The New Testament tells us that during the period between the Ascension and Pentecost “all joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1, 14) while they awaited being “clothed with the power from on high” (Lk 24, 49). The pious exercise of the Pentecost novena, widely practised among the faithful, emerged from prayerful reflection on this salvific event.
Indeed, this novena is already present in the Missal and in the Liturgy of the Hours, especially in the second vespers of Pentecost: the biblical and eucological texts, in different ways, recall the disciples’ expectation of the Paraclete. Where possible, the Pentecost novena should consist of the solemn celebration of vespers. Where such is not possible, the novena should try to reflect the liturgical themes of the days from Ascension to the Vigil of Pentecost.
Extracted from Principles and Guidelines, Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (155)
Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Pentecost Novena or Novena to the Holy Spirit is a powerful plea for the light, strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. The graces, gifts, and virtues mentioned in the Novena are meant to instil in us the wonderful heavenly attributes necessary for our salvation as we seek to imitate Christ and show others His love in our daily lives.
The Pentecost Novena is prayed from the Friday after the Ascension of our Lord to the Saturday before the Solemnity of Pentecost. We pray for the coming of The Holy Spirit with his seven gifts for us. These seven gifts are Wisdom, Counsel, Understanding, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.