4 October, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 12/18/2006
Traditional novena of Mass of the Cockerel starts
by Santosh Digal
In the nine days before Christmas, millions of people of all ages go to church before going to work. It is an important time to prepare joyfully to celebrate the Nativity with the family. Even Filipinos working abroad are faithful to the tradition.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The traditional “Simbang Gabi” started on 16 December, with millions of Filipinos across the country defying crisp winds to go to church in the early morning for a novena that brings Advent to a close.

The novena is a lead-up to the nativity of Christ and expresses the belief that God became man in Jesus, died and resurrected. It is also known as “Misa de Gallo” (Mass of the Cockerel) or “Misa de Aguinaldo” (Gift Mass), because it takes place at crack of dawn and confirms the strong Catholic faith of the Philippines: it is a “sacrifice of love” for it requires dedication to wake up so early on working days.

Fr Victor S. Salanga, a Jesuit priest, told AsiaNews: “Novena masses are celebrated at dawn or the night before and Filipinos willingly attend them to prepare for the gift of the birth of Jesus.”

Jasica De Cruz, 24 years, is an employee at the Presidential Palace in Manila. She said: “It is our immediate spiritual preparation for the birth of our saviour, God's greatest gift to humankind. The pealing of the bells calling us to Mass, the lanterns lighting our way, the carols heard everywhere we go: all these remind us that Christmas is almost here.”
Manila archdiocese said Simbang Gabi is “a significant moment because it strengthens family ties and because our faith is strengthened. It is the time when the faithful mostly feel the presence of the Lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas, the birth of Christ.”

Simbang Gabi marks the beginning of a joyful season of age-old holiday traditions celebrated with the family. The tradition dates back to 1565 when the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, celebrated the first Feast of the Nativity in the country. The dawn novena originated in Mexico when in 1587, Br Diego de Soria, prior of the Convent of San Augustine Acolman, asked permission from the Pope to hold Christmas masses for farmers who had to wake up early to go to work.

This year, the churches of Manila are packed for the dawn mass, as young and old gather to pray to God with joy and enthusiasm. Many say they get up at 3am to be among the first in church and to avoid early morning traffic chaos.

For 7.3 million overseas Filipino workers, Simbang Gabi ranks among the primary reasons to come home for Christmas. Those who cannot go home try to keep up the tradition in the places where they work. In Dubai, the novena is held at St Mary’s Church. The parish priest Nen Bunag said around 4,000 Filipinos take part every night. The novena started a day early here, from 15 to 23 December, because the “church is very busy preparing for the celebrations of 24 and 25 December.”

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/21/2004 PHILIPPINES
Pre-dawn mass to celebrate the coming of Christ
by Sonny Evangelista
12/17/2008 PHILIPPINES
In the Philippines Christmas celebrations begin with “Simbang Gabi”, the predawn Mass
by Santosh Digal
Weekend shifted in Dubai to be like international markets
by Maurizio dOrlando
Dubai govt to inject US$ 9.5 billion to reduce Dubai World and Nakheel debt
Emir of Abu Dhabi to buy Dubai for US$ 80 billion

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.