Events

34th Annual Simbáng Gabi

Jesus: Still the Word that We Proclaim

Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during a Simbang Gabi Mass on Dec. 20, 2018 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago. Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother that culminates on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

Thank you for taking part in Simbang Gabi 2019!

Simbang Gabi is one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions. It is traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines. The Spanish friars, in an effort to catechize and evangelize the early Filipinos, conceived the idea of a novena of pre-dawn Masses to accommodate the farmers going to the fields and the fishermen returning from the seas. It has been a beloved tradition since the very start.

The pre-Christmas Masses before daybreak became known by the popular Spanish name “Misa de Gallo” or "Rooster Mass.” It might also be referred to as Misa de Aguinaldo (Mass of the Gift since it is also a time of preparation for the gift of the Incarnation). Simbang Gabi culminates with the Misa de Gallo on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ.

At the Masses particular to the novena, the tone is a little more festive than the usual Advent ambience. Permission was granted to sing the Gloria and sometimes special readings are assigned to the novena Masses. White vestments are also used at the novena Masses. From the beginning, the Simbang Gabi novena Masses have always been votive Masses in honor of the Virgin Mary with the particular intention of praying for the spread of the Catholic faith. This is why the Gloria and white vestments are used despite the fact that the novena takes place during the last nine days of Advent.

The Asian Catholic Initiative of the archdiocese warmly invites everyone to take part in this special novena.