IN PHOTOS: Thousands flock to churches for Simbang Gabi 2018
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of Filipino Catholics flocked to churches on Sunday, December 16, for the first day of the Philippines' traditional dawn Masses, called the Simbang Gabi, in preparation for Christmas.
The Simbang Gabi is a 9-day series of dawn Masses – a novena – that is usually observed from December 16 until December 24, Christmas Eve.
For those who cannot attend dawn Masses, many parishes also hold evening Masses called the anticipated Simbang Gabi, from the evening of December 15 to the evening of December 23.
The Philippines' most prominent Catholic leader, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, led the Simbang Gabi at the Manila Cathedral at 4:30 am on Sunday.
In his homily, Tagle warned against anxiety as he stressed the value of joy. "Kung tayo'y magagalak, magalak sa Panginoon. 'Yan ang tunay na kaligayahan (If we want to be joyful, let us be joyful in the Lord. That is true joy)," Tagle said.
Do you want to complete the Simbang Gabi? Here is the list of Simbang Gabi schedules across the Philippines.
You can also watch each day of the Simbang Gabi, in different churches in the Philippines and around the world, through livestreaming on Rappler. – Rappler.com