A ‘novena’ is an ancient Christian tradition – it’s a nine-day period of prayer that traditionally falls between Ascension (when Jesus physically departed earth for heaven) and Pentecost (when the first disciples were gifted with the presence of the Holy Spirit. It marks a time when Jesus’ disciples are said to have prayed constantly – stuck in an ‘in-between place’, waiting to see what God would do next.

Every year, the Diocese of Canterbury marks this time by creating a booklet of scripture, prayers and artwork for each day of the Novena. Over the years, this booklet has become a key resource for the worldwide Church as we use this time to pray for our friends and family to come to know Jesus – a global wave of prayer known as Thy Kingdom Come.

Each time we work with a different artist, with each bringing a unique style, perspective and technique to the year’s chosen scripture readings.

Listening on the way

Our Novena theme for 2020 is Listening on the Way. 

Jesus knows the distractions that can draw our eyes away from our relationship with him. Once again, we are called to prayer, not because we have failed, but  because there is yet more to discover, more change and promise to explore as we journey together.

The scriptures we’ve chosen reflect encounters that have shaped Jesus and his followers through the centuries. These encounters - and the opportunities they offer - reveal our spiritual needfulness and underline the call to journey onwards, guided by the Spirit in challenging times. Each day’s reflection invites us to pause and purposefully invite the Holy Spirit to engage with us through art, scripture and prayer.

Our artist this year, Mark Cazalet, has presented us with some rich, challenging and beautiful images – spend some time sitting with them. As we might look at a map or listen to our sat navs, let us be guided afresh by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.


Novena Booklet

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately this year we were unable to print and distribute copies of the Novena in bullk. However, you wil soon be able to order the booklets in packs of 10 from CPO via this webpage.

Daily Waiting Liturgies

For each day of the Novena, we created a simple liturgy that you can use alone, at home with others or online in a small group. These are designed to accompany the Novena booklet and include a reflection on the day's scripture reading and the artwork. You can download each day's liturgy here: 

Order prints of this year's artwork

Prints of each Novena image are for sale -  in a signed limited edition of twenty prints (including an additional print not featured in this year's booklet). Each print will cost £175, unframed, inclusive of a donation of 20% to the Bishop of Dover’s Justice Appeal, supporting the vital work of Refugee Officers in Kent and Northern France. Email Anna Drew to place an order/ chack availability for a print - please specify which print/ prints you're interested in when you email. 

Day 1: Praise

Inspired by Psalm 100




Day 2: Thanks

Inspired by Mark Chapter 14: 17, 22-26




Day 3: Sorry

Inspired by Luke 18: 10-14




Day 4: Offer

Inspired by Ruth 1:5-10




Day 5: Pray For 

Inspired by Matthew 26 36-39




Day 6: Help

Inspired by Luke 10:1, 5-9




Day 7: Adore


Inspired by Psalm 84



Day 8: Celebrate

Inspired by Luke 10:17-21




Day 9: Silence

Inspired by 1 Kings 19:11-13




Previous Novena Booklets

You can access all of our previous Novena resources on your tablet or phone. Simply download the free Issuu app and view them there. Search ‘dioceseofcanterbury’ under ‘publishers’.