Table of Contents
- New Year’s Prayer: Intro
- Bible Verses for New Year’s
- New Year’s Eve Prayers
- New Year’s Day Prayers
- Religious New Year’s Blessings and Wishes
- New Year’s Day: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
- New Year’s Resolution: More Prayer
- New Year’s Prayer FAQ
You might still have Christmas presents lying around the house when you first get asked the classic late Dec. social inquiry.
“What are your plans for New Year’s?”
Our mind immediately goes toward our calendar, parties we might attend, or ways we may ring in the new year comfortably and quietly at home.
The sacred may not overtly have a role in most New Year’s Eve festivities, but inviting God to enter more deeply into your life is beneficial on any given day.
God is indeed present with us as we celebrate the new year, as He is in all days. And given that it is a time of renewal, refreshment, and recommitment, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day can be an especially important time in our prayer lives.
Hallow, the #1 Catholic prayer & meditation app, has you covered for all your prayer needs, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day Scripture, prayers, and blessings to get 2022 off to a good, prayerful start.
Bible Verses About the New Year
New Year’s celebrations may date back to as early as 2,000 B.C. in ancient Babylon. While the modern calendar as we know it—and celebrating the New Year on Jan. 1—is a more recent creation, Jesus may have had some understanding of the concept, at least in the context of Jewish customs surrounding the celebration of the new year.
Leviticus 23:24-45 makes reference to this:
24 Tell the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month[a] you will have a sabbath rest, with trumpet blasts as a reminder, a declared holy day; 25 you shall do no heavy work, and you shall offer an oblation to the Lord.Leviticus 23:24-45
Other places in Scripture capture the spiritual essence of New Year’s and its focus as a time of refreshment and new beginnings. These passages are worth reflecting on as you look ahead to the new year:
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” 5 The one who sat on the throne[a] said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me, “They are accomplished.[b] I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.Revelation 21:4-6
36 [a]And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. 37 Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it willLuke 5:36-38
See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.
11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.
Any of these readings are great for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day reflection, but the Hallow app has daily readings and reflections for each day. Download the app and start praying todayJeremiah 29:11
MORE: How to Pray the Gospels
New Year’s Eve Prayers
One of the interesting dynamics surrounding the contemporary observance of Christmas is that once the calendar turns to Dec. 26, the secular celebration largely ends.
But the Church’s celebration is just beginning!
The octave of Christmas lasts eight days, including Dec. 31, so New Year’s Eve falls squarely into the Christmas season.
Therefore, Christmas prayers and blessings are completely appropriate, particularly if you’re spending the evening with a different crowd than with whom you celebrated Christmas.
Extend a “Merry Christmas” on New Year’s Eve and continue celebrating the season. It’s a perfectly fine New Year’s Eve greeting!
Additionally, New Year’s Eve is the feast day of St. Sylvester, a fourth-century pope. Asking for his intercession is another form of New Year’s Eve prayer.
This prayer comes courtesy of St. Sylvester’s Church in Medford, N.Y.:
Come, O Lord, to the help of your people, sustained by the intercession of Pope Saint Sylvester, so that, running the course of this present life under your guidance, we may happily attain life without end. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Prayer to St. Sylvester
New Year’s Day Prayers
When looking for words to pray or share around New Year’s Day, we can receive guidance from the Holy See.
The bishop of Rome traditionally releases a blessing for the New Year. They are usually highly relevant for the moment in which they’re written and shared, but they also contain wisdom and perspective that is more timeless.
For example, Pope John Paul II’s blessing at the turn of the century resonates today, more than two decades later:
I wish you a year filled with serenity and happiness: may you always be certain of God’s love for us. As he did two thousand years ago, Christ comes today with his saving Gospel to guide the uncertain and faltering steps of peoples and nations, leading them towards a future of true hope. I ask him to bless this moment of festivity and good wishes, that it may be the promising beginning of a new millennium filled with joy and peace. Let us enter the Year 2000 with our eyes fixed on the mystery of the Incarnation. Christ, yesterday, today and for ever. To him belong time and the ages. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen! I thank you. Happy New Year to all. Praised be Jesus Christ!Pope John Paul II, Jan. 1, 2000
Pope Benedict XVI also gives us a New Year’s Blessing from 2008 that is meaningful as we head into 2022:
Dear brothers and sisters, it is only by pondering in the heart, in other words, by piecing together and finding unity in all we experience, that, following Mary, we can penetrate the mystery of a God who was made man out of love and who calls us to follow him on the path of love; a love to be expressed daily by generous service to the brethren. May the new year which we are confidently beginning today be a time in which to advance in that knowledge of the heart, which is the wisdom of saints. Let us pray, as we heard in the First Reading, that the Lord may “make his face to shine” upon us, “and be gracious” to us (cf. Nm 6: 24-7) and bless us. We may be certain of it: if we never tire of seeking his Face, if we never give in to the temptation of discouragement and doubt, if also among the many difficulties we encounter we always remain anchored to him, we will experience the power of his love and his mercy. May the fragile Child who today the Virgin shows to the world make us peacemakers, witnesses of him, the Prince of Peace. Amen!Pope Benedict XVI, Jan. 1, 2008
Finally, consider Pope Francis’ prayerful words heading into 2021:
May the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to the “Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6), and who cuddles him this way, with such tenderness in her arms, obtain for us from heaven the precious gift of peace, which cannot be fully pursued by human strength alone. Human strength alone is not enough because peace is above all a gift, a gift of God; it should be implored with unceasing prayer, sustained with patient and respectful dialogue, constructed with an open cooperation with truth and justice and always attentive to the legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples. My hope is that peace may reign in the hearts of men and women and in families, in places of work and of recreation, in communities and in nations. In families, at work, in nations: peace, peace. Now is the time to think that life today is organized around war, and enmities, by many things that destroy. We want peace. And this is a gift.Pope Francis, Jan. 1, 2021
If it’s been a while since you’ve prayed and looking to get a jump in your prayer life to draw closer to God in 2022, check out all of our How To’s as well as 6 tips for getting started in prayer.
Religious New Year’s Prayers and Wishes
If you’re looking for a way to offer a Catholic or religious happy new year blessing, Hallow has you covered.
These short New Year’s blessings can work for text messages, emails, Facebook posts, or however you’d like to extend your best wishes to family and friends for the new year.
- “Wishing you a New Year filled with peace and love”
- “May God continue to bless you this year and throughout all your days”
- “In this season of transition, from one year to the next, may God watch over you and bless you abundantly”
- “Comforted by the promise of salvation, may you enjoy a New Year overflowing with the joy that only God can provide”
- “May our eternal God, who transcends our understanding of time, be with you in this new year and always”
- “May the Light of God guide you and may His loving arms protect you in this new year”
- “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! (Numbers 6:24-26)”
New Year’s Day Prayer: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
In addition to all the other reasons to spend time in prayer around New Year’s Day, Jan. 1 is also the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
It is often a Holy Day of Obligation.
The gospel reading for the day takes us back to Luke, with the birth of Jesus, Mary’s encounter with the shepherds, the message they bore, and how Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
How might we do the same, reflecting on God’s message for us and holding it in our hearts?
Since the day honors Mary, consider praying the Hail Mary or the Rosary.
When New Year’s Day draws to a close consider falling asleep with Mary, by using the Hallow app’s “Hail Mary” prayer, which softly repeats the prayer to Mary.
MORE PRAYERS: Christian Meditation
New Year’s Resolution: More Prayer
New Year’s resolutions often accompany New Year’s celebrations, as people across the globe recognize the opportunity to get closure on the previous year and begin anew.
According to YouGov, the Top 5 most popular New Year’s Resolutions are:
- More exercise/fitness
- Lose weight
- Save more money
- Improve diet
- Pursue a career ambition
The common thread in each? Self-improvement. And they’re all admirable in their own way.
But how much would we all benefit from more prayer?
Those who pray with Hallow find more peace—and often sleep better. With Hallow, committing to prayer can be one of the easiest New Year’s resolutions to make.
Since you can pray easily from your phone, you can even weave in prayer into your other resolutions.
James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits,” has written about a strategy called “Habit Stacking,” where one introduces a new habit into an existing habit to make the behavior stick.
How would this work with prayer? Incorporate time with God into habits you already have or are looking to build:
- When you start a workout, begin a prayer as you exercise
- As you commute to work, spend time in prayer
- Each time you receive a check, say a quick prayer of thanksgiving
- Each time you open a social media app on your phone, first open Hallow
In time, you’ll find yourself praying more, with less effort, and spending time with God will become ingrained into your day-to-day activities.
Building the habit of prayer can take many different forms and be tailored to your specific preferences and behaviors.
If you’re a morning person, you can weave in prayer into your morning routine, perhaps with a daily reflection each morning.
Night time prayer is another population option for praying each day. In addition to helping with sleep, praying at night can be a great time to reflect on the day, its challenges, and where God was present. The Examen is a another form of prayer, popular at night, that helps Catholics recognize the ways in which God was at work in their lives during the past day.
In addition to daily devotions, night prayer and the daily Examen, the Hallow app has other options for helping build prayer routines each day, such as the Daily Saint program that highlights one saint—and their words and prayers—each day.
Bible in a Year
The Bible can sometimes seem intimidating.
So many books. So many chapters. So many names that are hard to pronounce!
For something to fundamental to our faith, it can feel unapproachable. Yet spending time with our sacred text can have a monumental impact on our faith. When we pause to read and reflect on Scripture—even passages we’ve heard dozens of times previously—God can continually reveal things to us.
The new year is a great time to commit to spending more time reading the Bible. With Bible in a Year, you can read the Bible with a helpful guide and enjoy a guided prayer to elicit God’s voice from the text.
In partnership with Ascension Press and Fr. Mike Schmitz, the popular Bible in a Year podcast is on Hallow. Each day, Fr. Mike will read 2-3 passages from scripture and follow with a reflection and prayer. In 20 minutes a day you can read the entire Bible (over the course of the year). It’s also available in Spanish.
You don’t need to be a Biblical scholar to participate. Check out what regular Catholic men and women just like you had to say about their experiencing joining Bible in a Year on Hallow:
“My wife and I both wanted to try something special to start off the year and to grow in our Catholic faith. Independently we both decided to do Father Michael Schmitz Catholic Bible in a year. We downloaded Hallow app and it has made this awesome experience even better.”
“The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike is life changing. I thank you for these wonderful recourses that are right at my fingertips.”
“I use Hallow to listen to Fr. Mike’s Bible in a Year podcast. I love that I get to hear the readings and commentary on the actual day released.”
Frequently Asked Questions about New Year’s Prayers
In the United States, New Year’s Day (solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it falls on a Saturday or Monday (USCCB).
The celebration of Mary on Jan. 1 dates back more than 1,000 years, though its exact start day is unknown.
“May God continue to bless you this year and throughout all your days.”
Committing to spend more time in prayer is a great New Year’s resolution for all Christians.
- Thanksgiving Prayer
- How to Pray the Rosary
- The Seven Sorrows Rosary
- The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)
- The St. Thérèse Novena
- Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena
- Divine Mercy Novena