Advent Novena, Multicultural Preparations for Christmas

Advent is a season where we humbly trust and joyfully wait for the arrival of the promised Savior. In the darkness of the night, all sing with joyful longing for the coming of the Savior who is the light of the world.

Simbang Gabi is a hopeful religious event celebrated in the Philippines during the last nine days of Advent, which leads up to Christmas Day. It involves nine days of prayer, worship and fellowship in preparation for the coming of the Lord. Simbang Gabi, which means “night Mass” in Filipino is a novena that consists of a nine-day series of Masses to honor the Blessed Mother and anticipate the arrival of Christmas.

Simbang Gabi was brought to the Philippines by Spanish missionary friars who introduced the practice of Misa de Gallo or Misa de Aguinaldo from Mexico during the Catholic evangelization of the Philippine islands in the 17th century. The celebration eventually became a permanent practice among Philippine Catholics. Initially, Spanish priests held early morning predawn services so fishermen who finished their workday late and farmers starting their days early could gather for worship. The practice has been modified in the U.S. to accommodate traditional work hours, with evening Masses being held instead.

Simbang Gabi Masses will be held at the following locations at 7:00 p.m. (unless indicated otherwise):

Jacksonville Area

Dec. 15 – St. Joseph, 11757 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville

Dec. 16 – Most Holy Redeemer, 8523 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville

               – St. John the Baptist, 2400 Mayport Road, Jacksonville

Dec. 17 – Sacred Heart, 5752 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville

                – St. Patrick Parish, 601 Airport Center Drive E., Jacksonville

Dec. 18 – St. Luke, 1606 Blanding. Blvd., Middleburg

               – Blessed Trinity, 10472 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville

Dec. 19 – Mary, Queen of Heaven, 9401 Staples Mill Drive, Jacksonville

                – Christ the King, 742 Arlington Road N., Jacksonville

Dec. 20 – San Juan del Rio, 1718 State Road 13, St. Johns

                – Resurrection, 3383 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville

Dec. 21 – St. Catherine of Siena, 1649 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park

               – St. John the Baptist, 2400 Mayport Road, Jacksonville

Dec. 22 – Epiphany, 1905 SW Epiphany Court, Lake City, 7:30 p.m.

               – St. Peter, 960 South Girvin Road, Jacksonville

Dec. 23 – Holy Spirit, 11665 Fort Caroline Rd. Jacksonville

Palm Coast Area

Dec. 15 – Dec. 23 – St. Stephen Chapel, 2400 E. Highway 100, Bunnell

Dec. 15, 5:00 p.m. – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 4600 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast

Dec. 16, 4:00 p.m. at St. Stephen Chapel

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 4600 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast
              – Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m.
              – Dec. 18, 5:00 p.m.
              – Dec. 19, 5:00 p.m.
              – Dec. 20, 5:00 p.m.
              – Dec. 21, 5:00 p.m.
              – Dec. 22, 5:00 p.m. 
              – Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Gainesville Area

Dec. 15 – Dec. 23 Holy Faith, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville

The practice of Misa de Aguinaldo, among the Puerto Rican community, is held at dawn in the Diocese of St. Augustine. The ceremony takes place from Dec. 16 to 24, beginning at 5:30 a.m. at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 10472 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville.

Upcoming Events


Feast of St. James Mass at Cathedral Basilica
Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine


Seguir A Cristo A La Luz De La Carta de San Pablo a los Filipenses - Bishop José Báez
Marywood Retreat Center


Seven Sorrows Prayer Walk
Our Lady of La Leche National Shrine at Mission Nombre de Dios


Pastor Installation - Fernandina Beach
St. Michael


Christmas in July
Christ the King Parish


Chosen Leadership Conference
Marywood Retreat Center