MANILA, Philippines—“Simbang Gabi” or Mass at Dawn is a Filipino Christmas tradition where the faithful gives nine-day Novena to Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the commemoration for the birth of Jesus Christ.
The first day of “Simbang Gabi” started this Friday morning, December 16, before the break of dawn and will last until Christmas eve, December 24.
Filipinos still managed to attend the mass despite of their busy schedules and to follow the tradition with sincerity.
In an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas last Wednesday, December 14, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo invited the Filipinos to attend the mass especially the youth.
“Tayo ay magsimba upang tayo ay magparangal sa Diyos upang making sa kanyang salita at makiisa sakanya, hindi lang dahil sa kasama natin ang ating kabarkada at kakilala, (Let us go to the church to honor God and to listen, be one with Him, not just because we’re with a friend or acquaintance).” Pabillo was quoted as saying in an Inquirer.net report.
Reminder to Mass-goers
Assistant commissioner of the Commission on Liturgy Fr. Carmelo Arada Jr. reminded the public to dress properly even they’re going to hear mass on malls. He said that Eucharist celebrations should be done with dignity, solemnity or devotion.
“Wear proper attire. Not sleeveless shirts, not miniskirts,” he added. “A Mass in the mall and in the parish should be celebrated with the same disposition,”
Simbang Gabi or Mass at Dawn is also held at certain malls.
However, no one is prohibited on entering the church or chapel but they should comply with the rules of dress codes that the church has given.
Radio Veritas also interviewed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and also reminded the people to celebrate the birth of Jesus not just for commerce but also spiritually.
“Kaya sana ang Pasko ay hindi lamang maging komersyo kundi maging talagang karanasang espiritwal, karanasang religious. Magnilay tayo ‘Paano ko ba naranasan ang tagumpay ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ni Kristo sa buhay ko?’ yun ang pasko, at ‘Paano ako magiging daan ng tagumpay naman ni Kristo sa kapwa’ lalo na sa mga nagdurusa?’ yun ay angpagse-share at pagbabahagi ng diwa ngPasko, (I hope that Christmas will not be only a commerce, but be a spiritual, religious experience. Let us reflect, How did I experience God’s greatness by Christ’s intervention in my life?’ That’s the spirit of Christmas. ‘How can I be a way of Christ to others especially those who are suffering?’ That is sharing of the Christmas spirit” Tagle was quoted as saying in the same report.
He also added that the birth of Jesus is the symbol of compassion and giving and it is the most beautiful thing we could ever receive in this season.