This traditional novena recalls the expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the birth of Christ drew near. It features a mix of Scripture verses, prayers, and the Marian antiphon "Alma Redemptoris Mater" ("Loving Mother of Our Savior").
Begun on December 16, this novena will end on Christmas Eve, making it the perfect way for us, individually or as a family, to begin our final preparations for Christmas. The novena could be combined with the lighting of the Advent wreath or with Advent Scripture readings.
The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
"Drop down the dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain the Just One! Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior!" (Isaiah 48:8).
O Lord, how wonderful You are everywhere in the world! You have made for Yourself a worthy dwelling-place in Mary!
"Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou has found grace with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus" (Luke 1:30).
"The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and, therefore, the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. But Mary said: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word'" (Luke 1:35).
Holy and immaculate Virgin, how shall I praise you as I ought? You have borne in your womb Him Whom heaven could not contain. You are blessed and worthy of veneration, Virgin Mary, for you became the Mother of the Savior while remaining a Virgin.
"I sleep and my heart watches . . . I to my Beloved, and my Beloved to me, who feeds among the lilies" (Song of Solomon 6:2).
Let us pray.
Grant, we beg of You, Almighty God, that we who are weighed down by the old yoke of sin, may be freed by the new birth of Your only-begotten Son for which we long. Who lives and reigns forever. Amen.
HYMN: "Alma Redemptoris Mater"
Mother of Christ,
Do hear your people's cry,
Star of the deep
And portal of the sky.
Mother of Him
Whose hand your glory made,
Sinking, we strive,
And call to you for aid.
Oh, by that joy
Which Gabriel did bestow;
O Virgin first and last,
Your tender mercy show.
Let us pray.
O God, You willed that Your Word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the message of an angel; grant us, Your humble servants, that we who truly believe her to be the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with You. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.