Thursday, December 20, 2018

Simbang Gabi in Stuttgart

Christmas is just around the corner. Five more days to be exact. In my home country the Philippines, Christmas has already begun when we entered the "-ber" months. But being away from our home country, we try to make things feel more at home by practicing our Filipino traditions. One thing that we always look forward to is the Simbang Gabi - the nine day mass novena in preparation for the birth of Jesus. In this nine day evening masses, we endure the cold as we warmly await His birth. 

St. Maria Church at night...
We started our Simbang Gabi this year last Saturday, December 15. As accustomed, we celebrated the masses at St. Maria Church, an old church located at the Gerberviertel. We are now on our 6th evening. Three more nights and it will be Christmas Day.

The Parol (Filipino Christmas lantern) adds to the Christmas spirit in the church.
The eucharistic celebrations are prepared and organized by the different Catholic groups comprising the Philippinische Muttersprachliche Gemeinschaft, making sure that on each evening, there is music, smooth flow and warm Filipino finger foods and kakanin. 

I pray that despite the cold, we will all remain healthy and keep coming with our warm spirits so that our "pakiusap" to Him after completing the nine evening masses will be answered and granted.

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