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Novena in preparation for Christmas

As every year, the end of Advent is characterized in the Holy Land by a novena in preparation for the feast of the Nativity.

Also this year, the week which extends from Sunday December 16 to Sunday December 23 will be characterized by a novena in preparation for the feast of Christmas. Nine days of preparation which consist of prayer with songs and common vespers, but with the antiphons and readings in the degree that they draw us closer to the great event of the birth of Jesus Christ.

These prayers, taking place in all the Churches of the Holy Land, are united to the daily Holy Mass and the faithful are invited to participate.

It is a well-established tradition in the Middle East, unfortunately it has fallen, more or less, into disuse in western countries. This year it has a special character as H.E. Bishop William Shomali would like to mention: “This year, we have proposed to the priests to offer a catechesis on the mystery of the Incarnation and also on the moral virtues of the Christmas personages, such as St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

This year it has a particularity as would like to remind the patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem, H.e. Mons. William Shomali: ‘this year, we proposed to the priests to offer a catechesis on the mystery of the incarnation and also about the moral virtues of Christmas characters such as Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary’.

Si tratta di una tradizione ben stabilita in Medio Oriente, purtroppo caduta più o meno in disuso nei paesi occidentali. Quest’anno essa ha una particolarità come desidera ricordare il Vicario patriarcale a Gerusalemme, S.E. Mons. William Shomali: “Quest’anno abbiamo proposto ai sacerdoti di offrire una catechesi sul mistero dell’Incarnazione ed anche sulle virtù morali dei personaggi di Natale, come San Giuseppe e la Santa Vergine Maria”.

Laurent Charnin