Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season in the Christian calendar, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. Pentecost 2011 falls 50 days after Easter 2011. This year, Pentecost falls on Sunday, June 12, 2011. When Christ ascended into Heaven, He told the apostles He would send His Holy Spirit, and so they prayed for the coming of the Spirit. The Novena to the Holy Ghost, a nine-day prayer recalls the time the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday and is an expression of the desire of the faithful to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

First Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost:
The prayer, verse, and meditation for the first day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost remind us that we need the grace of the Holy Spirit in our souls to live our lives as Christians. Today, we prepare ourselves to ask for each of the gifts of the Holy Spirit over the next seven days.

Verse for the First Day:
Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
From Your clear celestial height,
Your pure beaming radiance give!

Prayers for the First Day:
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

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