Sunday, November 21, 2010

Simbang Gabi Guidelines

Guidelines on the Celebration of SIMBANG GABI
In the Archdiocese of Manila

  1. Simbang Gabi is a typical Filipino way of preparing for the great feast of Christmas. The tradition was brought to us by Spanish evangelizers from Mexico. Originally, it popularly came to be known as Misa Aguinaldo. De Aguinaldo means gift, gift, which is peculiar to Christmas. That is why, the faithful wake up early morning for nine days before Christmas to join in the celebration of the dawn Mass. The faithful make this their “Aguinaldo” to God for the great gift of Jesus. The practice can also be understood as the preparation of the faithful to receive from God the great gift or “Aguinaldo” of Christmas, which is Jesus, the Savior of the world.
    But for Filipino Catholics, Simbang Gabi is above all an expression of their filial devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. For nine consecutive days, they join and accompany her, so to speak, as she awaits the birth of her Son. For this reason, the Masses on these days are celebrated as solemn votive Masses in her honor.
  2. Throughout the centuries, the celebration of Simbang Gabi or Misa de Aguinaldo has been preserved, enriched and sustained by our people in spite of the pastoral and liturgical challenges it underwent. Its form of celebration today is the effect of the long history of this celebration. It was at the First Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1953 that a formal petition to Rome was made Simbang Gabi. The Papal Indult with these conditions: “On the nine days preceding the Nativity of our Lord, i.e., from December 16 to 24, the solemn votive Mass Rorate Coeli Desuper is sung especially in parish and convent churches, but only once a day with great solemnity and with a big attendance of the faithful.” (Acta et Decreta Primi Concilii Plenarii Ins. Phil, 1953, n. 356: J. Ylla, OP, Indultos y Privilegios de Filipinas, UST Press, 1940, p. 24.)
  3. On March 24, 1961, Rome granted the continuation of this Indult for five years. (Cf. A. Santamaria, “Misas de Aguinaldo” in Boletin Ecclesiastico de Filipinas (April, 1961), pp. 470-471) Today, everywhere in the Philippines, the Simbang Gabi is celebrated with great solemnity, with the singing of the “Gloria”, in white vestments, and with Christmas carols and festive ornamentations, in contrast with the sober character of the Advent season.
  4. The imposition of Martial Law contributed to the modification of the time of theSimbang Gabi in some places. The adjustment from dawn to evening was in view of the curfew hours imposed during the Martial Law regime. Today, this practice continues to be kept even if the curfew hour restriction is no longer in force. Many of our faithful who follow the urban rhythm of work find it easier to join in the evening instead of the dawn Masses. This adjusted time allows them to continue receiving spiritual nourishment and appreciation of the Christian meaning of Christmas amidst its secularized celebration
  5. We wish to encourage the practice of Simbang Gabi, whether at dawn or in the evening, because it is a great source of spiritual nourishment to our faithful. In this connection, we present to you, our dear Pastors and collaborators in the pastoral care of our Christian communities, guidelines that will help us to observe faithfully the Indult given to us and keep from abuses and misinterpretation this venerable Filipino tradition.
  6. From the beginning the Simbang Gabi has always been celebrated at an early hour,from 4 to 5 o’clock in the morning. It is this Mass alone that is considered Simbang Gabi or Misa de Aguinaldo. Other Masses celebrated during the nine days before Christmas are celebrated as Masses of the Advent season, and should follow the norms of the liturgy of the Advent season. If the Misa de Aguinaldo is celebration from 8:00 o’clock in the evening onwards, it should be motivated by genuine pastoral care for the spiritual benefit of the faithful.
    The celebration of the Misa de Aguinaldo at other times, , e.g., morning, mid-day or late afternoon Mass, is not in keeping with the liturgical norms of the Archdiocese of Manila and is to be regarded as an abuse. Therefore, only the dawn and, when pastorally required, the evening Masses are considered Simbang Gabi or Misa de Aguinaldo.
  7. When Simbang Gabi is celebrated in the evening of Saturday and Sunday, one should take the liturgy of the Sunday. It should be noted that Sunday evening Mass should not anticipate the weekday Mass of the following day. White vestments are used, the Gloriais sung, and musical instruments accompany the singing during the Simbang Gabi of Saturday evening, dawn of Sunday and Sunday evening.
    For the Mass formulary of the weekday Simbang Gabi, the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Advent (Rorate Coeli desuper), should be used with Gloria, Advent Preface II, white vestment. The Supplement to the Roman Sacramentary gives us the Mass texts, for the prayers and the readings. The CBCP has approved that the readings for the December 16 Simbang Gabi are from the Friday of the Third Week of Advent: Is 56:1-3,6-8 and John 5:33-36.
  8. The ordinary place for the celebration of the Simbang Gabi Masses is the parochial church. Chapels, which are duly recognized within the jurisdiction of the parish church, are given permission to celebrate Simbang Gabi only with the consent of the parish priest and in coordination with the parish. Simbang Gabi may not be celebrate in malls or shopping centers, unless there is a chapel in the establishment, where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated with frequency and duly approved by us. We do not allowSimbang Gabi to be celebrated in corridors and hallways of shopping malls where the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is needlessly exposed to shoppers that are indifferent to the celebration.
  9. As we prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ through the unique Filipino Catholic tradition of Simbang Gabi, may the faith and devotion of Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Filipino nation, inspire us to receive in our hearts and home God’s surpassing Aguinaldo in the person of Jesus Christ. Let us keep her company through prayer and good works, so that she may also keep us company as we journey toward the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace in our nation and in the world.

Arzobispado de Manila, 15 November 2010.

Archbishop of Manila

Monday, November 15, 2010

Salve 2010

The Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Image of the Church as A Home for all People

Marian Prayer

81stAnnual Alumni Homecoming

“Josefino: Kaagapay sa Pabahay”

Opening Hymn



Fruto Ramirez, SJ

Ave Maria, gratia plena,

Dominus tecum, benedicta tu.

Benedicta tu in mulieribus.

Et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei

ora pro nobis peccatoribus

nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.



In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And also with you.

Introduction to the Celebration

Coming home to this house of the Carpenter,

we cannot fail to miss the lady of the house,

Mary, who is Mother to us all.

As we reflect on the theme: “Josefino: Kaagapay sa Pabahay

we contemplate her immaculate and maternal womb.

The womb of Mary beautifully embodies

the work of God in her and her cooperation with God.

Opening her womb and herself freely

to God’s actions in her life,

she became from the moment of her Yes,

a home for Jesus and a home for all people.

As we commit ourselves to the work

of sheltering God’s people,

we turn to her with love and confidence,

praying to imitate her in her generosity and availability.

Salutations to Mary

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Alumnus 1:

Immaculate Virgin Mary, we honor your most pure womb, formed by the Eternal Father as a worthy dwelling place for his beloved Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Enable us to join the Trinity in their contemplation of the world, suffering in the midst of poverty, misery and injustice. Open our hearts to the stirrings of God’s compassion that seeks to find a dwelling place today for his beloved poor.

Hail Mary…

All say together: Holy Mary…

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

R. Be it done to me according to your word.


Alumnus 2:

Mother of Jesus, at this hour we remember your “Yes” to the loving plan of God not only for yourself but for all your brothers and sisters. In opening your womb to the Spirit’s action, you offered your entire self to God and served as a home for the Son, especially during the most vulnerable moments of his life. At the foot of Cross, you opened yourself again to Jesus, receiving all humanity as your sons and daughters in the womb of your maternal heart.

Mother and Model of the Church, help her to become a true Mother by opening herself to all peoples, especially to those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need. Help her to imitate you in your generous self-giving by her ministry to the poor and the suffering. Through your intercession, make all of us, her members, magnanimous in charity and fruitful in service.

Hail Mary…

All say together: Holy Mary…

V. And the Word was made flesh.

R. And dwelt among us.

Alumnus 3:

Beloved Spouse of Joseph, your most chaste husband constantly protected you and the Savior you bore in your womb from harm. With his strong arms and an even stronger love, he built a home for you and for Jesus. The Word made flesh dwelt in your family, growing in grace and in wisdom, in this womb of love.

Mother of Josefinos, help us to imitate our great father and model. Allow us to take you and Christ into our care today by loving and caring for the Church. As true Sons of San Jose, help us become builders of communities conducive to growth in the Christian life. In a very concrete way, teach us to contribute to the task of sheltering the homeless poor for what we do to them we also do to Christ.

Hail Mary…

All say together: Holy Mary…

Gospel Reading

The Lord be with you.

R. And also with you.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 11, 27-28

R. Glory to you, O Lord.

At that time, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!

But he said, blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

The Gospel of the Lord.

R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

After the reading of the Gospel, a few moments of silence is observed.



Pope Benedict XVI


Fátima, 12 May 2010)

Immaculate Mother,
 in this place of grace,

called together by the love of your Son,

the Eternal High Priest,

 sons in the Son and his priests,

consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, 

in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s Will.

We are mindful that, without Jesus,
 we can do nothing good

and that only through him, with him and in him,

will we be instruments of salvation
 for the world.

Bride of the Holy Spirit,
 obtain for us the inestimable gift

of transformation in Christ.

Through the same power of the Spirit

overshadowed you,
 making you the Mother of the Saviour,

help us to bring Christ your Son
 to birth in ourselves too.

May the Church 
be thus renewed by priests who are holy,

priests transfigured by the grace of him

who makes all things new.

Mother of Mercy,

it was your Son Jesus who called us
 to become like him: 

light of the world and salt of the earth;

Help us, 
through your powerful intercession,

never to fall short of this sublime vocation,

nor to give way to our selfishness,

to the allurements of the world
 and to the wiles of the Evil One.

Preserve us with your purity,

guard us with your humility
 and enfold us with your maternal love

that is reflected in so many souls
 consecrated to you, 

who have become for us 
true spiritual mothers.

Mother of the Church,
 we priests want to be pastors

who do not feed themselves

but rather give themselves to God for their brethren,

finding their happiness in this.

Not only with words, but with our lives,

we want to repeat humbly, 
day after day, our “here I am”.

Guided by you, 
we want to be Apostles
 of Divine Mercy,

glad to celebrate every day

the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar

and to offer to those who request it

the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Advocate and Mediatrix of grace,

you who are fully immersed

in the one universal mediation of Christ,

invoke upon us, from God,

a heart completely renewed

that loves God with all its strength

and serves mankind as you did.

Repeat to the Lord 
your efficacious word:

“They have no wine”,

so that the Father and the Son will send upon us

a new outpouring of
 the Holy Spirit.

Full of wonder and gratitude

at your continuing presence in our midst,

in the name of all priests
, we too want to cry out:

“Why is this granted me, 

that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

Our Mother for all time,

do not tire of “visiting us”, 
consoling us, sustaining us.

Come to our aid 
and deliver us

from every danger
 that threatens us.

With this act of entrustment and consecration,

we wish to welcome you
more deeply, more radically,

for ever and totally
 into our human and priestly lives.

Let your presence cause new blooms to burst forth

in the desert of our loneliness,

let it cause the sun to shine on our darkness,

let it restore calm after the tempest,

so that all mankind shall see the salvation
 of the Lord,

who has the name and the face of Jesus,

who is reflected in our hearts,

for ever united to yours! Amen!

Salve Regina

After some silence, the presider intones the hymn. He then incenses the image of the Blessed Mother as all sing:

Salve Regina,

Mater misericordiæ,

Vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve!

Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevæ.

Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia, ergo, advocata nostra,

illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.

Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,

nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende.

O clemens, o pia, o dulcis, Virgo Maria!

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.

R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


From the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Let us pray.

All pause for a moment of silent prayer

All holy Father, eternal God,

in your goodness

you prepared a royal throne for your Wisdom

in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary;

bathe your Church in the radiance of your life-giving Word,

that, pressing forward on its pilgrim way

in the light of your truth,

(and in the fire of charity)

it may come to the joy

of a perfect knowledge of your love.

We ask this through our Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


All proceed to the chapel while singing the Magnificat.


Eddie Hontiveros, SJ

Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri, nagpupuri sa Panginoon.

Nagagalak ang aking Espiritu sa ‘king Tagapagligtas.

1. Sapagkat nilingap niya kababaan ng kanyang alipin

mapalad ang pangalan ko sa lahat ng mga bansa.

Sapagkat gumawa ang Poon ng mga dakilang bagay

banal sa lupa’t langit ang pangalan ng Panginoon.

2. At kinahahabagan niya ang mga sa kanya’y may takot.

At sa lahat ng salinlahi ang awa niya’y walang hanggan.

At ipinakita N’ya ang lakas ng kanyang bisig;

at ang mga palalo’y pinangalat ng Panginoon.

3. Ibinulid sa upuan ang mga makapangyarihan;

itinampok, itinaas ang mga mabababang loob.

At kanya namang binusog ang mga nagugutom;

pinaalis, walang dala ang mayamang mapagmataas.

4. Inampon N’ya ang Israel na kanyang aliping hinirang

sa dakila niyang pagmamahal at dala ng laking awa niya.

Ayon sa ipinangako n’ya sa ating mga magulang;

Kay Abraham at lipi niya at ito’y sa magpakailanman.

5. Luwalhati sa Ama at sa Anak at sa ‘Spiritu Santo;

kapara noong unang-una, ngayon at magpakailanman.

Reflection points follow. After which, all observe a period of silent prayer. Afterwards, all rise for the singing of the traditional Toque de Angelus.

Final Blessing

The Lord be with you.

R. And also with you.

May almighty God bless you

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

Saint Joseph,

R. Pray for us!