For questions pertaining to the subject of novenas.

For questions pertaining to the subject of novenas.

The word Novena is rooted in the Latin word for nine. The practice of the novena is based in early Christianity, where Masses were held for nine days with devotional prayers to someone who has died. The practice may trace its origins to an early Greek and Roman custom performed by families, consisting of nine days of mourning after the death of a loved one, followed by a feast, which originally prompted Catholic writers such as St. Augustine, Pseudo-Alcuin and John Beleth to warn Christians not to emulate the custom.

A novena (from Latin: novem, "nine") is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks.[3][4] During a novena, the devotees make petitions, implore favors, or obtain graces by worshiping Jesus Christ, and asking for intercessions of the Virgin Mary or the saints of the faith. Individuals may express love and honor by kneeling, burning candles or placing flowers before for the person represented by a statue. In some Christian communities, the popularity of novenas has waned; in others such as in Africa, Latin America and the Philippines, novena traditions are popular and include devotional rituals such as congregational prayers, statue decoration, hymn singing with music, as well as community fiesta events over beverages, refreshments or processions.

Novenas are most often prayed by members of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as by Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Lutherans. In addition, novenas have also been used in an ecumenical Christian context, such as those promulgated by Premier Christian Radio in an effort to pray for church renewal.

The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a "rosary novena"), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or one of the personages of the Holy Trinity. In the Catholic tradition, much-used novena prayers include doctrinal statements in addition to a personal petition. The doctrinal part of the prayers are studied by its ecclesiastical staff, like formal translations of Christian scripture, and officially declared to be free of doctrinal errors with nihil obstat and imprimatur. - Novena (Wikipedia)