Now that we’ve had our turkey fix, and possibly did a little shopping on Black Friday, it is time to turn our thoughts to greeting our infant King.
Friday, November 30th, is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle. That means that Advent begins on the Sunday following-December 2nd. Once again we should prepare for the coming of the Lord by praying the St Andrew prayer as a parish.
Please join me in praying, beginning Friday the 30th, the feast of St Andrew.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God
was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
The tradition is to say the prayer 15 times a day from the Feast of St Andrew through Christmas Eve. 15 times might sound like a lot, but it is a very short prayer, and only takes 3 minutes to say it 15 times. In less than a week, of course, you will no longer have to look at a piece of paper, because you will have memorized the prayer (maybe you still know it from last year). Once you know it by heart, you will have it in your heart, and you will make your way to Christmas with this powerful prayer being offered by all of us together. As an added incentive, you should know that it is piously believed that whoever recites the prayer in this way will be granted an answer to the prayer intention which has been offered for the 25 days of the prayer.
We say “Hail and blessed be the hour and moment” because those words reflect our belief that the moments in the life of Christ–His conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation; His birth in Bethlehem; His death on Calvary; His Resurrection; His Ascension– are not only special, but still present to the faithful today.
Just as when we say the mystery in the recitation of the Rosary, the repetition of the first sentence of this prayer is designed to place us, mentally and spiritually, there in the stable at His birth.
Get your Manger set as well: that is another excellent way to enter into the mystery of the Lord’s incarnation. Please join me in this devotion, and join me in a prayerfilled, holy Advent.