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If I Complete the Simbang Gabi, Will my Wish be Granted?

by Fr. Kevin Joshua B. Cosme

Simbang Gabi or “Night Mass” is a nine-day practice of attending dawn Masses in preparation for Christmas. It is a hallmark of Filipino Catholic spirituality, one that even Pope Francis recognized when he became the first pope ever to celebrate the Simbang Gabi in the Vatican in 2019.

Photo from Baclaran Phenomenon

The origins of Simbang Gabi in the Philippines, otherwise known as Misa de Gallo or “Rooster’s Mass”, go as far back as 1668. Spanish missionaries were said to have introduced the practice of celebrating dawn Masses before Christmas so that farmers could still work early to escape the heat. The devotion has since caught on, spanning the centuries and gaining a unique Filipino flair.

As a pastoral accommodation, the novena Masses are even held in the evening, starting on December 15 and ending on the 23rd, whereas the usual dawn masses begin on December 16 and end on the 24th.

But are wishes really granted if you complete the nine days? The short answer is: it depends on our loving God. God is not a genie or a slot machine where you put something in and expect something else in return. He is a Father who knows what’s truly good for His children. So, will you still persevere even if you may not get what you want? Well, just remember that our Father is moved by our sacrifices. And while we may ask for something good, God may give us something better. Just be open and hopeful.

Flex our Faith Episode 11: Simbang Gabi | Aired on December 15, 2021

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