Wednesday 16 June 2021

Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston and Raymond Edwards - CTS Devotions

Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Raymond Edwards
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784691271
eISBN 9781784692124
CTS Booklet D809

This is the sixth volume from Glynn MacNiven-Johnston that I have read, and the fourth from Raymond Edwards. Over the last several years I have read almost 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society. They have many great series, and books. And the CTS Devotions is among my favourites. The description of this booklet is:

“These specially composed novena prayers provide opportunities to develop our prayer life throughout the year. Each season and feast has its own themes and focus; the wonder of the Incarnation and news of Jesus's birth, the contemplative period of Lent and the joy of Easter, and the example of Mary as her life story is told through her feast days. These novenas open up the feasts of the Church’s year for us and we learn more of novenas as a form of prayer.”

The chapters in this booklet are:
Immaculate Conception
Sacred Heart
Exaltation of the Cross
Christ the King

The book begins with these words:

“A novena is a way of praying, often for a particular need or grace. It consists of a prayer or prayers said over nine days. The word novena is originally Latin, and means “in a group of nine”. 1 This is because a novena lasts for nine consecutive days; on each day, there is a particular prayer to be said, or devotional practice to be made.”

We are also informed in the introduction that:

“There are many different sorts of novena; you can make a novena using any prayer you want: the main thing is to pray it regularly for nine days in a row. Nevertheless most people will make a novena using a prayer composed for the purpose. Some novena prayers are long, and may include litanies, or meditations; others are short. You can make a novena using the same prayer nine times, or nine different prayers, one for each day. There are no rules; what follows are only suggestions.”

And they are some wonderful suggestions. I have set calendar reminder’s to do a few of these Novena’s over the next year. There is also a companion volume we are informed:

“Many novenas (including those in the companion volumes Handbook of Novenas to the Saints (CTS, 2010) and Handbook of Scriptural Novenas (CTS, 2015)) ask the intercession of a particular saint or biblical figure for whatever our intention may be. As well as interceding (praying) on our behalf, the saints are also examples of how the Christian life has been lived.”

At the end of the introduction is a section called How To Use This Booklet and it states:

“Each novena in this booklet reflects on a particular feast or season within the Church’s year, and invites us to put our own needs in this context. Where possible, we have given short passages of Scripture for each day, followed by a reflection on some aspect of the feast or season, and then a prayer. 

On each day of the novena, say these, and add your particular intention, if you have one; then say the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Do this on each of the nine days. 

You may find it helpful to keep a short time of silence after reading the passage from Scripture. Scripture is the Word of God; God speaks to us through it. But to hear what he wants to say to us, we need to be quiet and listen. We may have much to say to God; he surely has something to say to us.”

What follows is 12 wonderful novenas. This is an excellent little volume. A wonderful book to have in your collection. And pray the novena’s around the church year. An excellent resource that I highly recommend. And you will likely want to pick up the companion volume I did before I even finished this one.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr
Pier Giorgio Frassati Inspiration for Students
Father Damien Apostle to the Lepers
Martin de Porres

Rita of Cascia 

Prayer Books:
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Infant of Prague
Handbook of Novenas to the Saints: Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas: For Various Needs and Intentions
Devotion to St Jude: Patron of Hopeless Cases

A Book of Novenas

Books by Dr Raymond Edwards:
Catholic Traditionalism
The Dowry of Mary 
Handbook of Novena to the Saints
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas for Various Needs and Intentions
J.R.R. Tolkien - His Life, Work & Faith
Prayer on the Go
A Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms
Stories of World War I
The Miraculous Medal
The Reformation in England
A Book of Novenas

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