The pomp and pageantry that add so much joy and spiritual vibrancy to the celebration of Christmas "Filipino style" will soon be in full display again at the upcoming “14th Annual Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass and Parol-Lighting Ceremony” to be held Friday, December 10, 7:30 PM at St. Mary’s Cathedral. This event heralds the beginning of Simbang Gabi, a novena of masses being held in various parishes across the Archdiocese of San Francisco as a spiritual preparation for Christmas (December 15-23 or December 16-24). During the Mass, participating representatives carrying their parol are blessed by the celebrant and "commissioned" to share the “Light of Christ” with their parish community. This year, the principal celebrant will be Father Angel Quitalig, pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church in Belmont.
As we continue to celebrate the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines and reflect on the theme, Gifted to Give, we are encouraging parishes to invite youth and young adults to participate in the Simbang Gabi celebration. Families and parishioners who participated in the recent “Parol-Making Workshop” are also invited to bring their hand-made parols and their family "creche" for blessing at the Simbang Gabi Commissioning. Fellowship/reception and a short program will immediately follow after the Mass in St. Francis Hall, located in the lower unit of the Cathedral.