Simbang Gabi: Night Masses

January 4, 2022 Daily Devotion
By Dr. George J. Ceremuga

Simbang Gabi Night Masses - DrGeorgeJ Daily Devotions

Together they devoted themselves to constant prayer. There were some women in their company, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. – Acts 1:14

Simbang Gabi is a wonderful Filipino novena started in the 17th century where from 16-24 December, Filipinos from all walks of life make an effort to wake up every dawn to attend the novena masses which start as early as 4 a.m. as an Advent celebration welcoming the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Here, within our faith community we have a robust Filipino community that is on fire for the Holy Spirit. I am blessed to participate in this celebration as a choir member.

At the first mass of the novena which means nine, Father Brian shared with us the origination of the novena in the Catholic faith. In the New Testament at the Ascension, our Lord gives the Apostles the Great Commission and then tells them to return to Jerusalem and to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles recounts, “After that they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet near Jerusalem — a mere Sabbath’s journey away. Together they devoted themselves to constant prayer” (Acts 1:12, 14). Nine days later, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost.

Novenas hold a prominent place in the Catholic faith. They are a pious spiritual devotion to bolster our faith, remembering the goodness of the Lord who answers all our prayers according to His divine will.

Thy will be done…

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