*Just curious if for some reason you do not continuously pray every day, the entire novena prayer…say, you pray the first 5 days, skip day 6, but resume day 6 on day 7…is that inappropriate to do, or should one begin all over again? I just completed a nine day novena, and there was one day that I forgot to pray it…and therefore skipped one day, but I resumed that day on the following day (if that makes sense)…so is the novena ‘‘broken’’ then? In total, I still prayed the nine day novena. I began another novena tonight…so hopefully this time, I won’t miss a day.
I appreciate you shedding some light on this, I’ve always wondered. :o*
I can only speak from my own experience, but when I miss a day I just pick up where I left off.
This often happens because my husband doesn’t get home on Tuesdays until after I’ve gone to bed,. When we do a novena prayer we don’t “count” Tuesdays since we don’t have time to pray together that day. We resume on Wednesdays and continue until we have prayed nine days of prayer.
This is similar to both the Divine Mercy Novena that one church I frequent for Saturday morning Mass does each week until 9 weeks have been prayed, and also another church I frequent that has Tuesday novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. They count 9 weeks rather than 9 days.
I think it’s the total number rather than the strict consecutive counting, that makes the difference. To my thinking, God looks at the intent of our hearts as the reason for the prayers. If we pray “willy-nilly” and pray intermittently without committment or intention, then that might show that we aren’t serious about why we’re praying. So to me, intention and sincerity and degree of love are what’s really important.
I also continue on from where I left off if I need to skip a day in a novena. We often say novenas as a family but due to hectic schedules not all of us are always able to be together for family prayers. In that case, the person who missed simply says the prayers on their own at another time (sometimes saying 2 days of prayers in one sitting).
My parish has 3 daily Masses on weekdays so when we do a parish novena it only takes 3 days! Obviously no one is expected to attend Mass 3 times in a day, but the corporate novena is complete even if I personally was only present 3 times.
I have also heard that the Sisters of Charity often say “quick” novenas in emergency situations. They simply say the prayer (whatever it is) once an hour for nine hours. In the same vein, I read something about a Catholic family (St Teresa’s family maybe) who would say the prayer nine times in a row!
I agree that if we are praying sincerely and with a right intention, God will overlook any defects in our delivery in favor of the message.
Once my DH and I made a 54-day rosary novena. We usually prayed our rosary at night before bed. One day, he got home late and he was fighting a cold. He took cold medicine which conked him out right before we started. I didn’t want to wake him… so I prayed TWO rosaries–one for me and one for him.
I guess this was “acceptable”… our novena was answered right on time (the “answer” is almost 16 years old now!)
That’s my FWIW story… I’ve been known to “double up” on prayers the following day to “make up” for the day I’ve missed, too!
As said before, it’s the intent that counts… God knows!
That is true if you are making a novena for a specific feast (for example the novena to Our Lady of Lourdes which begins Feb 2.) If you are saying a novena for a personal intention, you may not have scheduled it to end on a specific day, but just started out of the need for prayer. In that case, it doesn’t matter when the novena ends, just that you have said the stated prayer nine times.
*Thank you for adding onto this thread…I like learning new things about our faith traditions, and prayers–and would like to begin the practice of praying in relation to a feast day. Currently, I do it in conjunction with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (those prayer requests) or my own intentions.
Another question…I ‘‘try’’ to take a break at work, close my door and pray the Chaplet here at 3pm…some days, between meetings, conference calls, etc…I have to wait until evening. I am wondering, is that ok? I read that one should try to pray the Chaplet daily (this is in a prayer booklet I have it states this) at 3pm…if you can’t…then stop what you’re doing for a few minutes, and think of Christ on the cross. I try no matter where I am or what’s going on, to do that. Just curious as to your thoughts on this.*
Sorry if this seems facetious, but with apologies to Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson…
“It’s 3 o’clock somewhere!”
Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Besides, the chaplet of Divine Mercy can be prayed at any hour of the day or night… ask my MIL who prays about 4 or 5 a day (and 3 o’clock only comes around TWICE in any given day!)
There is a short 3 pm prayer - make the sign of the cross and say Jesus thank you for dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of the world. I’ve read that 3 pm is suppose to be the hour that Jesus died on the cross. You may find it much easier to say that short prayer at 3 pm instead of the Chaplet if you are at work. I know I can’t stop work long enough to say more than that short Thank You prayer. :signofcross:
*For anyone interested, this excerpt came from catholiccity.com…thought it was fitting for our conversation here. *
*The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a Novena
The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena. He promised, “By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls.”
For each of the nine days, our Lord gave Saint Faustina a different intention: all mankind, especially sinners; the souls of priests and religious; all devout and faithful souls; those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus; the souls who have separated themselves from the Church; the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children; the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy; the souls detained in purgatory; and souls who have become lukewarm.
“I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever grace they have need of in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death.”
We, too, can make a novena of prayer for these intentions and others, especially by praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.*
I have the same problem. I am terrible at praying Novena’s. God has not blessed me with the grace to pray Novena’s ! So I went to my Parish Priest. He warned me not to become scrupulous about it. He said that Novena’s are not a requirement, but a pious practise. He said that if you become too scrupulous in your prayers, you can end up forgetting God, Who is the source of prayer, and focus more on being perfect, which we are not! If I miss a day, I don’t feel so bad about it. I ask the Lord or Saint to whom the Novena is directed to, to forgive me, and pray for my weakness. Both Our Lord and the Saints (inc. Our Lady) understand our human weakness. If you are praying a Novena in honour of a Saints’ Feast, then say the prayers you missed on the last day of the novena, i.e the Eve of the Feast. Remember, a prayer said imperfectly is better than a prayer not said at all!
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