Novena Masses share the joy and wonder of the birth of Jesus

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Email to friend
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Home > Media > News > Novena Masses share the joy and wonder of the birth of Jesus
Novena Masses share the joy and wonder of the birth of Jesus

Millions of people in the Philippines attend Simbang Gabi, a nine-day series of Masses in the lead up to Christmas.

Now those in Tasmania can share in the preparatory-joy with Bridgewater-Brighton Parish holding the novena of Masses for the first time.

Fr Leo Zenarosa MLCC, the parish administrator, hails from the Philippines where the Simbang Gabi Masses usually begin at 4am, and are followed by a feast.

Inspired by this, from December 15 until December 23, special Masses are being celebrated at St Paul’s Church in Bridgewater, in anticipation of Christmas.

“I decided, together with some of the members of the parish, to celebrate the Novena Masses, because the coming of Jesus is so important to us,” Fr Leo said.

“The Novena Masses are a little thing we can do to celebrate Christmas, and to celebrate Jesus coming."

Fr Leo – who has built a stable to house the church’s large nativity set – says he is praying that people will realise the importance of the birth of Jesus, who chose to be born in humble circumstances.

“He could choose another place to live, but He chose Bethlehem. Humility in words, in lifestyle, in actions: this is also the message of the novena. The Christmas message is of the love and joy of Jesus, and the humility of Jesus, born in Bethlehem.”

The Simbang Gabi Masses are being held in the evening, allowing for the difference in culture between Australia and the Philippines. People are welcome to attend some, or all the Masses.

Each evening begins with Eucharistic adoration at 6pm, with a rosary at 6.30pm, followed by Mass at 7pm.

“There is a rosary before the Mass. The Blessed Virgin Mary is part of the life of Jesus. Rosary, exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament help prepare us for the Mass, and to receive Jesus and to humble ourselves for the coming of Jesus,” Fr Leo said.

A special choir will be a feature of the celebrations on the ninth day, with a shared meal to follow.

“I hope and I pray in this little way I can evangelise people to how beautiful is the coming of Jesus. It is a celebration of life, a celebration of our saviour. Jesus is the reason for the season. This is what I want to tell people, little by little: listen to this Mass.”

For those wanting the dawn Mass experience, St Mary’s Cathedral will be holding three days of the Simbang Gabi Masses.

On December 22, 23 and 24, Fr Norberto Ochua – also from the Philippines – will be celebrating Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral at 5am.