Light to the Nations Havurah (LTTNH) is pleased to provide you our Novena of Light. Inspired by the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah, LTTNH developed this Novena to include reflections on selected biblical passages referencing or alluding to God’s light. The Novena is prayed starting with the daily opening reading from the Book of Maccabees regarding the dedication of the altar. In the associated reflection for that reading, a prayer of dedication is made to God. The reflection is followed by reading the bible passage and reflection for that particular day. Following the reflection, a meditation is made. The meditation is concluded by reciting an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be.
We encourage those praying the Novena to light an Advent wreath while praying the Novena. Those in possession of a menorah can pray the Novena by lighting the menorah. The shamash, or middle candle, is lit the first night. The following nights the candles are lit from left to right, one candle per day. The shamash is used to light all the remaining candles. By the time the ninth candle is lit, the lighting of the candles will have followed the sign of the cross. Ideally, the Novena should be prayed in the evenings starting the first night of Hanukkah. This year (2014) the first night falls on December 16th.
Opening Daily Reading and Reflection
1 Maccabees Ch. 4 verses 56 and 59
So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise… Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
Heavenly Father, we find gladness and joy and in the incarnation of your son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Tonight, we dedicate ourselves to you, just as the assembly of Israel dedicated the temple to you during the Feast of the Dedication. Enlighten our minds as we pray and reflect on this Novena so that we may be true light to all your people. Amen.
Day 1 – Genesis Ch. 1 verses 3-5 (God keeping us in his Light)
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”
Heavenly Father. You gave us light; it was your first gift to creation. You separated the light from the darkness. Keep us forever in the light of your truth and the shelter of your love.
Day 2 – Exodus Ch. 27 verse 20 (Bearing Witness to God’s love and mercy)
“You shall order the Israelites to bring you clear oil of crushed olives, to be used for light, so that you may keep lamps burning regularly”
God, may we be open to your will, especially in times of trial. May the fruits of our trials serve as a witness of your Divine Providence, a light to those who don’t know you.
Day 3 – Isaiah Ch. 9 verses 1-5 (Faith in God in times of darkness)
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that trampled in battle, every cloak rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.”
Lord Jesus, help us see your light in times of confusion and fear. May this light banish any evil present in those difficult times. Help us understand that your light illuminates a path to Salvation, and that your Salvation brings abundant joy and great rejoicing. May we too proclaim you “Wonder-Counselor”, “God-Hero”, “Father Forever”, and “Prince of Peace”.
Day 4 – Isaiah Ch. 58 verse 10 (Helping those in need)
“If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted, then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday;”
Lord Jesus, make us dutiful stewards to those in need, most especially during this Ad-vent and Christmas Season. May we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, harbor the harborless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, and bury the dead. Let us remember that service to others is a light that chases away darkness.
Day 5 – Matthew Ch. 5 verses 15-16 (Spreading God’s light to all)
“Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”
Jesus, in order to let my light before men, I must let your light shine in and through me. Open my heart and mind so your light can come in. Help me clearly shine this light to others so they too give glory to Our Heavenly Father.
Day 6 – John Ch. 8 verses 12-15 (Jesus’s light being a source of strength)
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Lord Jesus, your birth brought light to our dark world. We pray this light will be a source of strength so that we may we never again walk in the darkness that is sin, but follow you and have the light of life.
Day 7 – Matthew Ch. 17 verses 1, 2, and 5 (Jesus’s light as a source of healing, help, and hope)
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light…While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, (and) then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’”
Today the entire world is in very dire need of Christ’s light. Jesus, may all listen to your Word, and may your light be a source of blessings and healing. May we bring this light to all who are in need of it. Help us remember that in Heaven, God provides all the light that is needed. Help us remember your Transfiguration is a small sample of the light awaiting us in Heaven.
Day 8 – Revelation Ch. 12 verse 1 (Our Blessed Mother bringing us to Jesus and as an example of God’s light)
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. “
Queen of Heaven, Ever Blessed Virgin Mary, extend the warmth of your mantle into our lives. Intercede on our behalf with God when we are confronted with darkness. Let us remember that your “yes” to God’s plan resulted in God shining through you His Light to the world. Above all, remind us always, as only a loving Mother can, that your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Light of the World that conquers all darkness.
Day 9 – Revelation Ch. 22 verse 5 (Eliminating Darkness from our lives)
“And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamps or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
God, Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit you are pure light, and there is no darkness in you at all. We long for this Beatific Vision. Cast out the darkness from our lives so we can be able to take in more of your light in Heaven.