Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Christmas Novena


When I was a seminarian at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary at St John Lateran, from 2000-2005, one of the highlights of our liturgical year was going to St Mary Major and singing the Christmas Novena in the Borghese Chapel where the image of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani resides.  I was amazed to find that, all over Italy, people gathered to sing in Latin (!) this novena, that comes in large part from St Alphonsus.

When I came back to South Carolina, I was wondering how we might do something similar in my parish.  I based a version of the one we used at St Mary Major as well as a paraliturgical service designed for Advent called Vigilate from Msgr Martin Hellriegel, the indomitable pastor of Holy Cross, St Louis, and master of liturgical movement in parish life.

Just in case anyone is interested, I include here a link to the booklet that we have for private use only at my parish.  We have not done it publicly yet, but some of our people do it in their houses, and maybe one day we will get to do it in church!