Guam – For the past nine days, the Catholic faithful have been attending early morning mass at 5 am at both Santa Barbara Church in Dededo and St. Anthony’s Church in Tamuning.
This early morning ritual is called Misa de Gallo, which is a Spanish phrase that literally translates as the “Rooster’s Mass”, because the mass takes place before the sun rises and at the same time the roosters start to crow. This nine day ritual starts on December 15th and ended today, on Christmas Eve. Throughout the centuries, this family Christmas tradition has been passed on from generation to generation.
And according to Monsignor Brigido, this tradition has been brought to Guam by the Spanish and started at St. Anthony in the early 1980’s. He says the Misa de Gallo is joyful ritual that helps people prepare for Christmas day.
Monsignor Brigido says, “There’s a beautiful feeling, of Christ coming, like a birthday that Jesus is now coming and we want to celebrate this beautiful joyous birthday and so we hope this celebration will continue not only for today, not only for Christmas, but every day of our lives that we will bring the joy of Christmas throughout the year to all the world.”
In the Philippines and to Filipinos throughout the world, completing the nine days is equal to a wish come true, and many Filipinos believe this centuries-old promise to this day.
Monsignor Brigido says,” Each individual person has there own little agenda why they come, maybe they are looking for peace in the family, maybe they are looking to have a good relationship with their boyfriend or girl friend, things like that, the little agenda. We offer these wishes up to the lord and its up to him how these blessing will come to these people.”
Whether you get all of the gifts you or just a few of them, we should always remember what the true meaning of Christmas is, the celebration of the birth of a child over 2,000 years ago.