Simbang Gabi (Misa de Gallo): A Unique Mass Celebration
A few days from now, the entire Filipino nation will once again celebrate the most important Christmas tradition of the country as what they called, The Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo. It is a 9-day novena of masses literally translated as “Mass of the Night” which usually starts every 16th of December until the 24th midnight eve of the same month to usher the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
The historical roots of the Simbang Gabi originally came from Mexico in 1587, when the Pope granted the petition of Fray Diego de Soria, prior of the convent of San Agustin Acolman, to hold Christmas mass outdoors because the church could not accommodate the large number of people attending the evening mass.
During that time, the pre-dawn mass is announced by the ringing of the church bells and also believed that some parish priests would go far knocking on doors to wake and gather the faithful to attend the misa de gallo.
In most parishes, the Simbang Gabi begins as early as four o’clock in the morning. By completing the 9 consecutive days of attendance, it is some beliefs to grant your special wish to him and also to show your true devotion and faith to God. But for me, it doesn’t really matter whether you complete the novena or not, what’s the most important is your sincerity. The blessing does not depend on the number of mass attended, but what is important is the disposition of the person who receives the Lord’s blessing.