SoCal Fil-Ams celebrate Simbang Gabi at LA Cathedral

Thousands of Filipino American Catholics kick off the Simbang Gabi tradition ahead of Christmas Day. AJPress photo by Andy Tecson

THOUSANDS of Filipino American Catholics gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, December 15 for the annual Simbang Gabi Mass.

Leaders of the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 
AJPress photos by Andy Tecson

This year’s celebration, with principal celebrant Archbishop José H. Gomez, was spearheaded by the San Gabriel Pastoral Region of the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This is the 20th annual Simbang Gabi hosted by the Archdiocese to celebrate the nine-day Filipino tradition of attending mass leading up to Christmas Day.

Parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Altadena join the parade of parols during the Simbang Gabi celebration at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels on Dec. 15.

The Mass was preceded by the traditional music band that leads the “Parade of Parols,” or lanterns, of more than 120 parishes from the five pastoral regions in the tri-county Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura).

Members of St. Brendan Church in Los Angeles

The parols, a Philippine Christmas symbol, were blessed at the end of the Mass. In the Philippines, the parol is used to light up people’s homes and is carried by parishioners attending Simbang Gabi Mass, or “Mass before dawn.”

The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, led by Consul General Edgar Badajos, attend the annual Simbang Gabi Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels.

The procession also included parols of religious Filipino American organizations, civic and professional organizations, and government offices, led by the Philippine Consulate General.


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