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Simbang Gabi In Calgary – Dec 01 to Dec 22 2007

Posted December 8th, 2007
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Simbang Gabi is one of the longest and most popular among the Filipino traditions in the Philippines. It is when Catholic churches across the nation start topen their doors shortly before the break of dawn to welcome the faithful to the Simbang Gabi mass.

Nine (9) parishes have committed to celebrating the Simbang Gabi in Calgary:

Dec 01 – Holy Trinity
Dec 07 – St. Michael
Dec 08 – St. Patrick
Dec 09 – St. Bernadette
Dec 14 – Corpus Christi
Dec 15 – Sacred Heart
Dec 16 – St. Thomas More
Dec 19 – St. Mark’s (tentative: relocated at Corpus Christi)
Dec 22 – Canadian Martyrs (“Misa De Aguinaldo”)

The custom lasts for nine days, starting on December 16 up to December 24 during which Filipinos attend dawn masses, usually starting at around 4:00 – 5:00 AM. After the mass, families and friends partake of a hearty breakfast of Filipino pasteries and delicacies. This practice started centuries ago during the Spanish colonial period. Priests held early dawn masses for the farmers who wanted to attend mass but could not leave their work in the ricefields. These masses were held before daybreak, hence the Filipino term “Simbang Gabi”. This nine-day novena culminates with the “Misa de Gallo” at midnight on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Simbang Gabi is not just a tradition that is celebrated because Filipinos need to do so. It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens relationships among family members and the community but also because it is a time when our faith is intensified. This is the time when we feel the presence of the Lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Living abroad does not necessarily break the preservation of our Filipino tradition, however, celebrating Simbang Gabi outside the Philippines requires some creative planning on the part of its organizers. In Calgary, because the Filipino community does not have its own church and its members are deeply integrated in the respective parishes where they belong, the success of holding a Simbang Gabi novena depends foremost on the availability of parishes willing to host such an event.

We invite everyone to participate and share in this beautiful Filipino tradition.

Written by the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Community. 4718 Worcester Drive SW.

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One Comment

  1. Allan Says:

    Magtatanong lang po !

    Dito ako nakatira sa Montreal for the past 9 1/2 year na.
    Pero balita ko maganda raw ang mga trabaho diyan sa Calgary. Baka
    matulungan ninyo ako balak ko makipagsapalaran diyan. Mayroon bang
    matitirhan diyan kahit BEDSPACER lang ? Eto po ang aking telepono sa
    Montreal 450 689-55-83. Maraming Salamat Kabayan nawa’y sana matulungan
    ninyo ako. Salamat !!!

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