Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Early Dawn Mass (Misa de Gallo)

At 3:30 this morning I was awakened by the sound of Christmas carols coming from the Church. As early as 2:30 people have started coming, filling the seats. By 4:30 as I was about to start the mass there were over four thousand people - inside the church and in the car park around the church. I was just amazed by the number of young people and children who came along with their parents and grandparents as they prepare for the celebration of our Lord's birth during the nine days novena. It appears that the Christian faith is indeed alive in this part of the world. However, many of these people come to church only during the Advent/Christmas season and Holy Week. We call them seasonal Catholics. But that's better than empty churches in Europe even during this season.

3 comments:

Dom said...

Picx,

Its great to see what is happening in Davao - I really enjoy reading your postings and remembering by brief time in the Philippines.

Can you post some pictures of the Misa de Gallo - I would like to see them!

Regards to the whole community.

Dominic C.Ss.R

Jos said...

Hi Father, ur right about he empty churches in Europe. Even these days they are almost empty. Greetings from Holland to everybody !!

Jos Veenman

deep caring said...

I just arrived home from simbang gabi. The church was filled with people who actively participated in the mass. The attendance was overwhelming.

True, we have the number here in the Philippines and at times, our priests are becoming contented with the overwhelming number of participants.

I'm curious about how BECs celebrated the simbang gabi. Unlike the BECs, our Churches are filled with Catholics but lack of close interpersonal relationship.

To emphasize the importance of the event, the mass is a sort of a "grand mass" with procession and incense.

As a whole, I consider the simbang gabi as a festive celebration, except of the content of the homily.

Does homily matter in the celebration of the eucharist? Why would a priest add stories that has less impact to personal and social life and poorly delivered, when the gospel itself is a beautiful story?