from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church A recitation of prayers and devotions for a special purpose during nine consecutive days.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A recitation of prayers and devotions for nine consecutive days, especially one to a saint to ask for their intercession
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a Roman Catholic devotion consisting of prayers on nine consecutive days
That novena is called the posadas, and it's celebrated somewhat differently -- but that's another post.
The novena is not only related to someone's dying.
The novena is prayed on the 9 days prior to the anniversary day of his canonisation. posted by John at 3: 19 PM
This nine-day party is called a novena, and throughout Mexico a full-on fiesta patronal is always nine days.
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.
A novena is a nine-day vigil of prayer, usually focused on a sing theme or petition.
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.
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.
This was a kind of novena to take place each of the nine nights prior to Christmas Day.
That means prayer, such as the nine days of prayer—the "novena"—among the Apostles as they awaited the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.