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Don’t be caught by surprise – the Christmas Anticipation Prayer starts tomorrow!


Pascal Deloche | GoDong

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 11/28/21

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Andrew, the traditional day to start saying this luminous prayer every day until Christmas.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Andrew, the traditional day to start saying a really lovely prayer every day until Christmas. And here’s a little joke about the St. Andrew Christmas Novena: It has nothing to do with St. Andrew; it falls during Advent instead of Christmastide; and it’s not a novena. Talk about a misnomer!

But there are good reasons why it’s called that. The beloved Christmas Anticipation Prayer traditionally begins on the Feast of St. Andrew, so it’s come to be associated with this day. It’s named for Christmas because it prepares our hearts for Christ’s birth. And it’s referred to as a novena because it involves repeating the same prayer every day, even though it’s more than nine days long.

It’s also called the Christmas Novena, St. Andrew’s Novena, St. Andrew’s Christmas Prayer, and the Christmas Anticipation Prayer. The last of these is my favorite; it seems like the most accurate. Here’s the prayer in its entirety:

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, 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.


Traditionally, the prayer is repeated 15 times a day:

It is piously believed that whoever recites the St. Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer FIFTEEN times each day from the feast of St. Andrew (November 30th) until Christmas Eve will obtain the favor requested.

But there’s no special significance to that number, and it may work better for some families to pray it once a day. That seems more doable for little kids, while still entering into the spirit of preparation and devotion.

I find it helps me remember to say the prayer if I can see reminders in my home. Here are 3 little reminders you can use in your home to remember to say the prayer daily as you joyfully anticipate Christmas.

1A printed prayer

A pretty print of the prayer can be used year after year, and it’s a very convenient reminder. You can print this gorgeous image of the prayer right now and have it all set up for tomorrow. Or this one featuring the Holy Family if you don’t mind waiting for shipping. 

Frame it on the wall or set it up on a table where you’ll notice it easily. One of my friends likes to keep the prayer on her dining room table so that she remembers to pray it with her kids every day during dinner.

2A chaplet of beads

This is the perfect thing to have if you want to pray the traditional 15 a day! This chaplet of wooden prayer beads is practical and beautiful. There’s also a bracelet version.

3A window cling

This is a fun and easy way to display the prayer! Put one on your bathroom mirror so you remember to pray it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Or get several and place them around your home and office so you can keep the prayer in mind throughout the day.

Hopefully these 3 tools will help you add the Christmas Anticipation Prayer to your Advent preparations!

AdventCatholic LifestyleChristmas
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