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Catholic Prayer: Christmas Novena - December 16 - 24

Description:

A Christmas novena is usually prayed, starting nine days before Christmas. The following novena was composed by an Italian priest, Rev. Charles Vachetta, C.M., in 1721. Most of the material comes from the Old Testament prophecies and the Psalms referring to the promised Redeemer.

The novena consists of Opening Responsory Prayers, Psalm (Let the Heavens Be Glad), Scripture Reading, Magnificat with Daily Antiphon and Closing Prayer.

This novena is prayed in conjunction with the O Antiphons, and if you are using an O Antiphon House or Tower, you would open the windows during this prayer.

Prayer:

Opening Prayers:

Father: O Lord, open my lips.
All: And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

Father: O God, come to my assistance.
All: O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

Father: Our Lord and King is drawing near, O come, let us adore Him.
All: Our Lord and King is drawing near, O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Rejoice, O you daughter of Sion and exult fully, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, the Lord and Master comes, and there shall be a brilliant light in that day, and the mountains shall drop down sweetness, and hills flow with milk and honey, for in that day the Great Prophet will come, and He Himself will renew Jerusalem.
All: Our Lord and King is drawing near, O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Behold, the God-man of the house of David will come to sit upon the royal throne, and you will see Him and your heart will rejoice.
All: O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Behold, the Lord our Protector will come to save us, Israel's holy One, wearing the crown of royalty on His noble brow and He will exercise His rule from sea to shining sea, and from the waters of the river to the ends of the earth.
All: O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Behold, the Lord and King will appear, and He will not deceive; but if He should delay, wait for Him to come; He will surely come and will not tarry.
All: O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: The Lord will come down like rain upon the fleece of Gideon; justice will thrive and an abundance of true peace; all the kings of the lands of the earth will adore Him, and every nation will serve Him.
All: O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: A Child will be born to us, and He will be called God the almighty; He will sit upon the royal throne of David His father, and He will hold sway, the sign of His power on His shoulder.
All: O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Bethlehem, city of the Most High God, from you will come forth the King of Israel, and He will proceed forth from His eternity; and He will be greatly praised in the midst of the entire universe; and there will be peace in our land when He will have come.
All: Our Lord and King is drawing near, O come, let us adore Him.

(On the Eve of Christmas add:)

Eldest Child: Tomorrow the wickedness of the whole world will be destroyed, and over us will reign the Savior of the world. All: Our Lord and King is drawing near, O come, let us adore Him.

Eldest Child: Near at last is Christ our King. All: O come, let us adore Him.


Let the Heavens Be Glad

All:Blow ye the trumpet in Sion, for the day of the Lord is nigh: behold, He will come to save us, alleluia, alleluia!

The following prayer can be said all together, or each phrase recited alternately.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice. O all you mountains, praise the Lord.

Let the mountains break forth into gladness, and the hills with justice.

For the Lord shall come and to the poor He shall show mercy.

Drop down dew, you heavens, from above and let the clouds rain the Just One;

Let the earth be opened and bud forth the Savior.

Be mindful of us, O Lord, and visit us in Your salvation.

Show to us, O Lord, Your mercy, and grant us your salvation.

Come, O Lord, in peace visit us that with a perfect heart we may rejoice before You.

Come, O Lord, do not tarry; do away with the offenses of Your people.

Come and show to us Your countenance, O Lord. You sit upon the cherubim.

Father: Glory to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. All: As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

All: Blow ye the trumpet in Sion, for the day of the Lord is nigh: behold, He will come to save us, alleluia, alleluia!


Scripture Reading

December 16: Genesis 3:1-15; Romans 1:18-26

December 17: Genesis 3:14-20; Romans 5:12-21

December 18: Genesis 17:15-23; Romans 4:13-23

December 19: Deuteronomy 15:13-20; Acts 3:18-26

December 20: Isaiah 28:14-20; Romans 10:5-11

December 21: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Luke 1:26-39

December 22: Deuteronomy 7:6-21; Ephesians 2:12-22

December 23: Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-25

December 24: Micah 5:1-5; Luke 2:1-8

All: Thanks be to God.

Leader: Drop down dew from above, O you heavens, and let the clouds rain the Just One.


Daily Antiphons for the Magnificat

16. Behold, the King will come, the Lord of the earth, and He will remove from us the yoke of our captivity.

17. O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly, Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

18. O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

19. O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kinds shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.

20. O Key of David, and Sceptre of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: Come and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

21. O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one: Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out the dust of the earth.

22. O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one: Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.

23. O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God.

24. With the rising of the sun, you will soon see the King of kings and Lord of lords, coming forth from His Father, as the bridegroom, from His bridal chamber.


Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, And has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.

He come to the help of his servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. (All: Repeat the Antiphon for the Day)


Closing Prayer:

Father: O Lord, hear my prayer. All: And let my cry come to You.

Father: Let us pray: Hasten, we beseech You, O Lord; do not delay; grant us the help of supernatural virtue, so that Your coming will be a consolation to those who hope in Your mercy. You who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God world without end. All: Amen.

Father: Let us bless the Lord. All: And give Him thanks.

Father: May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. All: Amen.

Taken from Living and Celebrating The Advent-Christmas Seasons © 1982 by the Daughters of St. Paul, and The Twelve Days of Christmas by Elsa Chaney, © 1955 The Liturgical Press.

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