8. Work on final paper for Christian Tradition..

9. Study for exams!

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

Assumption Novena: Day 9

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is the last day (day nine) of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Assumption Novena: Day 7

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day seven of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Assumption Novena: Day 6

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day six of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Assumption Novena: Day 5

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day five of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Assumption Novena: Day 4

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day four of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Assumption Novena: Day 3

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day three of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

31 Days With Mary: Day 27

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Mother of Fair Love

“Mary, my dearest mother, give me your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility, that I may receive Jesus as you did–and go in haste to give him to others.” –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Offering: Beginning the practice of saying three Hail Marys before going to sleep each night.

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