Today, November 30, marks the beginning of the recitation of Christmas Anticipation Prayer and Novena to the Immaculate Conception.
The Christmas Anticipation Prayer, also known as the Christmas Novena, traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
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, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
[here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Novena to the Immaculate Conception
This beautiful novena is taken from the Handbook of Prayers edited by Reverend James Socias, Our Sunday Visitor Press. Since the Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of the United States of America, it seems appropriate to include this very special novena here. The first day is posted here. Due to computer glitches I couldn't post the whole novena earlier today. A file with the complete novena will be uploaded as soon as possible.
ETA: I cannot seem to upload the file on this blog, so the file can be found here on my blog.
Pope Pius XI formally instituted the celebration of the Immaculate Conception when he proclaimed this dogma on December 8, 1854. Affirming the constant faith of the Church, he expressed in that definition the exact meaning of the truth of Mary's Immaculate Conception: that she was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This feast has been celebrated in the East, and also in many places in the West, since the eighth century. This privilege of Mary is the most beautiful fruit of her Son's Redemption. Chosen as mother of the Savior, Mary received the benefits of salvation from the moment of her conception. Christ came to take away the sin of mankind; he did not allow it to contaminate Mary. The sanctity of our Blessed Mother is a model for all Christians. We seek her intercession that we may be rid of our sins and achieve sanctity.
Mary, the New Eve
may our gifts be sanctified by the Holy Spirit,
who formed the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be a new creation
and sent down upon her
the dew of heavenly grace,
so that her womb might bear the fruits of our salvation, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Reading: Genesis 3:1-6, 13-15
Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that The Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.
Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." The Lord Go said to the serpent,
"Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.
"Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, is placed at the very center of that enmity, that struggle, that accompanies the history of humanity on earth and the history of salvation itself. In this central place, she who belongs to the 'weak and poor of the Lord' bears in herself, like no other member of the human race, that 'glory of grace' which the Father 'has bestowed on us in his Beloved Son,' and this grace determines the extraordinary greatness and beauty of her whole being. Mary thus remains before God, and also before the whole of humanity, as the unchangeable and inviolable sign of God's election, spoken of in Paul's letter: 'in Christ...he chose us...before the foundation of the world,...he destined us...to be his sons' (Eph 1:4, 5). This election is more powerful than any experience of evil and sin, than all that 'enmity' that marks the history of man. In this history Mary remains a sign of sure hope" (John Paul II, Mother of the Redeemer, 11).
The Holy Rosary may be prayed.
you prepared a worthy dwelling place for your Son
by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from all stain of sin in your foreknowledge of his death,
so we, by her intercession,
may come to you with pure hearts.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.