The word ‘Novena’ derives from the Latin word ‘novem’, which translates to ‘nine…

The word ‘Novena’ derives from the Latin word ‘novem’, which translates to ‘nine’.
Novenas had an important role in spirituality during the early Middle Ages. They were used to prepare for significant liturgical holidays such as Christmas and Pentecost. The “first novena” dates back to the days of the Apostles. After Jesus commanded His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, the apostles, Mother Mary, and other followers of Jesus met in the Upper Room to pray during the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost. (Acts 1:14)

Over time, their purpose evolved, and novenas also became a means of seeking reconciliation and reparation.

We engage in novenas for three distinct purposes: firstly, as a means of preparing for significant feast days by dedicating special novenas to saints or seeking their intercession, as an example; St. Jude for seemingly hopeless situations.

Secondly, novenas serve as powerful petitions, allowing us to beseech God or seek the intercession of saints for specific needs or to pray on behalf of others. Lastly, novenas offer solace in times of mourning, spanning nine days of grief following a loss, as a poignant tribute to those who have departed or as a heartfelt remembrance, extending prayers for nine days after a loved one’s passing.

When we begin on a novena journey, it is important to understand its deeper importance. It comprises a concentrated and deep commitment to a single aim, with the anticipation of obtaining special blessings. It’s a discipline that can provide us answers to our prayers or useful insights and clarity about our path.

It’s important to emphasize that novenas should not be viewed as superstitious rituals. Engaging in novena prayers does not come with a guarantee that your requests will be automatically granted.

Ultimately, it’s essential to recognize that God has a greater understanding of what is truly best for us, and we cannot alter that divine wisdom. In our prayerful journey, we must approach with faith, surrender our desires, and trust that our ultimate well-being is lovingly held within God’s providence.

How to pray a novena?

One must first identify the aim for which they request God/Mother Mary/Saints intercession. Novenas can be aimed toward a variety of purposes, including healing, guidance, protection, and aid with problems too great to overcome. You then choose the precise novena prayer you want to utilize after establishing your objective. The “Novena to St. Jude” is commonly used for hopeless cases. These prayers are available in prayer books, internet resources, and via the Church. It is critical to have the chosen novena prayer on hand.

Next, you’ll need to decide when to begin your novena. You can either pick a date that works best for you personally, or you can follow a set schedule if the novena has one (St Jude’s Novena starts on 20th of October 2023, with its flag raising ceremony on 19th of October 2023). But remember, it’s okay to change the schedule to fit your own needs and preferences if necessary.

It is critical to create a sacred and calm atmosphere for prayer. You may attend novenas in the Church or if you are having it at home, set up a lighted candle, an image or statue of whoever you are interceding to, or any other objects that assist focus one’s dedication and attention may be included in this space. Remember, daily prayer is at the centre of the novena practice. You chant the chosen novena prayer on each of the specified days, while also stating their unique goal. Some people may choose to repeat the prayer several times throughout each session in order to immerse themselves completely in prayer. Consistency in everyday practice is essential. Praying the novena every day for the set number of days, without missing any, helps to sustain the novena’s spiritual rhythm and dedication.

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