Just as the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena lasts longer than nine days, I suggest that we pray the prayer I have chosen for our novena this week for 12 days—the Twelve Days of Christmas, starting on Christmas Day itself and running through January 5, the eve of Epiphany.
The Prayer for the Feast of Christmas reminds us what Christmas is all about. A Child is born, but He is no ordinary child; He is the Lord of all, Jesus Christ, Whose kingdom will have no end. And we, if we follow Him and grow in holiness, will live in that kingdom eternally.
You can, of course, say this prayer at any time of the day, but if we begin each of the Twelve Days of Christmas by reciting it as a family, it may help to remind us that Christmas simply begins on December 25. Instead of ending our celebration before the New Year, we can keep the Feast of Christmas as our fellow Christians have down through the ages.
(If you're seeing this post after Christmas, don't worry; just join in the novena now. There's nothing magical about praying this prayer for all Twelve Days of Christmas; what's important is what this prayer works in our souls.)
(A Nativity scene for Christmas 2007 in front of the main altar at the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Rome, Italy. Photo © Scott P. Richert)