A novena is nine days of prayer in preparation for a particular feast, or to obtain a special favor.  We are currently in Advent, which itself is a season of waiting and preparation.  Many Catholics pray the Christmas novena (below) to prepare themselves for the coming of the Savior. This particular novena is the earliest ecclesiastical novena of which the Church has record. It commemorates the nine months during which Christ was carried in His mother’s womb.


Christmas Novena (Dec. 16-24)

December 16

O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us. 

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 17

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 18

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 19

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 20

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 21

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 22

O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof!  O Cornerstone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

 

December 24

O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be