As we begin our journey through Advent, culminating in the celebration of Christmas on 25th December, Mrs McDermott shares with us the Latin tradition of ‘Las Posadas’ which began in Spain and which has been celebrated in Mexico for over 400 years and is also celebrated in Guatemala. The tradition commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a warm place to stay the night. (Posada is Spanish for inn or lodging). Each night a family agrees to host Joseph and Mary. Processions take place at dusk and the group representing the Holy Family stands outside a series of houses, singing songs, asking for lodging. They are refused again and again until the group reaches the designated house where the travellers are allowed to enter. Prayer and songs continue in this home, and food is are shared. This is a tradition about faith and pilgrimage.
‘At St Augustine’s Priory we are going to re-enact Las Posadas and the figures representing Mary and Joseph and their donkey will travel on a journey around the school, with many different classes taking it in turns to offer hospitality to the couple during Advent.
At each “hand-over” there is a short dialogue of welcome and prayers to be said by the “pilgrims” (those handing over Mary and Joseph) and by the class who are receiving them (the inn-keepers) and as Mary and Joseph are placed into their new home (the prayer table/shelf/corner in the form room). Liturgy Prefects will be responsible for bringing the figures to the next class room.
We hope that the pupils enjoy travelling through Advent with Mary and Joseph and find that it enhances their anticipation of Christmas and the excitement of receiving the new life which comes to us with the birth of the baby Jesus.
The Posada: Words to greet the travellers from Nazareth
Pilgrims: We are travellers from Nazareth, weary and hungry from our journey. Will you give us shelter?
Innkeepers: Who is asking for room in my house?
Pilgrims: We are Mary and Joseph, travelling to Bethlehem. We need a place to rest, for Mary is tired. She is expecting a special baby – he will be known as the Son of God.
Innkeepers: Come in Holy Family. You are welcome to shelter here today.
As the figures are placed on the prayer table, the following prayers are said:
Pilgrims: Lord God, we ask your blessing on this classroom and on all who study here. Just as our crib figures have found a welcome here today, may all who enter here find a welcome that speaks of your love. Amen.
Innkeepers: Heavenly Father, we welcome these crib figures into our classroom. May they remind us that you are always with us. Bless this class and help us to make room in our hearts and in our lives for you and for your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.’
Categories: Faith Life Junior Nursery Prep Priory Post Senior Sixth Form Whole School