Lingayen- - -The anticipated nine-day Simbang Gabi at the Capitol kicked-off on December 15 at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center (PTDC) with Archbishop Socrates Villegas officiating the mass with the assistance of Rev. Fr. Francis Posadas.
Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and his wife, First Lady Prescilla “Mely” I. Espino led the lighting of the candle that signified the 3rd week of Advent.
Traditionally, the mass is held at the Capitol Plaza but due to inclement weather, the celebration, was transferred to the PTDC, which was full-packed with Catholic devotees who usually complete the nine-day Simbang Gabi.
Big tents were set-up infront of the PTDC that accommodated more mass goers.
Simbang Gabi originated in the early days of Spanish rule over the Philippines as a compromise for farmers, who began work before sunrise to avoid the noonday heat in the fields.
Giving importance to a valued tradition, the present administration launched the anticipated mass at the Capitol to encourage more Catholic devotees in the province to revive the tradition.
Regular Simbang Gabi is celebrated at the Catholic church on the dawn of December 16 up to the December 24.
On the other hand, the anticipated mass at the Capitol starts on the 15th of December up to the 23rd at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
Midnight mass for Christmas in celebration of the Nativity of the Lord, will be held on December 24, 8PM at the Capitol grounds.
Prior to the celebration of New Year, the anticipated mass that gives honor to the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is scheduled on December 31, 8PM also at the Capitol Plaza. (Ruby R. Bernardino)