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Manila archdiocese reminder: no Simbang Gabi at mall corridors

December 15, 2012 7:50am
With Filipinos due to start the yearly Simbang Gabi as early as Saturday evening, Catholic Church officials in Manila reminded mall owners against holding such Masses at mall corridors and hallways.
The Manila Archdiocese also reiterated its warning to priests against “abusing” the Simbang Gabi by holding advance Masses in the afternoon and even at midday.
It posted the guidelines – first drawn up by former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in 2010 – on its website early Saturday.
“We do not allow Simbang Gabi to be celebrated in corridors and hallways of shopping malls where the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is needlessly exposed to shoppers that are indifferent to the celebration,” it said.
The Archdiocese said that the proper place to celebrate  Simbang Gabi masses is the parochial church, or chapels within the jurisdiction of - and in coordination with - the parish church.
But the Archdiocese said Simbang Gabi may be celebrated in malls or shopping centers only if there is a chapel in the establishment and it is duly approved by the Archdiocese.
The Manila Archdiocese also said the Simbang Gabi has always been celebrated at an early hour, from 4 to 5 a.m. Other Masses celebrated during the nine days before Christmas are celebrated as Masses of the Advent season.
“If the Misa de Aguinaldo is celebration from 8:00 o’clock in the evening onwards, it should be motivated by genuine pastoral care for the spiritual benefit of the faithful,” it said.
But it warned against abuse of the time of Simbang Gabi, noting the celebration of the Misa de Aguinaldo at other times – such as morning, midday or late afternoon – “is not in keeping with the liturgical norms of the Archdiocese of Manila and is to be regarded as an abuse.”
Also, the Archdiocese said that if the Simbang Gabi is celebrated in the evening of Saturday and Sunday, one should take the liturgy of the Sunday.
“It should be noted that Sunday evening Mass should not anticipate the weekday Mass of the following day. White vestments are used, the Gloria is sung, and musical instruments accompany the singing during the Simbang Gabi of Saturday evening, dawn of Sunday and Sunday evening,” it said. — DVM, GMA News
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