In Mexico and other Latin American countries, there is a tradition called Posada. By this tradition, the figures of Joseph, Mary and a Donkey (from a nativity set) travel around the young families of a parish, being welcomed on each of the days of Advent with a prayer and the lighting of a candle. The idea of Posada is that we are providing the inns denied to Mary and Joseph on Christmas Eve.
As last year, Posada is coming to Itchen Valley Parish! The figures will travel around the Parish (in a wooden box) stopping for one night at each of the houses of our young people involving all those of our young families, who wish to take part, to act as innkeepers for the night. The journey will start at one end of the Parish and end in Easton for the crib service.
I will start the journey on Advent Sunday with one of the young families and leave Mary and Joseph (perhaps on display in a window) after saying a prayer (see below) and having lit a candle (provided in the box). Then that family will take them round to the next family (having made an appointment to do so), and so on, until the final family brings them to the Easton Crib service. This would also be away of introducing families to each other, if they don’t already know them.
When the nativity set comes to stay with you:
- When the children are home: open the box (carefully) and place the figures in a suitable place (maybe a window)
- Light a candle
- Say the prayer below (and other family prayers if you wish)
- Pack up the figures the following day and deliver to the next family on the list (having called them in advance!)
We think this will be a moving way of engaging the younger children in the Advent story.
It should be pointed out that although we have purchased a new nativity set of traditional figures to use at the Easton Crib Service, the figures are very fragile – the heads fall off easily! Its’ not a huge disaster if this happens (they are not very expensive) but may take time to replace.
If you are interested in taking part and have not received an email from me on this please do drop me a line.
Prayer for Posada – say this together as a family!
‘There was no place for them in the inn’ Luke 2:7
God of stable, stars and surprises
of light and hope and new life,
may we make Jesus welcome in our hearts,
as we welcome these nativity figures into our home,
and may you open our eyes and hearts
to your presence in the world
so that we might hear again the song of the angels
and respond with a song in our hearts and in our lives