A ranking Catholic official has reminded church goers that participating in this year’s Simbang Gabi was not about having their wishes granted if they happen to complete the nine straight days of dawn masses.
According to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the whole thing about wish-granting was a mistaken belief passed down through the years, Philstar reports.
“Completing the nine days of Simbang Gabi is not for their wishes to be granted. That is a wrong belief. That is not what going to the Simbang Gabi is for,” he said.
Pabillo explained that the long standing tradition which was passed down by the Spanish to the Filipinos was actually meant to show one’s sacrifice and devotion for the Lord this season.
“The nine days of praying is part of the preparation for the big feast of Christmas. For the formation of the faith and thanking God for His generosity... It is a sign of your love of God,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Inquirer noted the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as saying that youngsters attending the Simbang Gabi should focus on its worship aspect.
CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said they issued the reminder after noticing that teens inappropriately use the event as an opportunity to flirt around.
Simbang Gabi has been a part of Filipino tradition and is conducted annually starting at December 16 and ending on December 24, a day before Christmas festivities begin.