A ‘novena’ is an ancient Christian tradition – it’s a nine-day period of prayer that traditionally falls between Ascension (when Jesus physically departed earth for heaven) and Pentecost (when the first disciples were gifted with the presence of the Holy Spirit. It marks a time when Jesus’ disciples are said to have prayed constantly – stuck in an ‘inbetween place’, waiting to see what God would do next.
Every year, the Diocese of Canterbury marks this time by creating a booklet of scripture, prayers and artwork for each day of the Novena. Over the years, this booklet has become a key resource for the worldwide Church as we use this time to pray for our friends and family to come to know Jesus – a global wave of prayer known as Thy Kingdom Come.
The Novena theme for 2020 is Listening on the Way.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately this year we are unable to distribute copies of the Novena. However, a PDF version is available by clicking the link here. You can also read it on your tablet or smartphone via the Issuu app - see the Diocese website (canterburydiocese.org/novena).
For each day of the Novena, from 22 to 30 May, we will use “Daily Waiting”- a simple liturgy- for our morning prayer live-streamed on our Facebook page at 9am. This is available as a PDF on the links below. You can also use these alone. These are designed to accompany the Novena booklet and include a reflection on the day's scripture reading and the artwork.
click on the day below for the "Daily Waiting" sheet:
Jesus knows the distractions that can draw our eyes away from our relationship with him. Once again, we are called to prayer, not because we have failed, but because there is yet more to discover, more change and promise to explore as we journey together.
The scriptures chosen reflect encounters that have shaped Jesus and his followers through the centuries. These encounters - and the opportunities they offer - reveal our spiritual needfulness and underline the call to journey onwards, guided by the Spirit in challenging times. Each day’s reflection invites us to pause and purposefully invite the Holy Spirit to engage with us through art, scripture and prayer. There are also images by thus year’s artist, Mark Cazalet – spend some time sitting with them. As we might look at a map or listen to our sat navs, let us be guided afresh by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.