Ascensiontide Novena for the Coming of the Holy Spirit

with Prayers for the Nation and Church in a Time of Pandemic

Ascensiontide, 2020

A novena is a nine-day period of prayer in preparation for some particular feast, or to pray for some special object. The first novena was kept at the express command of the Risen Christ, by the Apostles, Mary and the disciples in the Upper Room from the day of our Lord's Ascension to Pentecost (Acts 1:12-14). It is fitting for us to pray as these earliest followers of Jesus did for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and on the world as so many are in need of healing and direction in this time of pandemic and uncertainty. The novena can be prayed as a devotion on its own or the prayers can be added to a prayer office. Click here for a printable pamphlet.


Come Holy Ghost, with God the Son

And God the Father ever One;

Shed forth Thy grace within our breast,

And dwell with us a ready Guest.

By every power, by heart and tongue,

By act and deed, Thy praise be sung;

Inflame with perfect love each sense,

That others’ souls may kindle thence.

O Father, that we ask be done,

Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son

Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,

Shall live and reign eternally.

(St. Ambrose, trans. J. M. Neale)

A Reading

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

A Prayer for Time of Great Sickness and Mortality

Most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee to you for assistance. Deliver us, we pray, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we may apply our hearts to that heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the people of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with you gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

A Prayer for St. Paul’s Parish

O God, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit upon St Paul’s Parish. Help us to be people of faith who see your providence in the events of our lives. Grant us the virtue of hope, that we may have complete confidence in your faithfulness. Make us people of love, that we may love you in all and above all, and serve you in those we meet. Strengthen the faithful, encourage the wavering, lead home the wandering. Let us rejoice in the community of your holy Church; and keep us always faithful to the example and teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom be praise and thanksgiving to you forever and ever. Amen.


A Prayer for the Church

Gracious Father, we pray for your Holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Daily Prayer for the Coming of Holy Spirit

First Day (May 22)

Come, Holy Spirit, Lord and giver of life; be my guide in perplexity, defend me from error and lead me to truth; grant that I may know and do what is right and be in me a fountain of living water springing up into life everlasting. Amen.

Second Day (May 23)

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and help me to know God revealed in the Word made flesh, the promise of grace and the hope of glory.

Third Day (May 24)

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and teach me to know myself and recognize God’s call to me in my daily life and work.

Fourth Day (May 25)

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, guide me in right pathways, turn me away from evil, and lead me by your commandments to the joy of eternal life.

Fifth Day (May 26)

Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, give me courage and determination, that in all distress and uncertainty, I may with a calm and confident spirit remain strong in faith, patient in hope, and constant in love.

Sixth Day (May 27)

Come, O Spirit of Knowledge, grant that I may know and accept the will of God, that recognizing the true value of the things of this world, I may use them rightly, and always with thanksgiving.

Seventh Day (May 28)

Come, O Spirit of Piety, and help me to love God with all my heart and soul and strength, that I may find in you my best and truest joy.

Eighth Day (May 29)

Come, O Spirit of Holy Fear, that I may stand in awe of God, never presuming on mercy and never forgetting before whom I must account for my life, my actions, and my words.

Ninth Day (May 30)

Come, O Bountiful Spirit, and bring forth in my life the manifold fruits of your presence and create in me:

Love toward God and my neighbor,

Joy and wonder in all God’s work,

He peace that Jesus promises,

Patience born of faith and hope,

Kindness that reflects God’s mercy,

Generosity that uses all as God intends,

Faithfulness that is constant and reliable,

Gentleness that I may do harm to no one,

Self-control that my life will conform to the mind of Christ.

Concluding Prayer

May the Father’s will be done in and through me; may I follow more nearly the call of Jesus my Lord and may you, O mighty Spirit of the Living God, be praised and glorified forever and ever. Amen.

Saint Paul’s Parish

60 Akenside Road

Riverside, Illinois 60546