Happy feast of Saint Andrew, apostle, and happy Catholic New Year!
Our new liturgical year began two days ago on the first Sunday of Advent. That means that now is the perfect time to start some new prayerful traditions in your home. One of my favorites is the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, a.k.a. the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena . . . which is confusing because it’s not a novena (which is a prayer said for nine days straight) and it doesn’t really have anything to do with Saint Andrew, other than that it’s traditionally recited fifteen times per day, beginning today on his feast day and ending on Christmas Eve.
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 the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
It always gets me right in the gut. I love it. Somehow it makes it all feel so real to me, how Christmas was an actual historical event, this one amazing moment in time, in which a very special Baby was born to a very special mother, in very humble surroundings.
Fifteen times is a lot of times to say anything! But, I put a copy up in the kitchen to remind us to say it while we do the dishes, and a backup copy in the car so we can say it while we’re driving around. The whole family manages to memorize it pretty quickly again each year, and we’ve found that it’s something we can do during the whole of Advent without much effort or advance planning.
To make it more meaningful, we keep a written list of all of our intentions for the prayer. That way, all through Advent, we’re focused on people and issues we care about, and on using prayer as a gift to others. It’s the perfect way to start the new year. Consider trying it this year?At Midnight, in Bethlehem, in the Piercing Cold // @kendra_tierney Click To Tweet