Nothing should shake the fundamental pillars of the Catholic faithful and hinder the time-honored Filipino traditions, especially during this trying time.
Here, we asked the parishes who are participating in this year’s CCP Simbang Gabi, which has taken a different course by migrating to the digital platform, on their messages for the Filipino people.
“May this Simbang Gabi / Misa de Gallo be a source of inspiration and hope for all of us, a reminder of the beauty and importance of our Filipino cultural traditions and the strong faith of our ancestors in God, that like them, may we continue to pray and ask for God’s pardon and mercy, and His most powerful protection and blessing for our country, that the light of Christ may banish the evils, the threats our country is currently facing and may Jesus Christ continue to be the pillar and strength of the Filipino people, as we continue our journey as a country, amidst the challenges and uncertainties of the 21st century.” – FR. AL JOHN A. MIÑOZA, ST. PETER THE APOSTLE PARISH IN LOBOC, BOHOL
“We need to capture once again our innate character as Filipinos – to have the ability to laugh and joke about our difficulties and tragedies of life (resiliency). As we are about to celebrate the Simbang Gabi here in our country, let us share our gifts of smiles and our blessing especially to those in need. May the Redeemer, be born anew in our hearts this Christmas and in the new year.” — FR. JAMES NARISMA, CSSR, OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP (REDEMPTORIST) CHURCH (SAN MIGUEL, ILIGAN CITY)
“Simbang Gabi is the message itself. The experience of waiting and praying. Staying awake and keeping ready and prepared. CCP will even uniquely put together masses all over the country representing the whole nation in various dialects and languages being one in prayer as we hold the light of faith in the midst of the dark times. Jesus is in our midst. Emmanuel.” — REV. FR. DEOGRACIAS KERR S. GALANG, HOLY CROSS PARISH (MARGOT) – SAPANG BATO, PAMPANGA
“Let us hope and pray that as we commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, this COVID-19 pandemic will soon be put to an end. And, to the faithful coming to church for the Misa de Gallo and the Simbang Gabi, let us continue to be extra careful and follow always the health protocols and guidelines that the government has been implementing.” — REV. FR. VOLTAIRE DIMOL, OUR LADY OF MONTSERRAT PARISH (JARO, ILOILO CITY)
“Never lose hope and faith. God is journeying with us even in our fears and uncertainties. We need to go through this hand in hand with the grace from God. We need to learn the hard lessons of this pandemic and come out together as better persons, better humanity and better world.” — REV. FR. JULIUS B. CLAVERO, SSJV, ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH (PUEBLO DE ORO, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY)
* The CCP Simbang Gabi, an annual traditional, will start on December 15 to 23, 9pm (Anticipated Masses), and December 16 to 24 (Dawn Masses), 5am. Followed by the Misa de Aguinaldo on December 24, 9pm, celebrated from St. Gregory the Great Cathedral Parish (also known as the Albay Cathedral) in Legazpi City.
The CCP Simbang Gabi culminates with a special Christmas Day Masson December 25, 10am, with Cardinal Luis Tagle leading the celebration all the way from Pontificio Collegio Filipino in Rome.