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For the town in Singapore, see Novena, Singapore.
A group of pious women gathered for a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most likely a mourning event. circa 1940.

A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an institutional act of religious pious devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.[1]

The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a "rosary novena"), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or it invokes one of the personages of the Holy Trinity.

Within the Roman Catholic discipline, novena prayers for public use must have an Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, and Imprimi potest. These ecclesiastical sanctions are usually granted by a bishop or any ranking prelate for publication and approval.


The practice of saying novenas is not explicitly derived from Holy Scripture, but was rather influenced by an early Greek and Roman custom performed by families consisting of nine days of mourning after the death of a loved one, followed by a feast.[2]

The practice was later adopted by new converts to the Roman Catholic faith who associated the event of the Twelve Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room as they prayed for nine days until the Holy Spirit descended on the Feast of the Pentecost. In the New Testament, this biblical event is often quoted from Acts of the Apostles, 1:12–2:5.

There are four recognized categories of novenas which belong to more than one of these categories:[2]

  • Mourning, or in anticipation of a Burial
  • In anticipation for a Church Feast or ending in Vespers (often requires Church attendance)
  • Individual or Group Petition (Expiatory)
  • Indulgence for the remission of Sins (often requires Sacrament of Confession or Church attendance)

By standard liturgical norms, novenas are performed in church, at home, or anywhere where solemn prayers are appropriate, though some indulgenced novenas require church attendance. Sometimes, a special candle or incense is lit at the beginning of the novena which burns during the nine days of prayer.

The first chapter of the General Principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium, #13 is often cited as a guideline regarding the implementations of public novenas.[3][4]

Other Christian use[edit]

Novena prayers are also practiced by some Orthodox and Anglican Christians, who hold close or similar beliefs regarding its pious practice.

See also[edit]



  • Right Reverend Monsignor Joseph F. Stedman, The New Revised 'Triple' Novena Manual, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 1975.
  • Barbara Calamari & Sandra DiPasqua, Novena, Penguin Studio, 1999. ISBN 0-670-88444-8.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novena — Please support Wikipedia.
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30570 news items

Boing Boing

Boing Boing
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Remember Bunnie Huang's fully open laptop? Bunnie and Sean "xobs" Cross prototyped a machine he called the "Novena" in which every component, down to the BIOS, was fully documented, licensed under FLOSS licenses, and was totally modifiable by its ...

Technabob (blog)

Technabob (blog)
Sun, 06 Apr 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Hackers Bunnie Huang and Sean “xobs” Cross have launched a fundraiser for their open source laptop, the Novena. It looks very different from its prototype, but the idea behind it remains the same: a computer with transparent and easily modifiable ...
Channel News Asia
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 22:14:05 -0700

SINGAPORE: The daughter of the woman who unsuccessfully sued Novena Church over an alleged failed exorcism was on Monday sentenced to a three-month day reporting order for criminal intimidation. Under the order, 28-year-old Subashini Jeyabal will ...
Impartial Reporter
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:04:22 -0700

With packed out congregations; musical performances from multi-platinum selling Texan star Kimmie Rhodes and local favourite Nathan Carter; and inspiring and uplifting talks, the week-long Novena is gaining in popularity. 'Hope and finding the strength ...
Berkshire Eagle
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:16:54 -0700

A parishoner prays silently during the Divine Mercy Chaplet novena, a series of public prayers held for the nine days leading up to Mercy Sunday, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Adams on Good Friday. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff ...

Laois Nationalist

Laois Nationalist
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:03:45 -0700

FORMER RTÉ newsreader Ann Doyle addressed the topics of retirement and old age, along with communication, or the lack of, between people, when she spoke at last week's Portlaoise Easter novena. Having almost fallen into television presentation by ...


Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:30:00 -0700

El ciclista uruguayo Matías Presa (Alas Rojas) se impuso hoy en la novena y penúltima etapa de la 71ª edición de la Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay, en la que su compatriota Mariano De Fino mantiene el liderato en la general con una cómoda ventaja sobre ...
El Periódico de Catalunya
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Un cop desaprofitada a Montecarlo l'oportunitat d'aconseguir nou títols en un mateix torneig -una fita sense precedents al circuit masculí-, Rafael Nadal buscarà la seva particular redempció al Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, torneig que comença aquest ...

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