Simbang Gabi 2020 6

Simbang Gabi 2020 Schedule

For Virtual Masses, please note: We are working hard to provide you with the most up-to-date links so you can safely access the Mass from home. If you do not see If you do not see the respective day's Mass uploaded, please check back frequently until you can view it. We appreciate your patience!

Before you go… access the Simbang Gabi Mass Booklet for all nine days! Print or download it here.


  • December 23: Closing Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More3901 Cathedral Ln., Arlington, VA 22203
    Main Celebrant and Homilist: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge
    Time: 7:00 PM In-person Attendance: The Cathedral can host 350 people safely while following social distance protocols. You must RSVP to attend. Please sign up here.
    View/print the program booklet here
    Livestream the Mass on Youtube
    Tickets will be available starting December 15.

  • December 15 - 23: St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, VA 22152
    Masses will be available daily, please click here to watch today's Mass.
    There will be no in-person attendance. 

  • December 18: Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Hwy., Sterling, VA 20164
    Time: 7:00 PM
    In-person attendance: There is no pre-registration required. Individuals will be turned away if attendance surpasses 500 people. Thank you for understanding.

  • December 19: Our Lady of Good Counsel, 8601 Wolftrap Rd. SE, Vienna, VA 22182
    Time: 6:30 PM
    In-person attendance: Reservation required. Please sign up here.
    Livestream the Mass on Youtube or at the OLGC website.

  • December 19: St. Mary of Sorrows, 5222 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032
    Time: 7:00 PM
    CHANGE IN LOCATION: Due to flooding at the main church, Mass is being moved to the Worship Center!
    In-person attendance: There is no pre-registration required. Individuals will be turned away if attendance surpasses 250 people. Thank you for understanding.
    Livestream the Mass on Facebook

  • December 21: St. Anthony of Padua, 3305 Glen Carlyn Rd., Falls Church, VA 22041
    Time: 7:00 PM
    Livestream the Mass on Facebook    

    Additional Ways to Participate:
    If you would prefer to attend different parishes to complete your Simbang Gabi novena, we encourage you to join in solidarity with all the Simbang Gabi Attendees by reading the following prayers and meditations before or after your Mass:
    More details to come!

    You can also use the Simbang Gabi Mass booklet, which has the appropriate readings for all nine days.

    All attending, whether in-person or virtual, are encouraged to wear their traditional Filipino attire! 

Media Coverage

"Bishop Burbidge joins 1,400 at Filipino community Mass for Simbang Gabi" - By Zoey Maraist, Catholic Herald Staff Writer

In the 16th century, Spanish friars introduced the people of the Philippines to Simbang Gabi - the custom of attending Mass on each of the nine days leading up to Christmas. Before the sun rose, and before they headed out to labor in the fields or set out to sea, people would gather to celebrate Advent.

Growing up in the Philippines, Sylvia “Beng” Magalong, a parishioner of Holy Spirit Church in Annandale, occasionally would go with her mother early in the morning to Simbang Gabi Masses. When she moved to the United States, attending Simbang Gabi became a way to remember her culture.

“I think it's a form of evangelization,” said Magalong, who likes to invite family and friends to the celebrations.



Performances from Simbang Gabi 2017

"Payapang Daigdig” arranged by Brian Ponce

Learn more about Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi was introduced to the Philippines by Spanish friars in the 16th century.  This novena of Masses is celebrated in the early morning hours, when the roosters crow to announce the coming of the new day (hence the name, Misa de gallo) for a very practical reason - Filipinos are mainly farmers or fisherfolk who either begin or end their day at dawn. Farmers begin their work at the crack of dawn to avoid the intense heat.  Fishermen who spend all night at sea, come back to shore to sell their catch. Thus the Spanish missionaries decided just before dawn was the best time to gather all the people to pray and prepare for the coming of Jesus. 

The history of Simbang Gabi is all but forgotten now.  But the tradition to worship and meditate on the mystery of the Incarnation; the loving appreciation for the role of Mary as the bearer of the child, Jesus; and, the fatherly love of Joseph for his family - these remain strong in the faith life of Filipinos every where in the world.  The Filipino immigrants have proudly introduced this beautiful tradition to the Church in the United States.  Since winter weather in most parts of the country makes it impractical to hold the Mass celebrations at dawn, local parishes have adapted the practice and celebrate Simbang Gabi in the evenings.

Filipino Christmas Symbols

Parol (Christmas lantern) symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem that the three wise men followed.  The parol represents the spiritual heritage of Filipinos as bearers of light when migrating to different continents of the world, bringing with them the gift of their Catholic faith and sharing the tradition of Simbang Gabi.

Bigas (Rice) is the staple food of the Filipinos.  Rice is made up of many grains, so many seeds in a stalk.  A single grain cannot stand on its own.  Each and every grain needs others to become food.  This rice symbolizes the Fiipinos' faith, the family, the church community which need to be together, to be one and to find strength in unity.

Prutas (Fruits) symbolize the good harvest, the blessings received from God.  As immigrants to this country, Filipinos are proud of their achievements and contributions to the Church and to society in general.

Bulaklak (Flowers) represent the joy and appreciation for life as Jesus' birth brings life.  Flowers are offered to show the Filipinos' deep devotion and homage to God.