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December 7, 2004 > Simbang Gabi at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont

Simbang Gabi at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont

by Lance Dwyer

Everyday at 5:30 a.m. from Dec. 16-24, Holy Spirit Church in Fremont will be holding Aguinaldo Masses as part of the Filipino tradition of "Simbang Gabi." The masses will offer the local Filipino-American community an opportunity to celebrate the Advent season in the same fashion done in the Philippines.

Church bells ring to signal the beginning of each mass as well as the coming of dawn. The mass consists of hymns and carols sung in the native Tagalog, as well as in English.

Deriving influence from Spanish missionaries, Simbang Gabi shares similarities with Las Posadas, although one major difference is that Las Posadas is celebrated in the evening and Simbang Gabi is celebrated in the morning.

In the Philippines, at the conclusion of Simbang Gabi, Christmas Eve, star lanterns are lit in the streets as the neighborhood gathers to celebrate. It is also a Filipino tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve by attending a Midnight Mass.

Following the mass will be a breakfast reception with traditional Filipino treats. All community members are welcome.

Holy Spirit Church
37588 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 797-1660

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