LOS ANGELES, Dec 15 (Mabuhay) – It is that time of the year again that we, Filipinos, brave the chilly mornings to prepare and celebrate the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is Simbang Gabi season and the Los Angeles Archdiocese adopted the theme “Knowing Christ’s Way to Unity and Peace.”
Our Lady of the Valley Church (OLV) in Canoga Park, the mother church of San Fernando Valley, likewise, took the theme. Its Simbang Gabi or dawn mass celebrations start on the 16th of December to the 24th at 5 in the morning.
At the opening, everyone is invited to bring their homemade parol which represents the start of Bethlehem that guided the three wise men to the manger. There will be a procession of parols and these will be kept at the church for nine days. At this time parols will be judged and their makers will receive prizes for their parols in various categories.
Of course the novena is not all about parol but to keep up with the theme of peace and unity through our Creator.
Everyone is invited and challenged to keep these 9 chilly days and celebrate in spirit with relatives and friends all over the Philippines where Simbang Gabi starts as early as 4 in the morning.
Several groups coming from all regions in the Philippines will spearhead this year’s celebration at OLV. They are divided according to the dialect spoken from north to south and from east to the west.
All groups have taken a day of the nine days to join in the reading of petitions in their own dialect and offering of the gifts.Â They will also get a special blessing as part of the celebration.
Everyone (no matter where you live inside or outside of the diocese) is invited to the 2010 Simbang Gabi at Our Lady of the Valley Church.Â Aside from being spiritually refreshed you won’t leave the church with empty stomach since a light breakfast will be served at the Parish Hall for free.
For additional information, please get in touch with Rev. Fr. Leo del Carmen at 818-592-2880. The church is located at 22021 Gault Street, CanogaÂ Park, CA 91303. (MNS)