JARO, Iloilo City, Dec. 14, 2015 – With the onset of the traditional dawn masses or “Simbang Gabi”, this parish would like to remind the faithful of the most important dimension of the celebrations.
“Simbang Gabi is for worship, not for courtship,” the Jaro Cathedral Parish, through its newsletter “Candle Light, offered as a timely reminder to the faithful for the coming days.
It is sometimes observed that young people in particular tend to playfully congregate with their peers or their “special someone” outside the churches instead of actively participating in the “Simbang Gabi”.
The parish reminded the faithful that the “Simbang Gabi” is not just a tradition that is widely celebrated because it has become fashionable.
“It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens relationships among family members or among friends but also because it is the time where our faith is intensified.”
National Youth Day
Despite the popularity of the “Simbang Gabi” among young people, many are still unaware that the first day of the Christmas novena, December 16, is also National Youth Day.
On this day the Church in the Philippines celebrates the presence of the youth in the Church and encourages all the faithful to support the apostolate with the youth.
For this, the parish encouraged specially the young people as they participate in the “Simbang Gabi” to “heed the advice of Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in his message for the Jubilee of Mercy: to avail of the graces given to us by the Church in this Jubilee Year by going on pilgrimage to the designated churches, by availing of the sacraments, especially Confession and by practicing with utmost intensity the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.”
The 3rd Sunday of Advent issue of the Jaro Cathedral Parish weekly newsletter is dedicated to the celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy and also in preparation for the Aguinaldo Masses.
The first “Holy Door” in the Archdiocese of Jaro will be opened in Jaro Cathedral on Dec. 14.
Increase in church attendance
The traditional Aguinaldo Masses, a nine-day novena in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, begins December 16 as early as 4 a.m., and culminates with the “Misa de Gallo” on Christmas eve.
There has been a noted increase in Church attendance of “Simbang Gabi” this time than in past years. Some churches, including the Jaro Cathedral, now hold, aside from the traditional dawn masses, the “Mass of Waiting” in the evenings of Dec. 15 to 23 to accommodate more devotees. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)