December 15, 2018  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

The nine-day celebration leading up to Christmas began with a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez Thousands of Filipino Catholics from throughout Southern California celebrated the beginning of Simbang Gabi, one of the oldest Filipino Christmas traditions, with a special Mass this evening at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Archbishop José H. Gomez presided at the liturgy presented by the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “With these 9 days of Simbang Gabi, we get ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ on Christmas Day,” said Archbishop Gomez. “This is a special day for all of us in the Church in Los Angeles, because we are celebrating the proud and rich Catholic faith of our Filipino brothers and sisters and their deep roots here.” The Mass was preceded by the traditional music band leading the “Parade of Parols,” or lanterns, of 137 parishes from the five pastoral regions throughout the tri-county Archdiocese (Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles). The parols, a Philippine Christmas symbol, were blessed at the end of the Mass. In the Philippines, the parol is used to light up people’s homes and is carried by parishioners attending Simbang Gabi Mass, or “Mass before dawn.” The Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi dates back nearly 500 years. It begins nine nights before Christmas Eve. During Simbang Gabi, an Advent Mass is celebrated before dawn or in the evening of each day in preparation for Christmas. For the full schedule of Simbang Gabi at 137 parishes throughout the Archdiocese visit NOTE: PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. # # # #