All Catholics in the Diocese of Syracuse are invited to join in praying a novena for Bishop-elect Douglas J. Lucia, beginning July 31 and concluding Aug. 8, the day of his installation and ordination. The novena can be downloaded below or at syrdio.org.
Here are answers to questions frequently asked about novenas, provided by the diocese:
• What is a novena? A novena is a prayer and meditation that is said for a specific intention for nine days. This prayer intention will be prayed with Catholics across our diocese and beyond for Bishop-elect Lucia.
• Why pray a novena? Novenas are an ancient tradition that goes back to the days of the Apostles. Jesus told His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, so they went to an upper room along with the Blessed Virgin Mary (Acts 1:14), and joined constantly in prayer for nine days. These nine days of constant prayer by the Apostles at the direction of Jesus led up to Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:1-4). This pattern of nine days of prayer is the basis for the novenas we pray today. Thus, the novena is an imitation of the Lord’s command to the Apostles when they prayed for nine days in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
• How do I pray a novena? Begin by quieting yourself. After a moment of silence, begin your prayer with the sign of the cross. Pray the words of the novena with reverence and intention. Follow the prayer with the Lord’s Prayer, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be.
• What happens if I miss a day? You can: skip the day you missed altogether; say two of the daily prayers in one day to catch up; or say the prayer of the day you missed and just be one day behind everybody else. It’s up to you, and whatever you choose to do is okay. There are no “rules” and there are no “consequences.” God is forgiving and merciful!
Please direct any additional questions to Mary Hallman, Director of Evangelization, at (315) 470-1429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.