on where you live, today is Feast of the Ascension or the Seventh Sunday of Easter. If for you today is the Ascension than it is traditional to start a Sexdiebus to the Holy Spirit in anticipation of Pentecost. Many people are familiar with the older term Novena from the Latin word for nine and less familiar with Sexdiebus. Sexdiebus is a contraction of Latin for "sex diebus" -six days – which stands for the six days that Mary and the disciples spent in the upper room starting from the Ascension until Pentecost. So it is traditional (depending on where you live) to start your Sexdiebus in imitation of these six days of prayer.
Unfortunately even though the length between Ascension and Pentecost has been shortened in many locations, prayer books have not yet caught up. These prayer books often use the older standard of nine which makes it difficult for those working with the new Biblical exegesis in some dioceses where it is now six days. Some traditionalist complain about this but they should realize that the sex diebus is much more reflective since six days is much more common in the Bible than a period of nine days such as the six days of creation. Six days is also much easier to calculate as to when to start a Sexdiebus. For example if the event is on a Sunday you start the previous Sunday. If on a Friday you start on the previous Friday. Novenas usually forced you to grab a calendar and count nine days back – something much more unnatural. Plus how many times did you start a Novena and to forget to finish it? With a Sexdiebus you are 33 percent more likely to finish six days than nine.
So what do you do with your old Novena’s to convert them to the new standard? One option is to rip out the last three days. This method is the easiest and the numbering lines up nicely. Another method is to use the same first day, rip out days 2, 3 and 4, and then use a marker to renumber days 5 through 9. This method gives you a more accurate start and ending with the texts. Another option is to copy the text of a Novena from the web and then just modify it and print it out.
Regardless of the method you use just remember to start your Sexdiebus and pray for six days just like Mary and the Disciples.