The Dean of Belfast is to be one of the ecumenical speakers at the Clonard Solemn Novena this year which runs from June 17-25.
A novena is an ancient Christian custom whereby a period of nine days of prayers of intercession is held with public or private devotion detailed each day throughout the nine days. Primarily linked to Roman Catholic devotion, novenas are also held in Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches.
The Dean, the Very Rev John Mann, said: “Within Anglicanism the likely biblical theory of the novena’s origin is often seen, namely that it is based upon the nine days that we know the disciples spent in prayer in the Upper Room between our Lord’s Ascension and the day of Pentecost. In otherwords, the Novena is to Pentecost, what Lent is to Easter and Advent to Christmas. For example, Canterbury Cathedral holds its novena during the nine days before Whitsunday every year.”
The Clonard Novena has been held at this time of the year for a long time and attracts thousands of people to its 10 times of prayer each day. Its theme this year is ‘Stories of God: Stories of You. The Parables of Jesus for today.’
Dean Mann will be speaking at the services beginning at 6.45am, 8.15am, 9.30am and 11.00am on Ecumenical Day, Tuesday June 23. Full details can be obtained from the Clonard website. If you are going, go early. With hundreds of people coming and going traffic problems are normal over the days of the novena.