Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A recitation of prayers and devotions for a special purpose during nine consecutive days.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the Roman Catholic Church, a devotion consisting of prayers said during nine consecutive days, for the purpose of obtaining, through the intercession of the Virgin or of the particular saint to whom the prayers are addressed, some special blessing or mercy. Also called by the French name neuvaine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A recitation of prayers and devotions for nine consecutive days, especially one to a saint to ask for their intercession

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a Roman Catholic devotion consisting of prayers on nine consecutive days

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Medieval Latin novēna, from feminine of Latin novēnus, nine each, from novem, nine; see newn̥ in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • That novena is called the posadas, and it's celebrated somewhat differently -- but that's another post.

    November celebrations

  • The novena is prayed on the 9 days prior to the anniversary day of his canonisation. posted by John at 3: 19 PM

    03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003

  • The novena is not only related to someone's dying.

    Novena?

  • This nine-day party is called a novena, and throughout Mexico a full-on fiesta patronal is always nine days.

    November celebrations

  • Still today, we keep a special nine-day vigil of prayer called a novena between the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • Still today, we keep a special nine-day vigil of prayer called a novena between the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

    Homeward bound

  • A novena is a nine-day vigil of prayer, usually focused on a sing theme or petition.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • A novena is a nine-day vigil of prayer, usually focused on a sing theme or petition.

    Ascensiontide novena to the Holy Ghost

  • We sometimes rely far more upon God than God desires us to do, and there are occasions when a novena is the refuge of laziness or cowardice.

    Life of Father Hecker

  • I was delighted to learn a few years ago that the whole concept of the "novena," nine days of intercessory prayer, came from the nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.

    Novena to the Holy Spirit Starts Today

Comments

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  • "Candles were lit at a side altar. He genuflected. Some sort of novena was in progress and there was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the main altar."

    - 'The Colour Of Blood', Brian Moore.

    January 3, 2008