The countdown to Christmas has begun and we are only a little over a week until Christmas! But that also means that we must prepare for Christ’s birth. Simbang Gabi has started at a few churches in the OC area and Penance services have also begun!
This is my first time doing Simbang Gabi, something I did not know very much about so I thought that I should research it a little bit.
Simbang Gabi is a tradition of Advent in the Philippines. The translation stands for Night Mass and usually start early AM. Simbang Gabi is a nine day novena usually ending on the morning of Christmas Eve. It is held to prepare for the arrival of Christ and to honor The Blessed Virgin Mary. Originally was started so that farmers in the Philippines under Spanish rule would be able to go to church before tending to the fields. It has become a distinctive characteristic of Filipino tradition of advent.
Local Simbang Gabi Services are as follows:
- Dec 15-Dec 23 @ Holy Family (Tagalog)
- Dec 16-Dec 24 @ St. Justin Martyr (English)
- Dec 16-Dec 24 @ St. Irenaeus (English)
As part of the Advent season, Penance services are becoming available at several different churches so that you can go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These services have several priests available to offer confession so that many people can be squeezed in during the service. We strongly encourage that you go to one and prepare your heart for the coming of Christ.
Upcoming Local Penance Services are as follows:
- Dec 18 @ St. Anthony Claret – 7PM
- Dec 19 @ St. Philip Benizi – 7PM
- Dec 23 @ St. Pius V – 7PM