Monday, December 16, 2013

Las Posadas

O Come, O come, Emmanuel...
Las Posadas is a time of celebration in Mexico and the Southwest United States. It is an event of much significance with joy, protection and festivity. Las Posadas is always observed with much song and celebration. It is a novena of preparation for the feast of the Nativity. It begins on the 16th of December and ends on the 24th of December with the" Mass of the Rooster," the celebration of the Mass at Midnight.

Las Posadas has its origins, possibly, from Father Diego de Soria, a religious of the order of St. Augustine. He was an enthusiastic priest, introducing the devotion in Mexico, in the church of Alcoman, in 1587. It was the intention of this celebrated religious to contrast the celebration of the Aztecs in honor of their god of war, Huitzilopochtli. It was celebrated at the same time as the time of the Nativity, and was presenting many problems of attraction for the neophyte Christians.

Las Posadas of Father Diego became popular very quickly and extended to other churches in Mexico and the surrounding countryside. It then began to be celebrated in the homes of individuals.

It is the celebration of the "pilgrims" who go from house to house led by an angel who conducts the little donkey with the seated Virgin. She is accompanied by St. Joseph. They sing songs as they look for shelter, the masters of the houses open their doors and all who participate share in the buffet which the owners (innkeepers) of the house offer.

The people celebrate that the messiah will come again. It is the celebration of preparation for this coming. It is time to open the doors of our hearts to give shelter. How do we give shelter to Jesus? By the doing of good works. It is the preparation time for the doing and practicing of the virtues. It is a time for coming together with our neighbors. It is the occasion for gathering with our families and with those who live near us.--Fiestas NavideƱas

 Forgive us, God and Lord of the universe, and help us to walk alongside Mary and Joseph, thus giving us the courage to fight against and triumph over every adversity. Amen.--Posadas Prayer

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