The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena...and Birth


Tomorrow begins the Saint Andrew Novena! It's also known as The Christmas Anticipation Prayer and technically it's not really a novena since it's not nine of anything but it has the same consistent, repetitive nature building up to a feast day as so many novenas do. Every day through Christmas Eve, the prayer is prayed 15 times a day, sometimes for a specific intention but also just as a way to ready our hearts for the beauty and mystery of Christmas. It's become a favorite tradition in our home to pray it together at night before the empty Nativity. Once we put up our Saint Lucy window lights (December 13) and our tree on Gaudete Sunday we pray by the lights they give. I made simple knotted purple cords to keep track of the 15 but there are beautiful chaplet beads available to buy for the same purpose.


"Hail and blessed be the hour and moment 
in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, 
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.

In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, 
to hear my prayers and grant my desires 
through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ 
and His Blessed Mother.

Amen."

One of my favorite aspects of the prayer is how it's intentionally praying outside of time. I love that it asks our Lord to hear our prayers precisely in that miraculous and stunning moment of His birth. I love that it places us there in the stable and makes us a part of that world-changing moment in Bethlehem. I love that it focuses on the importance of those very minutes, the very real, though miraculous, birth of a very real human baby. I love that it highlights the sacredness and importance of birth. For that reason, I find myself praying the prayer for those I know who are close to birth and especially recommend it as a prayer for women as they prepare for their own births or even during the birth, regardless of the time of year. Their birth can become, in a way, a participation in that sacred birth. We can feel confident asking Our Lord and Blessed Mother to hear those heartfelt prayers for a happy, healthy, and holy birth. They recognize more than anyone the importance of the moment of birth for each mother and baby. 

I'll be praying the novena this year for all those I know who are preparing for birth. If you'd like me to add you to my list, please leave a comment, email me, put it in the Facebook post on this topic. I'd be honored to pray for you, too.

(P.S. In my book I include all sorts of prayers and ways that we can actively invite God into our births. And I'll be making some super fun announcements about it soon so please stay tuned!)




4 comments

  1. Please add my sister, Crystal, to your list. She is expecting her rainbow baby next April. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Due in January and appreciative of any prayers!

    ReplyDelete

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