What Is Las Posadas?
Las Posadas is a traditional Hispanic celebration depicting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem. It is most commonly celebrated in Mexico although it is practiced in other countries as well.
While originally a Roman Catholic celebration practiced as a novena (series of nine) each day between December 16 and 24, this tradition is now also widely practiced as a one day event among other denominations and in secular venues.
The word posada means “inn” or “place of lodging,” literally a place where one can posar (rest). In this celebration figures representing Mary and Joseph take part in a procession that goes from door to door guided by the angel seeking posada, or lodging. The traditional song of Las Posadas is a series of responsive verses sung between a group of pilgrims asking for lodging and innkeepers turning them away. Finally, after several stops, the innkeepers realize who is asking for lodging and welcome them in with open arms. All those in the procession enter the “inn” and a celebration, often including refreshments and a piñata, follows.
Las Posadas, in addition to being a reenactment of Mary and Joseph looking for lodging in the inn, has a variety of applications and lessons for the C
hristian life. While the practice of this tradition has become very secularized, it remains a wonderful tool for use in the church. It is one way of preparing for Jesus our Savior’s coming and is a reminder that this should be awaited with great joy.
When the time for Jesus’ birth drew near, Mary and Joseph were unable to find lodging. Likewise, the world into which Jesus entered did not recognize Him as the Messiah. Even today the world often does not recognize Jesus, who comes knocking, desiring a place in each of our hearts. Las Posadas provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce the Gospel message of Jesus, born as a baby, come to Earth as our Redeemer. Las Posadas also provides opportunity to explore the themes of welcoming
the stranger and serving your neighbor in need
From Las Posadas Navideñasas by Krysia J. Heimer, published at http://www.csl.edu/chapel/congresources/lasposadas
The fun continued in Fellowship Hall with a traditional Mexican meal and a Pinata!
Photos provided by Pat Conner. Thanks Pat!