In spite of being baptized a Roman Catholic, I didn’t subscribe to any religion for most of my life. Fact is, people who knew me from long ago are shocked upon learning I now go to Church mostly every day and serve as a lector/commentator at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker. Who would’ve thought that the evil girl who loved crushing campus crusaders at the Sunken Garden and who was the only person who raised her hand when the priest asked if there was anyone who didn’t have a religion during recollection 2011 would turn out to be a manang? My friend Cyryll claims she never stopped praying for my conversion and that is why now I am a born again Roman Catholic. Thank you, dear. I can so relate to St. Paul.
Anyway, the point is I’m very new to the Simbang Gabi tradition. The only knowledge I have of it is that if you complete the nine mornings (December 16 to 24), your wish would come true. (That’s from the movie “Nine Mornings,” which I haven’t seen.) And when in college I tried it – I was wishing for 1st First Love to get to law school so he didn’t have to go anywhere else – I failed to wake up on morning number three and he didn’t pass the entrance exams. So… I guess the nine mornings myth is true? Last year would have been my first time but a typhoon gatecrashed our Simbang Gabi. I couldn’t even go to the Cathedral because our street was flooded to my waist.
Unfortunately, 2016 really isn’t my best year. I wouldn’t be able to complete Simbang Gabi as well because we’re going to Mama’s hometown for Christmas. Flight is on the 23rd and we’d stay at a beach until the 24th. Our ministry coordinator also didn’t give me a schedule even on days I’d be available (why?), so…. To cut things short I’m not going to have my first nine mornings this year either.
So there, my musings. For everyone else who has a chance to complete the nine mornings, you are already blessed. Please try to complete them, and please do it not primarily for the opportunity to be with your love interest – although going to Church as a couple is a beautiful thing – or to eat delicious bibingka and puto bumbong after the Mass. Hahaha. I’m trying not to drool.
(Note to self: Worship not courtship.)
Anyhoo. Because I’m quite sad that I don’t know when I’d be able to have my first complete Simbang Gabi, I’d just leave you with a link to some reminders for the upcoming novena.
God bless and merry Christmas!
Schedule of Simbang Gabi at the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija:
- Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker: 4:00 a.m., December 16 to 24, plus the Midnight Mass on the 24th.
- St. Joseph the Husband, Abar 1st: 6:30 p.m., December 16 to 24.