Daily Readings

The daily readings for the Eucharistic celebrations.

Fathers

The Fathers of the Church and their explanations of the readings of the day.

History

Historical books of the Old Testament

The Sunday Lectionary

Sermon and homily notes for Sundays

Video

Videos mostly from YouTube

Home » Articles

Simbang Gabi 2009

Submitted by on Monday, 14 December 2009No Comment

P1020367copy

For the Church in the Philippines, December 16-24 is a special period in Advent. During these days, we celebrate the Simbang Gabi, a. k. a. Misa del Gallo — a series of Masses that begin at 4 AM. These are masses where the Gloria is sung and the vestment worn is white. By intent then, these are days that already share in the joy of the Christmas feast.

The readings for December 17-24 have been fixed; this will be affected only in the cases when a Sunday (usually the 4th Sunday of Advent) falls within these days. In that case, the Sunday readings prevail. For the Church in the Philippines where the Simbang Gabi begins on the 16th of December, the readings for that day is fixed by the CBCP (see Ordo). The readings for the Simbang Gabi of December 16 are as follows:

Reading OT: Isaiah 56:1-3.6-81
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67:2-3. 5. 7-8
Gospel: John 5:33-36

Below is an illustration of the way the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke have been distributed throughout December 17-24.

Illustration

Note that because of the particular way that the Genealogy in Matthew begins the series of readings, the regal character of Jesus’ birth is emphasized. The repetition of the number "14" in the genealogy cries out the letters daleth (4), wav (6), daleth (4) which are the consonants for the name "David" (or Dod, "Beloved") Matthew also presents Jesus as the New Israel, but this is seen in the episode of the Escape to Egypt which is read during the feast of the Holy Family (Year A). On account of the feast, however, the role of Joseph as the "Custos redemptoris" is given more emphasis.

From December 19-24, we find a series of annunciations beginning with the angelic announcements to the future father of the precursor and the future mother of the redeemer. This is followed by announcements made by human beings to other human beings — that of Mary to Elizabeth and of Zecharias to his son John. The pattern angel –> human –> human will be repeated on the birthday of Jesus where a host of angels announce the good news to shepherds and the shepherds go to Mary to tell her about the "word".

From December 24-25, the Liturgy foresees several Masses each having their own characteristics. December 24 has the day mass (falling in the series of December 17-24) and a Mass that is celebrated right after the Evening Prayer I for Christmas. It is called a Vigil Mass2. This is to be distinguished from the Midnight Mass, the first of the three Christmas masses

For this year’s Simbang Gabi, only two dates are different from that of last year, December 20 and 21. December 20 this year falls on the fourth Sunday of Advent. You can find relevant articles for this here. Note that the Gospel readings for December 20 and 21 are the same, Luke 1:39-45 or "Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth". So for the Sunday homily, I would suggest that the reading from Paul, Hebrews 10:5-10 be used for preaching instead.

Readings for December 21

Old Testament: A Choice Between Song of Songs and Zephaniah

Song of Songs 2:8-14. This section of the Song of Songs merits a place in the Advent readings because of the way it has been interpreted by the Fathers of the Church. Here, the bride who symbolizes the Church hears her spouse the Beloved calling — the coming Lord — who invites her at the start of a new spring-time to have a tryst in the "clefts of the Rock." The felt absence of the spouse during the winter is now replaced by the excitement and joy of an encounter longed for and desired.

Zephaniah 3:14-18. Zephaniah worked during the reign of Josiah (640-609), a time of renewal in Jerusalem. It was during this time when the book of the Law was discovered in the Temple that was then under reconstruction (2 Kngs 22:3-10). What followed this discovery was a covenant renewal headed by the king (23:1-3) that began religious reform in Judah (23:4ff). In this background, Zephaniah’s call for conversion and announcement of the Day of the Lord is to be understood. Zephaniah 3:14-18 is part of the book’s closing chapters. In fact, the original book of prophecies closed with the psalms of rejoicing. The Day of the Lord is not only a day of judgment but also a day of rejoicing for the people of Judah. Interesting in these verses are the translations for vv. 17-18 which portrays the God of Israel as a victorious warriior dancing in celebration in the midst of His people.

Gospel Reading: Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth

Luke 1:39-45. The gospel reading is about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. She who has received the Word of God in her womb now goes to the hill country of Judea, hurrying like a missionary, to a cousin in need. Her greeting of "Shalom" not only reaches Elizabeth but also the yet unborn John. The peace that Mary brings is the peace that the Lord within her gives. Elizabeth, one of those who have been waiting for the Salvation promised from of old, receives the Holy Spirit upon hearing Mary’s word and she recognizes her as "Mother of my Lord."

For the rest of the Simbang Gabi readings, please see this page.

Isaiah 56:1-3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Thus saith the Lord: Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my justice to be revealed.
2Blessed is the man that doth this, and the son of man that shall lay hold on this: that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, that keepeth his hands from doing any evil.
3And let not the son of the stranger, that adhereth to the Lord, speak, saying: The Lord will divide and separate me from his people. And let not the eunuch say: Behold I am a dry tree.
Isaiah 53:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
Psalm 67:2-3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us.
3That we may know thy way upon earth: thy salvation in all nations.
John 5:33-36
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
33You sent to John, and he gave testimony to the truth.
34But I receive not testimony from man: but I say these things, that you may be saved.
35He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36But I have a greater testimony than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Luke 1:39-45
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
39And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
Hebrews 10:5-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith: Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not: but a body thou hast fitted to me:
6Holocausts for sin did not please thee.
7Then said I: Behold I come: in the head of the book it is written of me: that I should do thy will, O God.
8In saying before, Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for sin thou wouldest not, neither are they pleasing to thee, which are offered according to the law.
9Then said I: Behold, I come to do thy will, O God: he taketh away the first, that he may establish that which followeth.
10In the which will, we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once.
Song of Songs 2:8-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
8The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills.
9My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices.
10Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.
11For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
12The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
13The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:
14My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
Zephaniah 3:14-18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
14Give praise, O daughter of Sion: shout, O Israel: be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15The Lord hath taken away thy judgment, he hath turned away thy enemies: the king of Israel the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt fear evil no more.
16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not: to Sion: Let not thy hands be weakened.
17The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save: he will rejoice over thee with gladness, he will be silent in his love, he will be joyful over thee in praise.
18The triflers that were departed from the law, I will gather together, because they were of thee: that thou mayest no more suffer reproach for them.
Zephaniah 3:14-18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
14Give praise, O daughter of Sion: shout, O Israel: be glad, and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15The Lord hath taken away thy judgment, he hath turned away thy enemies: the king of Israel the Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt fear evil no more.
16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not: to Sion: Let not thy hands be weakened.
17The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save: he will rejoice over thee with gladness, he will be silent in his love, he will be joyful over thee in praise.
18The triflers that were departed from the law, I will gather together, because they were of thee: that thou mayest no more suffer reproach for them.
Luke 1:39-45
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
39And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

Popularity: 20% [?]

  1. The ORDO’s specification of Isaiah 53 is a mistake. Isaiah 53 is more for Good Friday rather than for Advent. However, in some of the Christmas sermons of Augustine, Isaiah 53:1 is used to describe the wonder of Christmas. Apart from this, all the passages in Isaiah 53 is not used for Christmas. []
  2. This would look strange for those in the Philippines who grew up during the Martial Law era. Because of the 12 MN curfew, the Christmas Midnight Mass was moved to an earlier hour. For that reason the Vigil Mass of December 24 practically disappeared. []

Leave your response!

You must be logged in to post a comment.