CBCP to flock: Be active, attentive during Simbang Gabi
By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC) urged the faithful to be active and attentive when attending Simbang Gabi(dawn masses), which would start on Saturday.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP-PAC executive secretary said that the people owe it to God and to the Church to be energetic when they attend church service.
“I think the people owe it to the church, to God to be very much alive when they attend church service. So the burden is not on the priests. People should feel responsible that when you are inside the church you should be attentive,” he said in an interview.
With this, the Catholic priest added that the priest should also deliver relevant homilies to get the attention of the churchgoers since some of them fall asleep during homilies.
“You should fully participate in the celebration. But of course the priests are also expected to deliver not entertaining homilies but relevant, substantial homilies that will edify the people,” he said.
“We don’t want our priests to be entertainers. Sometimes the priests are tempted to entertain people so that people will not fall asleep. But the mass is not an entertainment,” Secillano explained.
Asked on what topics should be discussed, the CBCP-PAC official said, “Not necessary current issues. When we speak of relevance it should also be relevant in the life of the individual. Let’s say for example, there are so many problems that an individual faces. So at least the word of God should offer some solace. Should offer some assurance.”
“But if a priest will be talking about so many of these entertaining things, well you keep the people awake but at the same time I don’t think the people will get something substantial from the word of God,” Secillano added.
The nine-day Simbang Gabi will begin at dawn of December 16 until December 24.
It’s been a tradition of Roman Catholics to celebrate the occasion every year in connection with the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25. (PNA)