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Simbang Gabi Masses Outside the Parish Churches, Shrines, Chaplaincies, and Chapels duly recognized by the parish

Circular No. 2011-48
12 October 2011


TO: ALL THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA

RE: SIMBANG GABI MASSES OUTSIDE THE PARISH CHURCHES, SHRINES, CHAPLAINCIES, AND CHAPELS DULY RECOGNIZED BY THE PARISH



Dear Monsignori, Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters,


Greetings of Peace!


It has come to our knowledge that in the previous years there had been a proliferation of Simbang Gabi Masses outside the parish churches, shrines, and chaplaincies.  Sadly, many of these masses were held without the consent of the parish priest of the area and the permission of the local Ordinary.


We reiterate what we mentioned in the “Guidelines for the Celebration of Simbang Gabi” we issued last year: “The ordinary place for the celebration of the Simbang Gabi Masses is the parochial church.  Chapels, which are duly recognized within the jurisdiction of the parish church, is given permission to celebrate Simbang Gabi only with the consent of the parish priest and in coordination with the parish.  Simbang Gabi may not be celebrated in malls or shopping centers, unless there is a chapel in the establishment where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated with frequency and duly approved by us.  We do not allow Simbang Gabi to be celebrated in corridors or hallways of shopping malls where the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is needlessly exposed to shoppers that are indifferent to the celebration.”


In order to regulate the celebration of Simbang Gabi Masses outside the parish churches, shrines, chaplaincies, or chapels which are duly recognized by the parish, we have decided to revoke, effective today, all permissions we have earlier given.


Those who wish that Simbang Gabi Masses be celebrated in their chapels, shopping malls, or other institutions, should be recommended by the parish priest of the place  where the Masses will be celebrated to the Archbishop of Manila who has the authority to decide on the request.


We appeal to the priests in the Archdiocese of Manila who might be invited to celebrate Simbang Gabi Masses outside the parish churches, shrines, chaplaincies, and chapels duly approved by the parish priest to ascertain that a permission has been granted by us before accepting the invitation.


Finally, we request the Vicars Forane, with the help of the parish priests, to see to it that this mandate is strictly enforced.


Thank you very much and God bless!




Sincerely yours,

(signed)
+GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES
Archbishop of Manila