A novena (from Latin: novem, "nine") is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost, when the disciples gathered in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer, is often considered to be the first novena.In some Christian communities, such as in Africa, Latin America and the Philippines, novena traditions are popular and include devotional rituals such as congregational prayers, statue decoration, hymn singing with music, as well as community fiesta events over beverages, refreshments or processions. Individuals may express love and honor by kneeling, burning candles or placing flowers before the person represented by a statue.Novenas are most often prayed by members of the Roman Catholic Church, but also by Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Lutherans. In addition, novenas have also been used in an ecumenical Christian context, such as those promulgated by Premier Christian Radio in an effort to pray for church renewal.The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a "rosary novena"), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or one of the personages of the Holy Trinity. In the Catholic tradition, much-used novena prayers include doctrinal statements in addition to a personal petition. The doctrinal part of the prayers are studied by its ecclesiastical staff, like formal translations of Christian scripture, and officially declared to be free of doctrinal errors with nihil obstat and imprimatur.