Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Image HT: Paul Mooney's Fine Art - A local Catholic artist in QLD, Australia

...or St Andrew's Christmas Novena.

Though not strictly a novena (9 days), this beautiful prayer is recited 15 times per day starting on the feast of St Andresw (30th November) through to the Eve of Christmas.

I cannot begin to emphasize how blessed this prayer can be to a family, to anyone during the Advent period when we prepare our hearts and souls for the Holy Babe, Jesus.

Here is the prayer:

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,

[State your intention(s) here...]

through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.Amen.

What makes this prayer so special is the constant meditation on the beauty and reality of Christmas:

"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."

They are very beautiful words....you really want to say them over and over again. By the time the anniversary of that midnight, in Bethlehem arrives you have said those words 375 times...

If you are having a bad year and preparation for advent is not going to be all you wish it to be (I've had years like that) if nothing else, you have prepared richly for Christmas by reciting this prayer as a family ~ make this a least, your one, important endeavour. You can post the prayer around the house for everyone or the way we do it, is learn it off by heart before the feast commences.

This will be the third year we have recited this prayer and we have found it to be especially efficacious. I remember in my first year I had a list of special intentions, some of them difficult and ever there...in the New Year, every prayer was answered in God's perfect timing.

We have a lovely Catholic homeschooling group that meets together every Tuesday fortnight for catchesim activities for children and fellowship for mothers, but for advent we are doing it weekly to help each other prepare advent together.

Yesterday we had our first of four advent Tuesdays and this prayer was the focus of our activity for the day. With wire, medals of St Andrew and the Holy Family and a pile of my many unused beads, the children made St Therese's sacrifice beads but with 15 beads, so that the children can recite their Christmas Anticipation Prayer each day and keep track of how many they have said in the day, the beads themselves are a visual reminder to say the prayer.

The beauty of the St Therese sacrifice beads, is that the bead is pushed over to one side and stays there, very helpful for this daily recitation. Here are the instructions to make them.

Today I made a pair of beads for myself using purple beads (liturgical colour for advent) with a vintage medal of the Child Jesus at one end...and now I eagerly await the feast of St Andrew.

6 comments:

Marilyn said...

Ooh -I just love those purple beads - I am going to have to make them for next Advent.

What a lovely post. I have put the Novena up all over the house to remind everyone to say it!

Jen said...

Thank you so much for this post! I've always wanted to pray this prayer but have never remembered it throughtout the day.....this Thanksgiving weekend I'm going to make some St. Therese sacrifice beads to help me with this prayer through Advent! What a wonderful idea thank you!

Renee said...

Thanks so very much for sharing this post! I found it so inspiring and beautiful! Wow, and as for the sacrifice beads, I would never have thought to use purple beads and I've made and helped to make dozens of these in years past. What a great idea!!! Thanks again. God Bless.

Mrs.KAOS said...

I just found your blog and I wanted to say "THANK YOU".

SuzanneG said...

I just printed this out, and want very much to say it starting Monday. Thank you!

Mary from Graceful Rosaries said...

What stringing material did you use on this chaplet? I would like to make one too?