Fr. Edmund Vargas spoke with the CBC about the significance of keeping Filipino Christmas traditions alive in Canada. Via @CBC They might be far from the Philippines, but Catholics in Calgary are making sure to keep their Filipino Christmas customs going strong in Canada.Members of the Filipino community collected at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church to celebrate midnight mass, called Simbang Gabi in Pilipino.Simbang Gabi is a series of masses heard on 9 consecutive nights leading up to Christmas.Filipinos from the predominantly Catholic nation think about the going to the midnight masses an indication of their faith and devotion.Fr. Edmund Vargas, the pastor at St. Anthony’s
, talked to CBC News saying” It’s a commitment, and so, it is very important to be constant, and to be standing firm in the effort to reveal faith.” With the continuous COVID-19 pandemic, religious events, consisting of midnight masses, are required to follow public health protocols.Those going to must be masked and practice social distancing.
Spread throughout the church are hand sanitizing stations.Unlike in years past, the number of people attending midnight mass are little.”When we have these masses here, pre-pandemic times, we normally have a packed church,”Fr. Vargas informed the CBC.With the provincial federal government of Alberta imposing additional limitations, the church can just take in 15%of what they are usually allowed.Those participating in mass should likewise wear masks and remain at least two metres away from those not from their own household.Fr. Vargas has actually required to live-streaming masses, so that those who can’t can be found in person can still
attend.He’s pleased with the results, with more than a thousand homes participating in online.Fr. Vargas points to how deeply rooted Filipino faith and traditions remain in the Filipino neighborhood in Calgary.Mary Kate Aquino, a trainee from Mount Royal University sang during the service.
She told the CBC that going to midnight masses were a huge part of the Filipino
community’s Christmas customs in Calgary.”The church would be packed, not just this church, however also at St. Albert the Great and Spiritual Heart. Here was a big neighborhood of individuals coming together, and I think it’s excellent that we can commemorate Christmas together. “She keeps in mind when she participated in midnight mass as a child, the whole mass
would be held in Pilipino.” But with things altering and with how culture is nowadays, the last couple of years they’ve included English, especially due to the fact that the kids that are born here, at times they do not comprehend Tagalog,”Aquino informed the CBC.Fr. Vargas has actually worked in several parishes around Calgary and is astonished at how many Filipino preserve
their faith by still participating in mass despite their hectic schedules.”I have actually been to several churches in the Diocese of Calgary. And there’s a lot of Filipinos all the time, everywhere,”Fr. Vargas said.Fr. Vargas has actually needed to adapt to the times
, often speaking in a mix of Pilipino and English. He says that it permits him to reach more Filipinos across various age groups.” For many years, even Christmas carols being sung in the church have been improved by this Simbang Gabi tradition, “Fr. Vargas shared with the CBC.” So, there are mixed kinds of music where they type of interplay the different traditions. So it’s a terrific type of development in the Filipino custom, particularly in the context of their Christian faith.
“Fr. Vargas told the CBC that it was important that they make an effort to reach out to all the members of the neighborhood, including the non-Filipinos to make sure that everyone feels welcome which they belong.Fr. Vargas has actually needed to work on hearing mass in English, which requires a bit more effort than normal.” I need to adjust and study a bit. In some cases I mispronounce words but I think people
comprehend that,” Fr. Vargas said.The effort, it would seem, is all beneficial, as long as Filipino Christmas customs are kept alive and well in Canada.SOURCE: CBC FilipinosInCanada.com is NOT affiliated with the Government of Canada, the Philippine Government, or any Philippine recruitment companies or Canadian migration
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