Simbang Gabi or “Night Mass” in spanish “Misa de Gallo”, is a nine days novena of dawn Masses from 16 December to Christmas Eve. Which practised mainly by Catholic in the Philippines. Since I was school girl (in grade school, after my first holy communion) I learned this from my late nanay that God grants the special wish of a devotee that hears all nine Masses.
Here in Vienna Filipinos use to practised it also. December 18, our community the Marriage Spirituality Holy Family Community was Agape-hosts at Donau City Black Church.
And the following night December 19 at Pfarre Floridsdorf – Pius-Parsch-platz. Every reunion group prepared Arroz Caldo and 2 loaf of sliced butter bread or brioche bread.
For us, hubby and I its our second christmas season to be a part of this tradition the reason why we are so grateful to God Almighty for giving us the chance to do this every year. And so happy seeing our fellow kababayans enjoying the agape every night after the holy mass.
I still remember in the Philippines morning observance of Simbang Gabi begins as early 3 o’ clock in the morning, while in some parishes, anticipated Masses begin the previous evening at 8 o’ clock. After hearing Mass, you could have your breakfast outside the church and eat many native delicacies, like bibingka; putò bumbóng and suman. Drinks include coffee, salabát and hot chocolate.
Which I miss so much I keep telling my two kids about this epiphany how it feels is totally different in the Philippines!