Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Simbang Gabi, Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Despite the snow and the sleet, 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 particularly like the way the explanation concluded with the significance of the Simbang Gabi. Why is it that Filipinos, both in the Philippines and abroad, have continued with this tradition that started in the mid-19th century?
Simbang Gabi has become one of the most popular traditions in the country. But it is not just a tradition that is celebrated because we need to do so. It is a significant moment not only because it strengthens relationships among family members but also because it is the time where our faith is intensified. This is the time where we mostly feel the presence of the Lord because it is the spiritual preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. It does not matter if one has the stamina to complete the novena or not, what really matters is what is inside the heart. The blessing does not depend on the number of mass attended, but what is important is the disposition of the person who receives the Lord’s blessing.
I was pleased by the number of people who attended this Mass, especially given the weather and another large event organised by another group of Filipinos.

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, which featured traditional Filipino song and dance.

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. This year, some of the music was drawn from Bukas Palad, a Philippines-based Catholic music ministry. 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).

  • Himig ng Pasko (unattributed)
  • 317, O come, O come Emmanuel
  • 331, God of all people
  • 341, O come, all ye faithful/Adeste fidelis
Opening Hymn: Gising mga Kristiyano (unattributed)
Kyrie: Panginoon, maawa ka (TV Vinteres, CsSR)
Gloria: Papuri sa Diyos (Hontiveros)*
Psalm: Psalm 80 (EC Marfori)
Gospel Acclamation: Aleluya (Hontiveros)
Music during Anointing of the Sick: Fantasia (J. Pachelbel); Allegretto (G. Böhm)
Offertory: Paghahandog ng Sarili (Arboleda/Francisco/Ofrasio)
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
  • 352, Silent Night (O tahimik na daigdig)
  • O Holy Night (Cantique de Nöel, A Adam)
Post-Communion Reflection: Birheng Maria (unattributed)
Closing Hymn: Balang Araw (MV Francisco, SJ; J Borres, SJ)
Postlude: Ang Pasko ay Sumapit (L. Celerio)

* 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.

I was asked to provide instrumental music during the Anointing of the Sick, so I pulled out two easy pieces that have been in my repertoire for a while. I received compliments on how I played them... yes, on the organ...

Admittedly, we had a lot of ups and downs and conflicts as we planned this Mass. Let's hope that next year, the planning process will be smoother.

No comments: