Saturday, December 20, 2008

Simbang Gabi, Friday of the Third Week of Advent

We had an amazing celebration last night - the Filipino Community of Central North Carolina had their annual Simbang Gabi Mass. For more about the Simbang Gabi tradition, click here for an explanation, courtesy of the Archdiocese of Manila website. I was amazed by how many people attended this Mass; it far exceeded our expectations. It was standing room only; the gym was choc-a-bloc full of people, and there were still others out in the courtyard. It was wonderful to see so many people, some of whom came as far away as Asheville to celebrate this Mass with us!

The Mass, celebrated by Fr Julian Jagudilla, OFM, was conducted in Tagalog mostly, with judicious use of English here and there ... and the music was provided by a group of Filipinos, both young and old, who love to sing. This was followed by a cultural programme ably organised and hosted by Ansell Neri and Joy Mabellos, and featured traditional Filipino song and dance from a couple of youth choirs and dance troupes.

Of course, the post-Mass reception was a smashing success! There was more than enough food to feed everyone, and a great time was had by all.

With that, here is the list of music, with attributions as I was able to find them. I believe the unattributed music was written by members of the Jesuit Music Ministry of the Philippines. Any numbers you see come out of GIA's Gather Comprehensive 1994 (green cover).

  • 331, God of all people
  • 317, O come, O come Emmanuel
  • Pasko Medley (Ang Pasko ay salubungin / Pasko na naman / Noche Buena)
Opening Hymn: Purihi't Pasalamatan (EP Hontiveros, SJ)
Kyrie: Panginoon, maawa ka (TV Vinteres, CsSR)
Gloria: Papuri sa Diyos (Hontiveros)*
Psalm: Psalm 71 (MCA Parco, FSP)
Gospel Acclamation: Aleluya (Hontiveros)
Offertory: Ang Puso Ko'y Nagpupuri (Hontiveros' setting of the Magnificat)
Sanctus: Santo, Santo (Hontiveros)
Memorial Acclamation: Si Kristo ay namatay (unattributed, most likely Hontiveros)
Concluding Acclamation: Four-fold Amen (unattributed)
Lord's Prayer: Ama Namin (Vinteres)
Agnus Dei: Kordero ng Diyos (Hontiveros)
Communion Hymns
  • Himig ng Pasko (unattributed)
  • 328, My Soul in Stillness Waits
Closing Hymn: Ang Pasko ay sumapit (L. Celerio)
  • 890, America the Beautiful
  • Medley (Ako ay Pilipino / Pilipinas kong mahal / Bayan ko)

* I am aware that during Advent, the Gloria is not sung. However, an exception has been made for this set of Masses. This explanation comes courtesy of Fr Mel Portula, CICM, who is now based in Baguio City, Philippines:
During Misa de Gallo – a nine-day novena before Christmas popular in the Philippines and among Filipinos around the world, "Gloria" is sung. Novena Masses have a unique liturgical character. The "Gloria" is sung on these Masses and the vestment color is white. I believe that since Misa de Gallo is considered a novena, then "Gloria" is sung and white is the color of the vestment, not purple. All Masses during the nine-day novenas follow the same structure and rubric, even the one that falls on Sunday.
So there you have it. It was an issue we had debated back when we first started doing Simbang Gabi Masses here in Central NC.

On the heels of this very successful Mass, we are optimistic that we could consider growing this for next year. I won't expect that we'll immediately be able to do the full nine Masses as required by the Novena nature of Simbang Gabi, but we might be able to consider doing more than one Mass for the subsequent years. I like how it's done at some of the other diocese in the US: for each of the nine days, a different parish would host the Simbang Gabi. I believe we have enough parishes with a significant Filipino population within the Diocese of Raleigh that we may consider this possibility in the future.

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