See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day Four of the Novena: Las Posadas


The novena Mexican style...
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A posada varies according to the place, region, and community hosting the celebration. In church-sponsored posadas, a procession is held that is oftentimes led by older children or adolescents portraying Joseph and Mary. Sometimes they are accompanied by children dressed as angels and shepherds, who accompany them during their search for lodging and who lead a procession of parishioners. Often, peregrinos (pilgrims, represented by carved figures depicting Mary mounted on a donkey led by Joseph) are placed on a decorated and candlelit litter that is carried at the head of the procession. Participants join in prayer and song as they make their way to the first home, where the first verses of the posada, requesting shelter, are sung.
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The homes that are visited are preselected, and members of that family as well as other parishioners wait indoors to respond in verse and song that there is no place for the travelers in their home. The same occurs on repeated visits to other homes, usually three or four. The tradition is that on the last visit the pilgrims are granted lodging. At the last site, usually the parish church, parishioners inside the church, who have been anticipating the arrival of the pilgrims, joyfully grant them lodging, singing a different chorus than in the prior visits.
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The procession enters and gathers around the nativity scene, where all join and celebrate Christ's birth through prayer and song. After this, the community gathers, usually in the church hall, for traditional Christmas Mexican meal, tamales, and champurrado (a Mexican corn-based hot chocolate), and the children gather around for the breaking of the piƱata. - Taken from:  Las Posadas
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+Prayer+
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To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

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O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen. - Leo XIII
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Today the Holy Father suggests that we prepare for Christmas by looking to St. Joseph.  Read what the Pope said here.


2 comments:

  1. The idea of Las Posadas really delights me. Kind of like a via crucis for Advent. I once suggested to a Pastor in NYC to do one in his parish but he just said there are no Latinos in his parish. I think the participation of the children, the procession, the focussing on going to Bethlehem, etc make this an ideal Advent parish event for all Catholics.
    Somehow, I am not sure how earnest Catholics can represent the people inside the houses who reject Mary and Joseph - especially in this joyful wait for Christmas. (A bit unlike in the Good Friday Passion, we have to say the part of those who crucify Christ. )Well, perhaps this is the best kind of examen dressed up as (para-)liturgical drama. We reject -- or even crucify -- Christ sometimes unknowingly.

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  2. elisabeta8:13 PM

    The "Ad Te Beate Ioseph" is such a beautiful prayer. Thanks for posting it. We say it after the traditional Marian prayers following the Rosary before every Mass. Think about the Litany of St. Joseph: He's the Safeguard of families and Protector of Holy Church. And that's just two of 24. I may be missing some. St. Teresa of Avila said St. Joseph never let her down in anything she asked. But could anyone expect differently of the Foster-Father of Jesus and the Spouse of His Most Holy Mother? I'm also a bit partial because I was born on his Feast Day. (The one in March.)

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