Beads of Joy 09-20-10
A Novena Is Nine Days
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Let us reflect on "Novena's" today. To begin with for those who may not know what a Novena is: "A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving. The nine days recalls the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday." I got that definition at the About.com webpage. Another very popular definition that I have found in several different places all word for word the same, is: "Novena" originates from the Latin word "novem," which means "nine" and stands for the customary number of consecutive hours or days required to complete a novena. The Christian faith equates the number "9" with suffering and hardship. Most people say novenas to request divine help with their burdens or on behalf of someone else who is suffering." With a Novena there are some traditional days that certain ones begin, let's just take a quick look at a few of the this years remaining traditional Novena's. These are the "start" dates.
September 6 (The Novena of Our Sorrowful Mother)
September 17 (Novena to the North American Martyrs)
September 28 (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Novena)
October 12 (Novena to St. Jude)
October 22 (Novena to Christ The King)
October 23 (Novena to Holy Souls)
November 29 (Novena for the Immaculate Conception)
December 16 (Christmas Novena)
December 28 (Novena For The Epiphany)
Here is the link for the prayers for the above list of remaining Novenas:
There is a considerable variety of Novena devotions we can pray each day. In the past my involvement with Novenas was more extensive, especially when I and we (Chrissy and I) were involved with three different prayer groups all at the same time. Our entire lives revolved around constant prayer. There are also other Novenas that don't necessarily have start dates and those usually revolve around a particular healing or employment, the sick, marriage, the family. I guess if you really look hard enough, there is a Novena for most any kind of prayers you may be in need of. If you go onto EWTN's webpage you can find a wonderful list of Novenas. Including Marian, Sacred Heart, the Saints, and also Special specific ones. Here is a the link:
Traditionally speaking from my own experience, a Novena is basically just the reciting of a couple specific prayers focused on the saint, the cause, or the event. Along with those prayers you'd add in your petitions and thanksgiving. My particular habits varied with the Novenas I myself have prayed. Because of my devotion to the Rosary, depending upon the reason for the Novena, I would either also pray a decade of the Rosary (without the focus of any particular mystery), or in some instances I would pray my Rosary complete at the same time I prayed my Novena. I don't really think that matters. I just added to prayer to my already desired focus on praying my Novena prayers.
I have been praying about what this weeks topics would be for the blog, all my praying led to the focus of "prayer", so what better way to begin the week, but with a focus and refreshing look at the Novena prayers we have available to us. So in review with your findings, some tradition, and the ways you might pray your Novena may vary; but typical to my own way of praying a Novena this is how you would typically pray it every day for the nine days. And this is for a Novena you would privately pray at home, the ones coordinated in church or at a shrine vary. "For nine consecutive days at a time in which you chose, you could either kneel or select a posture that is comfortable for you, depending upon your health. Then you begin with that days prayer, on the first and last days of the Novena you would add the additional prayer. Then you would make your petition for this Novena, followed by 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's and 3 Glory Be's. Anything additional to your prayer time is up to you but not necessary for the Novena." I sure hope all this has been helpful, prayer is so important for all of us.
"Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” St. Augustine
"For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” St. Teresa
And as Jesus said to Sister Faustina, "Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances of events will be able to upset you." (1685)
"Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO
Today we pray the Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Birth of Jesus
4. The Presentation in The Temple
5. Finding of Jesus in the Temple