A Christmas Novena

from 'The Catholic Company'

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One of the best things about celebrating a Catholic Christmas are the final days leading up to Christmas Eve. There are several long-standing Catholic cultural traditions that take us through these final days of Advent – heightened with anticipation in so soon welcoming the birth of the King of Kings.


The Las Posadas (“The Inns”) celebrated in Latin American countries and Simbáng Gabi (“Night Mass”) in the Philippines are just two examples of nine-day celebrations beginning on December 16 and continuing until December 24.


There is also tradition of praying a novena for the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve. Not to be confused with the St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena which began on November 30th (the feast day of St. Andrew) and is prayed 15 times daily until Christmas Eve.

There are many options for praying this Christmas Novena, all which aim to prepare our hearts for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. The Christmas Novena below is taken from here, which is nice because it uses the biblical titles of Jesus that correspond with the O Antiphons that appear in the Liturgy of the Hours on the final eight days before Christmas. Pray the novena below daily from December 16 to Christmas Eve.


A Christmas Novena

December 16:
O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one 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!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one 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!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one 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.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one 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.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one 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!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.


December 22:
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.


December 23:
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.


December 24:
O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.