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Missing A Day Of A Novena—what Do You Do?


Gabriela

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What do YOU do if you miss one day of a novena? Just make it up the next time, doing two days in one? Just skip that day and keep going with it, one a day, till the novena's completed (in 10 days)? Start the whole thing all over?

 

Just curious what's "standard practice"...

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In theory a person should probably restart.  In practice...sometimes I 'cheat'.  I say 'cheat', because of doing two days at once.  Since you want to know what we each personally do...I usually try to restart, but if I miss another day on the restart I'll cheat, otherwise it could be a month or more at the rate I was going before the Novena would be finished.  

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I've never done a novena, but I'd just pick it up the next day, no need to be legalistic. When I pray the Rosary sometimes I have to stop after a few decades...I just finish the rest when I can.

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What do YOU do if you miss one day of a novena? Just make it up the next time, doing two days in one? Just skip that day and keep going with it, one a day, till the novena's completed (in 10 days)? Start the whole thing all over?

 

Just curious what's "standard practice"...

 

start over. them's the brakes.

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start over. them's the brakes.

 

Let's say you miss Day 8 and you know that, if you start over from the beginning, you will definitely not finish the novena because of stuffs coming up in your life (big stuff, like a wedding or a move or something). Would you still start over?

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I think part of the idea of a novena is the discipline of praying it every day. Last time I did a 54 day novena I sometimes cut it close to the midnight mark, but I made it a point to do it even when finals were there and I was stressed the hell out. The time before that I did the two-a-day to make up.

 

 

I'm not sure you should listen to me though because I can be a little anxious and scrupulous, but I would start over. Actually I just recently started a novena and lasted one day. It wasn't hard to start over after that huge amount of progress :P. Novenas do definitely help with a consistent pray life tho.

 

 

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Keep in mind this is prayer, not a recipe, scientific formula, or magic. Personally, if I miss one or two days, I just pick up where I left off (and extend the final date). If it's been more like four or five days, then it seems advisable to start over (along with finding a different way to remind myself about the novena).

 

I can appreciate why some people would enforce a higher degree of discipline on themselves, and start over if they missed only one day. If you are doing that in order to teach yourself to "pray constantly" and grow your relationship with Christ, that's great. However, if it's merely a legalistic thing and your focus is more on the work than the grace, I would chill out.

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Just continue where I left off. I extended the last one by two days because it was just too late and I wanted to sleep. Maybe not very well disciplined, but whatever. (I'm not used to praying the rosary every day.... I have a schedule "written down" for prayer through the day, and I've tried to fit it in there, but I just don't know where... at night is wonderful but I'm really bad at going to bed at a decent hour and when I try to fit it in then I eventually stop. Maybe I should try harder....)

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Let's say you miss Day 8 and you know that, if you start over from the beginning, you will definitely not finish the novena because of stuffs coming up in your life (big stuff, like a wedding or a move or something). Would you still start over?

 

yup. if it was important enough to do a novena, it should be important enough to remember to do the novena correctly. 

 

i should note that this is why I rarely do novenas. 

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Father Vincent Serpa, O.P., says that if you accidentally miss a day then God understands and just go where you left off. If you intentionally missed a day, start over. But God is understanding if you are really busy and forget, or if you forgot because you simply aren't used to doing a novena.

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My understanding is that with most novenas, the attached grace/indulgence etc are attached to doing it for the stated length of time. We were always taught that if you miss a day then you must start over, but maybe things have changed. If I miss a day - for whatever reason, I start over, not because I am particularly virtuous, I'm not, it's just that this was the way I was taught to do it.

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