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The Archdiocese of Chicago to Celebrate Simbang Gabi from Saturday, December 15 through Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will preside at the traditional Filipino Mass on Thursday, December 20 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago at 7 p.m.

Chicago, IL (December 10, 2018) – The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate Simbang Gabi from Saturday, December 15 through Sunday, December 23, 2018. Sponsored by the Archdiocese’s Asian Catholic Initiative Office, Simbang Gabi is one of the oldest and most popular Filipino Christmas traditions. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will preside over a Simbang Gabi Mass on Thursday, December 20 at 7 p.m. at Old St. Mary Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

“Simbang Gabi is a cherished tradition of Filipino Catholics connecting generations to their roots during this sacred time leading to Christ’s birth,” said Cupich. “This tradition also brings together people of various ethnicities as one body of Christ to celebrate our uniqueness, our shared faith and devotion to the Lord.”

Simbang Gabi is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother traditionally celebrated in a series of dawn Masses by Filipino Catholics around the world. The Masses include liturgies, music and native delicacies. The tradition is traced back more than 500 years to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines. At the time, they had a tradition of celebrating pre-Christmas Masses before daybreak which became known by the popular Spanish name “Misa de Gallo” or "Rooster Mass.'' Simbang Gabi culminates with the Misa de Gallo on Christmas Eve to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ.  

In Chicago, Filipino Catholics have organized evening novena Masses since 1986. This year, Simbang Gabi Masses will be celebrated by more than 70 archdiocesan churches.

For more information about Simbang Gabi and for a full schedule of Masses, please visit