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Advent Symbols and Celebrations – Part II

Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope, a preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio,  meaning “to come to”; it refers to the coming of Christ.  As with Part I, here are three more expressions of piety to prepare the way of the Lord.


Christmas Novena:

As Advent is a time of preparation for the birth of our Savior, it is natural to deepen our prayer devotions. One way this is practiced is to pray a Christmas Novena during Advent. There are several forms of the Christmas Novena – pick one to your liking!

St. AndrewSaint Andrew Christmas Novena. Because the Feast of St. Andrew (November 30) is the date upon which the season of Advent is determined, this particular novena begins on Andrew’s Feast Day and ends on Christmas Day. The following prayer is prayed 15 times a day, each day, from November 30 to December 24: Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. (Mention your intentions here) Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

Standard Christmas Novena: Because the Novena is a traditionally a nine-day prayer, this novena runs from the 16th of December to the 24th of December. The shorter text version is here. The longer text version is here.

Christmas Novena with ‘O’ Antiphons: This Christmas Novena takes the form of the Liturgy of the Hours. It also incorporates the ‘O’ Antiphons also seen in the Jesse Tree. Thus, this novena is immersed in liturgical and scriptural language.  “The final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great O Antiphons of Advent on the evening of December 17. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior”. You can pray it here.

Read more about Advent traditions >>

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