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.
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 from the Medieval practice of holding daily Mass for nine consecutive days for recently departed members of the upper classes and clergy, which itself may trace its origins to 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, which originally prompted Catholic writers such as St. Augustine, Pseudo-Alcuin and John Beleth to warn Christians not to emulate the custom.
Over time, members of Roman Catholic faith began to place less emphasis on the number nine's connection to the pagan custom, and more on its association with the nine months Jesus spent in the womb, the giving up of His spirit at the 9th hour, and the event which occurred in the Upper Room with Twelve Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary when 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. The Church Fathers also assigned special meaning to the number nine, seeing it as symbolic of imperfect man turning to God in prayer (due to its proximity with the number ten, symbolic of perfection and God). These developments first affected Christian mortuary celebrations, and then carried over to prayer.
There are four recognized categories of novenas which belong to more than one of these categories:
- 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.
Other Christian use
Novena prayers are also practised by some Orthodox and Anglican Christians, who hold close or similar beliefs regarding its pious practice.
- 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.
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Novena By James Swearingen. This piece is a 3 level piece it is an excellent work to start off a concert band into playing more difficult pieces. :) I played both Piccolo and 1st Clarinet...
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Sat, 21 Mar 2015 14:37:20 -0700
For the 450th anniversary of the Kaplag, the finding of the Santo Niño de Jesus of Cebu by the Legazpi expedition of 1565, novena Masses will be celebrated by top prelates and religious, according to Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA, of the Basilica Minore de ...
Catholic Free Press
Catholic Free Press
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:22:30 -0700
In his novena homily Father Kesicki told another story about being in Rome. The priest who grew up in Eire, Penn., first said he's a John Farrell fan: the Red Sox manager's sons attended St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland when he was president there.
Times of India
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:37:32 -0800
This novena does not culminate in a feast, but on the last day of the novena (March 12) a high Mass will be celebrated at 9.30am, followed by a penitential procession to the Rosary Church, where another Mass will be celebrated, informed Fr Patricio ...
PR Newswire (press release)
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:04:00 -0800
SINGAPORE, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital will soon become the first treatment center in Singapore to treat cancer using the TrueBeam™ STx system for radiotherapy and radiosurgery from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ...
Catholic Herald Online (blog)
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 04:57:16 -0700
St Teresa of Avila said that St Joseph never refused her anything on his feast day, March 19. Today is March 10 and marks the first day of the novena to St Joseph. Usually, people pray to St Joseph to find them a job. Men tend to pray to the foster ...
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 08:33:55 -0700
ON Monday night last, well-known Passionist author, Fr Daniel O'Leary, the last of the guest speakers, brought the 26th annual Graan Novena of Hope to a close. In addition to Fr Brian D'Arcy, CP, the rector, he was one of nine speakers over the nine ...
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:00:00 -0800
DESPITE the wintry night and the fact that this year's Novena of Hope at the Graan was brought forward a month due to Easter falling early (6th April), the crowds are still turning out in their thousands. An estimated 1,000 people turned up on Monday ...
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:03:45 -0700
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