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Scott P. Richert

Reader Question: The Christmas Anticipation Prayer

By December 3, 2009

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In the Catholicism Forum, new member "swatkins62" asks an interesting question about the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, also known as the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena. This once-popular Advent custom has seen a resurgence in recent years, and the forum member received a copy of it on the Feast of Saint Andrew (November 30) at her RCIA class. She wants to know:

Does anyone know what significance, if any, there is in reciting the prayer 15 times a day?

I will admit it: She has me stumped. I cannot find a discussion of this online or in any prayerbook that features the Christmas Anticipation Prayer. But Steven Hepburn, our forum moderator, has suggested one possible answer: It may be related to the traditional 15 decades of a full rosary.

I think Steven is on to something, but I'll keep digging around to see if I can find a definitive answer. In the meantime, however, if you have seen another theory elsewhere, please post it in the comments or in the forum thread.

If you have a question that you would like to be featured as part of our Reader Questions series, you can use our submission form. If you would like the question answered privately, please send me an e-mail. Be sure to put "QUESTION" in the subject line, and please note whether you'd like me to address it privately or on the Catholicism blog.

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Comments
December 5, 2009 at 11:41 am
(1) Miriam Suarez says:

It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andres (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer to Obtain Favors

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blesssed Mother. Amen.

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