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San Gabriel Region Leads Archdiocesan Simbang Gabi

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Start Date: November 15, 2014
End Date: November 15, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels 555 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Los Angeles, CA. November 17, 2014 – The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will hold its Simbang Gabi liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 6:30 PM. on December 15, 2014. The main celebrant is the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles. This year’s theme is: “Come Jesus, Fill Us With Your Mercy and Compassion” (Halina Hesus, Puspusin Mo Kami Ng Iyong Awa at Habag). The theme reflects the need for Jesus to fill our hearts with kindness. We ask Him to fill the void and emptiness especially at this Advent season.” Jesus brings us hope and light”, Tess Estandarte, an active member of Vessels of Mary Liturgical Dance Group, shared. “We look up to Him to guide and protect us from the harsh realities of life. In this season of hope, we ask Him to soften our hearts with forgiveness and compassion. Simbang Gabi is a special time for me.”

In many parts of the world, Simbang Gabi is a tradition that shows the Filipino spirituality of festively celebrating the birth of Christ through liturgy, Christmas carols, parols, native delicacies and reunion of friends and families. Traditionally, Christmas day in the Philippines is ushered by the nine-day novena of masses which culminates on Dec. 24, with much anticipated family event,” Noche Buena”, the Christmas feast right after Midnight Mass.

Simbang Gabi traces its roots in Mexico. As the early Spanish settlers and missionaries traveled to the New World across the Pacific, they brought with them the religious practices of “Aguinaldo Masses”. The faithful made every effort for nine days to attend Mass in the early morning as preparation to receive from God the greatest gift or “aguinaldo” of Christmas: “Jesus, the Savior of the World.” The tradition is also an expression of the deep devotion of the Filipinos to Mary, Mother of God. The people join and accompany her, as she awaits the birth of her son. Masses on those nine days are celebrated as solemn votive Masses in her honor.
Fr. Albert Avenido, moderator of the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Leadership Council, and parish leaders from San Gabriel Pastoral Region, headed by Dr. Linda Enriquez will lead this year’s celebration at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Elizabeth Cobarrubias from St. Dominic Parish in Los Angeles stated: “Simbang Gabi brings back many memories when I was growing up. My mom used to wake me up before 4:00 AM for nine days so that we can complete the novena dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was really nice to see families come together pray and celebrate mornings with hot chocolate and native delicacies.” She continued, “In the U.S. there are some churches holding Advent masses in the morning. They try to make the novena closer to the hearts of Filipinos. The tragedies that occur in our lives make us more prayerful and hopeful. It has been a year since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. This served as a reminder how fragile life is. I believe in miracles. God is in the eye of these tragedies and He is leading us to see what is important in our lives”.

As part of Simbang Gabi tradition in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Parols of different parishes celebrating Simbang Gabi will be processed at the pre-liturgy and it will be blessed by Archbishop Gomez before they are sent to parishes to officially begin Simbang Gabi in the entire Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The procession also includes Parols of Filipino religious organizations, civic and professional organizations and government offices.

The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles invites everyone; all families and organizations to join in the Archdiocesan Simbang Gabi. For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Enriquez at: (909) 374-4053 E-mail: lindaenriq@yahoo.com

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For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Enriquez at: (909) 374-4053 E-mail: lindaenriq@yahoo.com

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