Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will be the first Filipino cardinal to celebrate Simbang Gabi in the Vatican. He will preside on Saturday, December 20, in Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy.
Only 168 people will be allowed and a maximum of three priests will co-celebrate the Mass with Cardinal Tagle, says Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy priest, Fr. Ricky Gente. This is the fifth year that Simbang Gabi will be held in the Vatican. (Read: The Pope’s message to Filipinos in his first-ever ‘Simbang Gabi’)
Limited Mass Tickets
According to the parish council they opted for the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore because it allows more than 200 churchgoers.
“Marami talagang nag-a-ask ng ticket,” said Sally Manila, member of the pastoral council of worship commission of the Chaplaincy. Their group was tasked to distribute and divide the limited 230 tickets. (Read: CBCP Adds More Simbang Gabi Masses to Accommodate Churchgoers)
“Pero nandoon syempre yung kita mo sa kanila yung talagang parang bigo, disappointed, no? Dahil gusto rin naman nila makita kahit hindi nga si Pope. Si Cardinal Tagle naman yung magmimisa. Syempre gusto rin nilang maka-attend sa Mass,” Manila added.
To accommodate more people who want to attend the Mass, the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana will be opened to 70 people. A live feed of Cardinal Tagle’s Simbang Gabi will also be shown on a white screen. (Read: A List of Online Masses Available for Simbang Gabi)