Dominican Province of the Philippines
SIMBANG GABI is one of the longest and most popular among the Filipino traditions in the country. It is when Catholic Churches across the nation start to open their doors shortly before the break of dawn to welcome the faithful to the Simbang Gabi Mass.
Simbang Gabi or Mass at Dawn is a nine day novena to the Blessed Mother. The Novena begins December 16 as early as 4 in the morning and culminates with the MISA DE GALLO on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. In some churches, the PANULUYAN is reenacted showing the effort of Joseph and Mary to find a suitable birthplace.
Simbang Gabi traces its roots in Mexico when in 1587, the Pope granted the petition of Fray Diego de Soria, Prior of the Convent of San Agustin Acolman, to hold Christmas Mass outdoors because the church could not accomodate the huge number of people attending the evening mass.
During the old times, the pre-dawn mass is announced by the ringing of the Church bells. In some rural areas, an hour before the start of Simbang Gabi, a brass band plays Christmas music all over the town. It is also believed that parish priests would go far knocking on doors to wake and gather the faithful to attend the MISA DE GALLO. Farmers as well as fisherman wake up early to hear the Gospel before going to their work and ask for the grace of good harvest.
SIMBANG GABI NOW AND THEN
The changing of times does not break the preservation of celebrating Simbang Gabi although it is celebrated in new ways. Still, the tradition of Simbang Gabi continues. Part of it are the colorful lights and lanterns that fill every streets. Beautiful parols are hung in every window. Songs of the season are played everywhere to warm the hearts. Families, friends and even individuals find its way going to the nearest church to attend the nine day novena. Shortly after the Misa de Gallo, families gather in their homes to celebrate Noche Buena and feasted on various delicacies like QUESO DE BOLA, BIBINGKA, PUTO BUNGBONG or a DRINK OF SALABAT or HOT CHOCOLATE.
Simbang Gabi has become one of the most popular traditions in the country. But it is not just a tradition that is celebrated because we need to do so. It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens relationships among family members but also because it is the time where our FAITH IS INTENSIFIED. This is the time where we mostly feel the presence of the lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas,
It does not matter if one has the stamina to complete the novena or not,
WHAT REALLY MATTER IS WHAT IS INSIDE THE HEART.
The blessing does not depend on the number of mass attended, but what is important is the DISPOSITION OF THE PERSON WHO RECEIVES THE LORD’S BLESSING.
SIMBANG GABI 2011.
Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City.
Dominican Province of the Philippines
Who live by the example of St Dominic de Guzman, St Albert the Great, St Thomas Aquinas, St Vincent Ferrer, St Martin de Porres, St Peter de Verona, St Raymund of Penafort,St Vincent Liem dela Paz and the Companions of St Lorenzo Ruiz who died as martyrs.
Missionaries who evangelized Bataan, Pangasinan andCagayan. Religious Priests and Brothers who founded and work at the University of Sto Tomas, Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila, Laguna and Bataan, Aquinas University in Legazpi and the Angelicum College in Quezon City and Iloilo.
The only requirement is your willingness to try.
For details, please call Santo Domingo Convent at telephone number # 7126275 / 7437758 / 09156784728 or you may visit the Mother Church of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval – Santo Domingo Church and Convent, 537 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.
DOMINICAN PROVINCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
AM – 5:45*, 6:30, 7:15, 8:00 AM & 12:15 NN
PM – 6:00
* Rosary, Mass with Liturgy of the Hour
SUNDAYS AND HOLYDAYS:
AM – 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00*, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00
PM – 4:00*, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00
* 8:00 am – Conventual Mass
* 4:00 pm – Parish Mass
MASS WITH BLESSING OF THE SICK AND DISTRIBUTION OF BREAD – every Tuesday right after 12:15 nn & 6:00 pm Mass.
WHO ARE THE LAY DOMINICANS?
The lay Dominicans or Secular Dominicans, as they are called today, (and who in the past have been known as Dominican Tertiaries, members of the Third Orders of St. Dominic, or members of the Order of Penance of St. Dominic) are ‘an Association of the faithful living in the world, who participate in the religious and apostolic life of the Order of Friars Preachers under the guidance of the Dominican Brethren and according to the Rule approved by the Holy See and thus strive for Christian Perfection.’ Although the word profession is often used, they do not take vows and, therefore, cannot be strictly called religious; yet, in a wide sense, they may be called religious living in the world. (R.Vahey, OP,Information)
‘Their vocation is superior to membership in a sodality or confraternity because it includes canonical status in a major religious Order and embraces a more universal objective’ (J.Rubba OP, Third Order of St. Dominic)
It is composed of Lay people, men and women, single and married, who live in and are a sign to the World.
(Excerpts from: Lay Dominicans Manual by:Eladio Neira, OP p29)
From the very beginning of the Order of Preachers, there are already groups of Lay people that participates in the apostolic works and associates themselves with the dominican friars. accordingly, “it has its origin in one of the twelfht century penitential movements which centered around St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers gathered around himself groups of Lay People for the spiritual and material defense of the Church and, ultimately for the participation in the Apostolate. (E.Neira, O.P.) “Thus, it is not surprising that the “history” of the Third Order does not begin in 1285, when the Master General Munio de Zamora officially promulgated its Rule, nor back to the early years of the 13th century, when St. Dominic lived and worked. The “history” of the Third Order goes back many decades before that. To understand what the Third Order is and whence it came, we have to look at the Church of the Middle Ages and the society in which it lived.” (Richard Weber)
it was known then to be the Order of Penitents of St. Dominic, Third Order of St. Dominic, and now as “Lay Dominican Fraternities”.
REQUISITE FOR ADMISSION:
The Dominican Lay Fraternity taps the vocation of men and women (Single or Married with the consent of spouse) to live a life of STUDY, PRAYER and APOSTOLIC WORK according to his / her own state of life.
1. Well disposed person
2. Practicing Catholic
3. Living a devout life and good refute
4. At least 18 years of age
5. Sincerely desirous of christian perfection
6. Can present a letter of recommendation from his/her parish priest
7. Must not belong to any other religious congregation or with another third order
8. Must be willing to attend meetings and study regularly
Any interested party may ask to be interviewed by any Lay Dominican of the Santo Domingo Fraternity. Regular council and Chapter meeting is held every First Sunday of the month from 12:00 nn – 4:00 pm at Santo Domingo Church – National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval, 537 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. For details, pls call Santo Domingo Convent at # 7126271 or text at # 09154855915
SPREAD THE WORD! BE A DOMINICAN LIVING IN THE WORLD!