By Suzanne Goloy-Lanot
This article is reprinted by permission of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, where it first appeared first appeared on 19 December 2004. Suzanne Goloy-Lanot is originally from San Juan, Metro Manila, and her husband Leonardo, now retired from the US Navy, from Mandaluyong City. They live in Bremerton, Washington State, with their daughter Adrienne Marie (23) and their son Jean-Lenard (19).
From its humble roots in the Philippines, the Simbang Gabi has been celebrated sporadically among Filipino communities throughout the United States. Now it is observed in its grandeur and pageantry as part of the Advent devotion in the Archdiocese of Seattle.
Parishes are encouraged to celebrate it, following a standard liturgy, including music and readings. Here it is a sacred ritual of lights, symbolized by the parol, which the Archbishop of Seattle, the Most Reverend Alexander J. Brunett, refers to as the Light of Christ.