Christmas is almost here but this year will be a lot different due to Covid 19 pandemic. Usually by this time, people will already be rushing to Christmas bazaars, mall wide sale and attending Christmas parties. However, for many devoted Catholics, one of the things they look forward to is the 9 days Simbang Gabi before Christmas day. Here’s how you can still enjoy the tradition without compromising your health and safety in 2021
What is Simbang Gabi?
Simbang Gabi, or Misa de Gallo (literally Mass of the Rooster), is the mass celebrated before the rooster crows (tilaok) for the farmers before going to the fields to start planting. An early church bell at 3AM will wake up the town for them to prepare for the 4am mass. Today, Simbang gabi has become a tradition of the devotees to complete the 9 day Novena mass which starts every the 16th of December or 15th for the anticipated mass) and a superstition that completing the mass will grant their wish.
Simbang Gabi Schedule 2021?
Are you looking for simbang gabi schedule this 2021?
The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has released their guidelines on Simbang Gabi that conforms with IATF protocols for mass gatherings. They have added more options including additional Mass celebration and online mass schedules. According to their November circular, the anticipated mass will start from 6pm and the early morning mass will be at until 6am to accomodate the devotees. The Christmas Vigil Mass may be celebrated as early as 6pm. You can check with your Parish or Chapel for up to date schedule or you can also watch the mass online via Facebook or Youtube
For those who need to celebrate the mass at home, the CBCP has provided a list of parishes who celebrate online masses. You can visit their page here
Here are my top 5 tips to protect yourself from Covid while in a Mass gathering
- Always keep 1-2 meters distance from other people. When distancing is impossible like when people are going out of the church, do not rush to go out and instead wait for people to disperse first.
- Wear mask and wear faceshield for protection especially in closed spaces like air-conditioned church and chapels
- Do not dip your fingers in the holy water and avoid touching surfaces. Always sanitize with alcohol, gel sanitizer or wash your hands before touching your face.
- If possible, listen to the mass outside the church..
- Cover your mouth with your arms when sneezing or coughing to protect others too.
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