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  • Writer's pictureSanta Bernadita Catholic Church

Celebrate the True Essence of Christmas by Starting Your Day with Dawn Masses (Simbang Gabi)

How Did Dawn Masses (Simbang Gabi) Begin?

Dawn Masses (Simbang Gabi) is a Filipino Christmas tradition. It is a series of nine dawn masses on the days leading up to Christmas. It begins on December 16 and ends at midnight on the 24th of December, when a midnight mass is held.

This tradition was introduced by the Spanish friars to allow the farmers to hear mass before going to the fields early in the morning. The masses can start as early as 4 in the morning. Simbang Gabi is also known by its popular Spanish name, Misa de Gallo, or "Mass of the Rooster.''

In the olden days, the church bells started ringing as early as three o' clock, waking people up so they could get ready for the four o'clock dawn mass. The Roman 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.


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