Category Archives: Catholic Traditions

A Christmas Novena for the 9 Days before Christmas

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One of the best things about celebrating a Catholic Christmas are the final days leading up to Christmas Eve. There are several long-standing cultural Catholic traditions to take us through these final days of Advent that are heightened with anticipation in so soon welcoming the birth of the King of Kings. The Las Posadas (“the inns”) celebrated in Latin American countries and Simbáng Gabi (“Night Mass”) in the Philippines are just two examples.

There is also tradition of praying a novena for the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve. Not to be confused with the St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena which began on November 30th (the feast day of St. Andrew) and is prayed 15 times daily until Christmas Eve. Continue reading


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Journeying with Joseph & Mary: Las Posadas Catholic Christmas Tradition

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la posada figure

The Christmas Posadas tradition begins tomorrow! Las Posadas is a wonderful 400+ year old Advent celebration in many Latin countries. For 9 days, from December 16th-24th, the faithful prepare for Christmas by acting out and reliving the days Mary & Joseph experienced as they journeyed to Bethlehem as told in the Gospels. They traveled from place to place seeking rest, only to be rejected, causing the Baby Jesus to be born in a manger. Continue reading


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4 Holy-Day Advent & Christmas Pinterest Boards

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It’s hard to believe that we’re already into the second week of Advent!

If you’re looking for more holy-day inspiration to take you through the final 2+ weeks of Advent and into the joyous Christmas season (remember, Christmas BEGINS on December 25th!) check out these four Pinterest boards we’ve curated: Continue reading


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A Prayer to Saint Nicholas

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Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century bishop famous for his generosity to the poor and protection of the wronged. He was a miracle worker, most known for appearing to sailors caught in a storm at sea and raising three young boys from the dead. He is the patron saint of a great many causes, professions, cities, and countries; most notably he is the patron saint of children, sailors, prisoners, and maidens seeking to marry. Continue reading


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The Story of St. Francis of Assisi and the First Nativity Scene, as told by St. Bonaventure

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Nativity scenes have been a popular Advent and Christmas decoration for centuries. And, did you know, it originated with a Catholic saint? St. Francis of Assisi had a special devotion to the Child Jesus, and he is credited with creating the first nativity scene on Christmas Eve of the year 1223. He recreated the scene of Christ’s birth in a special service and Mass he held inside of a cave, inviting both his fellow friars and the townspeople to join in the celebration. Continue reading


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20 Ways to Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them.

Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory: Continue reading


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Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by St. Gertrude the Great

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Tradition holds that St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that the following prayer, when piously recited, would release 1,000 souls from purgatory. Continue reading


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Pray a Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them Continue reading


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How to Celebrate Advent like a Catholic

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Does it seem to you that each year the holiday season gets busier and busier, and we get further and further away from the true meaning of the Advent and Christmas season?

The best way to combat this tendency is to adopt or renew Advent traditions in the home. Whether you are single, a busy parent with kids, or empty-nesters, you can celebrate Advent like you are actually anticipating the coming of Christ—which is the whole point. It’s a spiritual journey! Continue reading


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Holy Smokes: Why Catholics Use Incense in Worship

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At Mass and other liturgical services we see the altar servers and priests swinging censers, sending clouds of incense wafting through the air. In Catholic liturgy, everything symbolizes a theological truth.

So, what does incense symbolize?

Incense has been used in Christian liturgy from its earliest centuries. In fact, it was a part of the Jewish tradition that came before it, a use that was commanded by God himself and recorded in Sacred Scripture. Continue reading


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