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Simbang Gabi commissioning Mass
December 13th, 2016

The ninth annual commissioning Mass for the Advent novena of Simbang Gabi, a Filipino tradition of early morning Masses now celebrated in more than 45 parishes throughout the archdiocese, was held Dec. 6 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, with Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice as principal celebrant. Parishioners in participating parishes processed with colorful parols – star-shaped lanterns illuminated to herald the season of waiting for the birth of Christ. The tradition of an early morning Mass followed by refreshments originated in the Philippines with the Spanish missionaries in the 17th century but today extends to non-Filipino neighbors and parishioners in the United States. On Dec. 16, the first day of the Dec. 16-24 novena, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will be the main celebrant at St. Stephen Parish on the 20th anniversary of the first Simbang Gabi Mass in the archdiocese.

From December 15, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

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