The Archdiocese of Chicago to Celebrate Simbang Gabi from Sunday, Dec. 15 through Monday, Dec. 23, 2019
Chicago, IL (Dec. 12, 2019) – The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate Simbang Gabi from Sunday, Dec. 15 through Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. 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 Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 4646 N. Austin Ave. in Chicago at 7 p.m.
“The Simbang Gabi tradition beautifully connects Filipino Catholics to their cultural customs whether they are celebrating in Chicago or in their homeland,” said Cupich. “The joyful celebration is steeped in prayer and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Expectant Mother of Jesus. May we all celebrate our shared faith and dedication to Mary as we prepare for the arrival of Jesus’ birth.”
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 80 archdiocesan churches with the theme “Jesus: Still the Word that We Proclaim.”
For more information about Simbang Gabi and for a full schedule of Masses, please visit https://aci.archchicago.org/events/simbang-gabi