The novena to the Holy Spirit traditionally begins today, nine days before the Great Feast of Pentecost. It is one of the ancient novenas of the Church. Many novenas end on the day of a feast, but novenas should not end on a Great Feast or Solemnity. There is some confusion about this. The Holy Spirit novena is traditionally prayed between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.
If you don't have a novena to the Holy Spirit booklet handy, EWTN provides a nice online version here. Next time you can buy a copy at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods right here. We carry a large selection of novena booklets for the many traditional novenas which are prayed throughout the Church year.
What's up with the whole nine days thing? A novena is nine consecutive days of prayer emulating the practice of the first disciples of Our Lord who spent nine days in fervent vigil prayer, from His Ascension to Pentecost, awaiting the glorious and promised Descent of the Holy Spirit. So, when you pray a novena you are practicing one of the most ancient devotions of the Church. Its another one of the great things about the Catholic faith – we go right back to the source! We ARE the original Christians. Pentecost is the day we celebrate the “birthday of the Church” and we've been doing that for a long time now.
So, do you have special intentions? We all do. Pray. God is always waiting to hear from you.
Come, O Holy Spirit!