Sunday, December 23, 2007

On misa de gallo

Today is the eighth day of misa de gallo. Tomorrow will be the last, and by then, things will be back in the usual rhythm of things in the novitiate.

Misa de gallo has been a Filipino tradition in welcoming Christmas. For those who may not be familiar with it, it's a series of Masses for nine days (a novena!) before Dec. 25. It helps the Mass-goers to prepare themselves for the Solemnity of Christ's birth.

The catch is theses Masses are held at dawn.

Fr. Wilbert once told me that misa de gallo are votive Mass for Mary. The prayers that we use for these Masses have something to do with Mary.

The reason is not complicated, he emphasized.

The most excellent human being who prepared to welcome the human form of God through Jesus was (and still is!) Mary, His mother.
And our preparation for this great feast should be along that line.

Out of the eight days of misa de gallo, I have only attended three. Let me list my reason for not completing it:

1. We have Mass at 6 AM and somebody has to attend to it. Noble and I have been responding to this need--diligently for the past days.

2. The misa de gallo masses are in Cebuano.

3. I love the cool morning breeze of December envelope me while I lie on bed.