Cardinal Blase Cupich

Cardinal Blase Cupich

Cupich to celebrate Simbang Gabi Mass Friday night at St. Germaine in Oak Lawn

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The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate its 37th annual Simbáng Gabi novena starting on Thursday, Dec. 15, through Friday, Dec. 23.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will celebrate Simbáng Gabi Mass at Our Lady at St. Germaine, 9711 S. Kolin Ave., in Oak Lawn on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the archdiocese’s Asian Catholic Initiative office, Simbáng Gabi is one of the oldest and most revered Filipino Christmas traditions. This year, Chicago-area Filipino Catholics have organized Simbáng Gabi Masses at nearly 50 archdiocesan churches with the theme “All Generations Call Me Blessed.”

“Simbáng Gabi reflects the Filipino community’s deep devotion to their faith and should inspire each of us to be in communion with one another in celebrating our cultural traditions, diversity and spiritual richness,” said Cupich. “May our vibrant ethnic customs bring our hearts together as we prepare for the birth of Jesus.”

Simbáng Gabi is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother traditionally celebrated in a series of dawn Masses by Filipino Catholics around the world. The Masses include liturgies, music, native delicacies and the treasured Filipino Christmas star-shaped symbol of the parol lantern that represents the star of Bethlehem.

The tradition is traced back to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines. At the time, the Filipino people adopted the tradition of celebrating pre-Christmas Masses before daybreak known by the popular Spanish name “Misa de Gallo” or “Rooster Mass.” Simbáng Gabi culminates with the Misa de Gallo on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ.

For more information about Simbáng Gabi and for a full schedule of Masses, please visit https://aci.archchicago.org/events/simbang-gabi.

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