A Novena is a form of Christian prayer that takes place over, traditionally, 9 days. You are invited to pray this Novena in Preparation for Christmas beginning on December 16th. There is an opening prayer, followed by a one of the O Antiphons for each of the days, concluded by the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the collect for the First Sunday in Advent. You can pray this as part of your private devotions at home, or before or after the Daily Office, if you pray that.
Novena in Preparation for Christmas
Begin with this opening prayer
O Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake didst vouchsafe to descend from thy throne of glory to this vale of tears and woe; who wast conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; make, we beseech thee, our hearts a fit habitation for thyself. Beautify and fill them with all spiritual graces, and possess them wholly by thy power. Give us grace to prepare for thy coming with deep humility, to receive thee with burning love, and to hold thee fast with a firm faith; that we may never leave thee nor forsake thee, who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
Then say one of the antiphons below, according to the day:
O Shepherd that rulest Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep: come to guide and comfort us.
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the most high, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: come and teach us the way of prudence.
O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel, who appearedst in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gavest him the law in Sinai: come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
O root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom kings shall shut their mouths, unto whom the Gentiles shall seek: come and deliver us, and tarry not.
O key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come, and bring the prisoners out of the prison house, them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death.
O Day spring, brightness of the light everlasting, and Sun of righteousness: come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death.
O king of nations, and their desire; the cornerstone, who makest both one: come and save mankind, whom thou formedst of clay.
O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, the desire of all nations and their salvation: come and save us, O Lord our God.
O thou whose dominion is great, and whose kingdom shall have no end; the mighty God, the Governor, the prince of peace: come show thy face, and we shall be saved.
After the Antiphon, conclude with the following prayers
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.