Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Simbang Gabi: First
I was on the first night of simbang gabi. The first question that popped in my mind was what was the theological significance of it. I searched it over some old books and over the internet. The most common answer is usually historical. They claim the practice began during the Spanish era when people went to hear early mass before they went to their farms. This was done for nine straight days as a novena. It eventually became a superstitious belief that completing it would give the devotee their wish. But I thought the theological significance lies on the drama of the worship hour. The mass was a morning watch to anticipate the birth of Christ on Christmas. The birth is said to be signaled by the roosters crow thus called Misa de Gallo. Worship was done to await the birth of Christ. I like the theological meaning of watchful waiting. And the mass done at dawn break was symbolic of the hope that the Christ brings, a light to this dark world. That was something to reflect for this season.