All are invited to the celebration of Mass at St. James Cathedral on December 22 at 7:00 p.m. with main celebrant Bishop John Noonan for the Simbang Gabi Advent Novena Mass. This will be one of many Advent Novena Masses around the Diocese that are part of this beautiful Filipino tradition.
Worshippers from various parishes attending the celebration of Mass at the St. James Cathedral will bring a parol, or Filipino lantern, which is a traditional Christmas symbol in the homeland. A parol is a five-pointed star originally made of thin bamboo frames and covered with colored cellophane or rice paper. It has two tails that serve as rays of the star – reminding Filipino Christians of the star of Bethlehem.
Simbang Gabi, or Mass at Dawn, is a nine-day Novena to prepare for the birth of Christ. Traditionally, the novena begins on December 16 as early as 4 a.m. Since the Mass is celebrated when it is still dark, Simbang Gabi can also mean Mass at Night.
The most important religious significance for those who attend Simbang Gabi is to be nourished with faith and understanding that each individual, regardless of color and creed, is a reflection of Christ in their homes, at work and school. This season of Advent preparation is the perfect time to ponder how this truth influences our thoughts, actions and spiritual lives.
The schedule of 2011 Simbang Gabi Masses is below:
•?Dec. 15, St. Theresa Parish, Belleview, 6:30 p.m., 352-245-2458
•?Dec. 15, St. Joseph Parish, Winter Haven, 7 p.m., 863-294-3144
•?Dec. 16, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Clermont, 6:30 p.m., 352-394-3562
•?Dec. 16, Good Shepherd Parish, Orlando, 7 p.m., 407-277-3939
•?Dec. 16, Holy Cross Parish, Orlando, 7 p.m., 407-438-0990
•?Dec. 16, Holy Family Parish, Orlando, 7 p.m., 407-876-2211
•?Dec. 16, St. Patrick Parish, Mount Dora, 7 p.m., 352-383-8556
•?Dec. 17, Basilica of St. Paul, Daytona Beach, 7 p.m., 386-252-5422
•?Dec. 17, Blessed Trinity Parish, Ocala, 7:30 p.m., 352-629-8092
•?Dec. 18, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Melbourne, 1 p.m., 321-723-3636
•?Dec. 18, St. Joseph Parish, Orlando, 2 p.m., 407-275-0841
•?Dec. 18, Holy Redeemer Parish, Kissimmee, 4 p.m., 407-847-2500
•?Dec. 18, St. Theresa Parish, Belleview, 6:30 p.m., 352-245-2458
•?Dec. 19, St. Augustine Parish, Casselberry, 7 p.m., 407-695-3262
•?Dec. 19, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, St. Cloud, 7 p.m., 407-957-4495
•?Dec. 20, St. Theresa Parish, Belleview, 7 p.m., 352-245-2458
•?Dec. 20, Annunciation Parish, Altamonte Springs, 7:30 p.m., 407-869-9472
•?Dec. 21, St. Theresa Parish, Belleview, 6:30 p.m., 352-245-2458
•?Dec. 21, St. Joseph Parish, Lakeland, 7 p.m., 863-682-0555
•?Dec. 21, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Poinciana, 7 p.m., 407-932-5004
•?Dec. 22, St. James Cathedral, Orlando, 7 p.m., 407-422-2005
•?Dec. 23, Blessed Trinity Parish, Ocala, 6:30 p.m., 352-629-8092
•?Dec. 23, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Winter Park, 7 p.m., 407-657-6114.
Holy Family Catholic Church at 5125 Apopka-Vineland, Orlando is celebrating the daily traditional Simbang Gabi Novena Masses Dec. 15 – Dec. 23 at 4:30 a.m. except on Dec.16th the Mass will begin at 7:00PM.
In or about 1587, the Spanish missionary friars in the Philippines celebrated a series of outdoor Masses to prepare for Christmas. Celebrated in the early morning hours when the rooster crows, the Mass became Misa de Gallo, meaning Mass of the Rooster. This gave farmers and fishermen a chance to join in the celebration of the Mass before setting out for the fields or upon returning from the sea. It was a moment of evangelization, adapted to the cultural pattern of the lives of Filipino people. So many Filipinos came by the multitudes from distant barrios that Simbang Gabi became a distinct feature in Philippine culture to celebrate Mass at such an early time.
For more information on upcoming Simbang Gabi celebrations in the Diocese of Orlando, view the attached flyer.