The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer

Home » The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer


The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer

Every year as the holiday season draws near, the weather turns colder, and the daylight leaves us much sooner. Many of us start earnestly preparing for the Christmas season. One great way to celebrate the coming of Christmas is the Christmas Anticipatory Prayer. Or, as people more commonly know it, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer. This is a beautiful prayer about the birth of Christ that can serve as a meditation for Advent. During the Advent season, it is customary to recite the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer up to fifteen times daily from November 30th until Christmas Day.


November 30th marks the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the first apostle called by our Lord. Andrew, a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, was also a fisherman by trade and a former disciple of John the Baptist. Saint Andrew is also known for introducing Jesus, his perhaps more famous brother, Peter, and proclaiming, “We have found the Messiah.” Andrew is ultimately said to have been martyred in Greece on a cross in the form of an X. This type of cross, a saltire, has henceforth traditionally been known as Saint Andrew’s cross.

St. Andrew's Cross Design for Hand Embroidery

To coincide with Andrew being the first apostle, the feast of Saint Andrew marks the start of a new liturgical year. Therefore, the Sunday that falls nearest the feast day of Saint Andrew is always the first Sunday of Advent. Many countries across the world, including Russia and Scotland, consider St. Andrew their patron saint. And they have various traditions associated with his feast day. In fact, the flag of Scotland features a saltire or X-shaped cross, to commemorate the shape of the traditional Saint Andrew’s cross.

Saint Andrew’s Feast Day Traditions


For many centuries, people did not allow weddings during Advent and Christmas. Because of this tradition, Saint Andrew has often been known as the patron saint of unmarried maidens. In fact, many countries have superstitions about marriage connected to the feast day of Saint Andrew. In many Slovakian countries, people cook a pasta dish called Halushky on this day. Unmarried girls are supposed to place slips of paper with the names of single young men in the dish. In England, people often celebrate the feast day by drinking elderberry wine and serving a special cake called Tandra Cake. The cake consists of a bread dough base with lard, sugar, currants, lemon peel, and eggs.

However, the most popular tradition associated with the feast day of Saint Andrew is the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena. While the exact origin of the prayer is unknown, we do know that the prayer is well over 100 years old and likely originated in Ireland. The words of this beautiful prayer are included below.

 Novena Prayer Ecclesiastical Sewing

The Purpose of Novena Prayer


Although people label this prayer as a novena, a novena is normally only a nine-day prayer. The term novena is also commonly used to refer to any prayer that is repeated over several days. Because prayer is very much an essential part of the Advent season, perhaps this is why the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is so much different than a traditional novena. Traditionally this prayer is said fifteen times per day from November 30th until Christmas. You can say the prayer fifteen times all at once or divide it up throughout your day. It can also function as a family devotion during Advent where it can be a great way to help focus children’s attention on the Advent season.

While the prayer starts with the feast day of Saint Andrew, it never addresses Saint Andrew but is rather said directly to God. The focus of the prayer is a request to God to grant our request in honor of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The opening words aim to mentally and spiritually transport us to the exact moment of Jesus’ birth, on a cold night in Bethlehem in a stable. The prayer also draws our focus to many of the great moments in the life of Christ, namely his conception, his birth in Bethlehem, and through reference to “Our Savior Jesus Christ” a focus on his death, resurrection, and ascension.

The Significance of “Vouchsafe” in Prayer

Finally, in the last parts of this prayer, we see the use of one keyword not common in this day and age but extremely significant to the meaning of this prayer. The word “vouchsafe”. Vouchsafe generally means to give or grant a favor and in the final parts of this prayer. We ask that God grant us a favor and grant our desires, not through our merits, but through the merits of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother. Because the prayer asks that God grant our request, the belief is that reciting Saint Andrew’s Christmas Novena Prayer fifteen times each day from November 30th until Christmas Eve will grant the request made to God.


Seasonal Colors

The Christmas season brings with it a set of decorative colors common to the holiday which often include red, green, and white. It also brings with it, many changes to the colors and decorations of vestments as we enter the holiday season. Common vestment colors include violet and rose during the season of Advent and white on specific days related to Christmas. Certain traditions also use blue and gold-colored vestments during Advent and the Christmas season. The feast of Saint Andrew’s marks the beginning of the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer. It also sets up the beginning of a new liturgical year and with it a great chance to select the vestments and supplies for your church setting that highlight your community’s faith and devotion. At Ecclesiastical Sewing, we can provide everything needed including fabrics, altar linens, patterns, stole kits, vestments, and many other items for your worship setting.

Without further ado, we have a new embroidery design that we would like to show you. Below are pictures of the Saint Andrew cross which is part of a larger set of designs. We encourage you to plan ahead and contact us about making vestments for future church seasons. This will make a lovely set; someday we will have it embroidered so you can see it worked on fabric.

 Church Banner Ecclesiastical Sewing

Burse and Chalice Veil Ecclesiastical Sewing Veil

Have a blessed first day of Advent tomorrow.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Who Was Anthony of Padua? The Lost Saint.?

The Christmas Rose

Travels and Ecclesiastical Sewing Treasures

All Saints Day

Why Do We Make Beautiful Vestments


1 Comment »

  1. Beautiful ! I wish you and all to be safe and enjoy a meaningful and peaceful Advent leading up to Christmas Day 🙂 x