Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent and St Andrew

Did you know that the Feast of Saint Andrew (November 30) defines when Advent starts each year?

The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

His feast is also one of the great ecumenical feasts for Catholics and Orthodox, because Saint Andrew is considered the founder of the church at Constantinople. Every year, the Pope sends a delegation to celebrate the feast with the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch.

We begin the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, also known as the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena  on the Feast of Saint Andrew, November 30.

The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas.

You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps in the morning, at each meal and in the evening).

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent season. Be sure to save this page and return every day until you have the prayer memorized!

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

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, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother Amen.

A novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days.
The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called the "Christmas Novena" or the "Christmas Anticipation Prayer," because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.

photo source:
other sources: Scott P. Richert @ About Catholicism

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