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Parishes celebrate Simbang Gabi novena

03 ADSF2017_Simbang Gabi-7 PAGE(Photos by Dennis Callahan/Catholic San Francisco)

December 14, 2017

Cardinal William J. Levada was principal celebrant of a Mass Dec. 7 at St. Mary’s Cathedral beginning the Advent tradition of Simbang Gabi, which is celebrated annually at parishes – this year more than three dozen – throughout the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The series of liturgies and usually fellowship following begins Dec. 15 and ends Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. The tradition was introduced to the Philippines by Spanish friars to allow farmers to hear Mass before going to the fields early in the morning. At that time, the church bells started ringing as early as 3 a.m., waking people up so they could get ready for the dawn Mass.

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