Each year many Catholics around the world prepare for the birth of Jesus by praying the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.
When does it start?
The Christmas Novena begins on the feast of St. Andrew, which is always on November 30. The prayers do not contain any reference to St. Andrew, but only use his feast as a starting point.
One of the reasons for this starting point is that Advent always begins on the Sunday closest to November 30.
The prayer itself is entirely focused on Christmas and pictures the night of Jesus’ birth with beautifully poetic language.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
[here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
According to Catholic Company, “While the origins of this prayer are unknown, it is over 100 years old (at least) and may have come from Ireland.”
The prayer is customarily prayed 15 times a day, but in reality it can be prayed once a day or whenever you remember throughout the next month, all the way until Christmas Day.
The St. Andrew Christmas Novena is a beautiful way to prepare your heart for Christmas, looking forward to his coming, while also recalling the humble conditions of his birth.