Filipino community celebrates 500-year Christmas tradition




December 13, 2017


ARLINGTON, Va.  – Each year, the Filipino community in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington participates in ‘Simbang Gabi’ (Means "Night Mass”). It is a long-treasured Philippine tradition where worshipers attend Mass for nine consecutive days from December 15–24 in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. It replicates the nativity story of Mary and Joseph searching for an inn, which is why the pilgrims travel from church to church every night.

A schedule of Mass times and locations can be found on the attached flyer. The eighth Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Chantilly.

Here are the details:

When:           Saturday, December 23, 5:30 p.m.

Where:         St. Timothy Catholic Church, 13807 Poplar Tree Road, Chantilly

This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Ministries.

According to the Center for Global Education, the Philippines boasts to be the only Christian nation in Asia, with more than 86 percent of the population Roman Catholic, and according to the Pew Research Center, 65% of Filipino Americans are Catholic.