Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Novenas

Maligayang Pasko!      Feliz Navidad! 
Las Posadas and Simbang Gabi-two Christmas traditions/novenas from two different cultures. At Our Lady of the Mountains Parish we had both of them going on at the same time. I chose to attend the Filipino Simbang Gabi novena but did take part in the final day of the Hispanic Las Posasdas.

For the nine days before Christmas the Filipinos gathered in our church for a 5:30pm Mass. The Simbang Gabi Prayer was prayed at every Mass and Advent songs sung in Tagalog. I joined the choir and was able to learn most of these songs. I wasn't quite sure what I was always singing but at least I was getting the pronunciation down. Several times during the novena we had a visiting priest, usually Filipino, to celebrate the Mass. We had a wide range of homilies this way. After each Mass was a meal sponsored by two different families each night. On Saturday, we had the Mass at 8:00am with breakfast after. It was in the morning because that night was the annual Filipino Christmas party held at Fort Huachuca, our Army post.

The party began with the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner followed by Lupang Hinirang-the Filipino national anthem.
At the Christmas party the new officers were installed for the FilAm Club and recognition was given to Ms. Dorothy who assumed the helm of the club for five years to get it back on its feet. It is definitely very much alive.

Games were played after a delicious meal. I learned some new ones to do with the students at All Saints Catholic School. You might want to try these two at your next party. 1st) A box race-who can get the ball moving quickly across the floor by fanning it with a box! That's right-it can only move by the wind movement from the box that you are quickly moving up and down to create the wind but at the same time directing it to your partner across the room, who will take the box and fan it back to you. It was hilarious!

I took part in game 2-sit in a chair and put a small gingerbread cookie on your forehead. Using only your facial muscles move the cookie down into your mouth and eat it. If it falls off your face, pick it up and start over. Once you successfully get it into your mouth, switch places with your partner and he/she then has to do the same thing. The duo that finishes first is the winner. I never got to try it because my partner could not get the cookie into her mouth. I was slightly relieved.

Another part of the entertainment was "mob carols". Different groups of people at the party spontaneously broke into carols and before we knew it they were on stage welcoming the newborn king.
Go Tell It On Mountain was sung from the top of a ladder.
Away in a Manger was sung.
Merry Christmas in Tagalog

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