Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Saint Andrew and the Christmas Novena

November 30th is the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle. He was first a follower of John the Baptist and then Saint Andrew became the first Apostle of Jesus. This particular feast has a lot of strange traditions for unmarried women. In Europe, tradition states that single women who wish to marry ask for Saint Andrew for assistance. The night before his feast, they should sleep naked and they should dream about their future husband. There is another tradition that says that unmarried women should pay attention to the direction of barking dogs on Saint Andrew’s Eve, that is the direction that their future husband will come from that direction. On the day after the feast of Saint Andrew, young men and women gather cups and write their names and "priest" on the cups. The cups are then set to float in a tub. If a specific boy‘s and a girl‘s cup drift together and are met by the cup with “priest” written across, it indicates marriage.

In honor of this patron saint of fisherman, it felt only acceptable to enjoy a seafood feast. I decided to bake some breaded cod, coconut shrimp, shrimp tempura and panko crusted shrimp with grilled asparagus and quinoa. It was a hit with the whole family. NO LEFTOVERS! We also got to finish off some sparking apple cider from Thanksgiving!

Tonight was also the evening we decided to decorate our Christmas tree. It has been a family tradition to decorate our tree on Thanksgiving evening but with my increased work schedule we had to push it off. I really wish that I could convince my family to wait until closer to Christmas to setup and decorate the tree but it's hard to break a tradition we've been honoring for as long as my kids can remember. Another special tradition we have to celebrate our Christmas tree, is we add special ornaments each year that represent accomplishments or something special that we hope to remember and we add that ornament on Christmas Eve. We still are on the hunt for our ornament for this year... I can't wait to share what we decide to get. Do you have traditions surrounding your tree? ornaments? something else?

After the tree decorating and enjoying some hot beverages, (hot cocoa for the kids and hot tea for me and the hubby) we moved onto the kids' Advent Adventures with Holy Heroes. Are you participating? If not, you should! It has been part of our Advent tradition for the past several years and it is amazing! Today the Advent Adventure included information on Saint Andrew, which only added to the excitement of this feast day!

Today is the day to start a famously known novena called the Christmas Novena. You say it fifteen times a day until Christmas Day. It is said that anyone who completes the novena will not be denied their request. I will be completing my novena tonight while I am finishing my Advent devotions.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena:

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention request here). 

Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

Saint Andrew, pray for us!

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