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Villegas to devotees: Attend ‘Simbang Gabi’

  • Written by Mia Billones
  • Published in Provincial
  • Read: 1654

DESPITE the tragedies left by super typhoons “Yolanda” and “Ruby”,  the Catholic Church in the country has called on devotees to  attend the ‘Simbang Gabi’ or the start of the nine-day dawn masses on Tuesday with or without the concrete structure of churches.
Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas  said devotees can still worship in the absence of a concrete church in their respective places because Mass can still be celebrated “anywhere” as the Church is the people itself.
“What is important at this time is the people,  God is always in our hearts, and every time we stop and pray, we become aware that God is with us,” the prelate added.
‘God does not have office hours nor has He a building where you have to meet him. You can talk and meet God everywhere,’ stressed Villegas.
Villegas made the remarks following the destruction of several churches  by the typhoons, particularly in Leyte and Samar.
He said survivors lost their loved ones and properties to the typhoons but they are still optimistic and look forward to the dawn masses.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has earlier warned mall owners against holding such Masses at mall corridors and hallways.
It also reiterated its warning to priests against “abusing” the Simbang Gabi by holding advance Masses in the afternoon and even at midday.
Villegas said the Church does 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.