Christmas Traditions: Las Posadas

One of the most beautiful Christmas traditions brought to our Community by our sisters from Latin America is ‘Las Posadas’. This tradition emulates the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. As we know from the Scriptures, “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:7) After searching everywhere for a place, finally, a kind inn keeper allowed them to stay in the stable where Christ was born.

During Las Posadas, that usually takes place each day during the Christmas Novena from the 16-24th December, groups led by ‘Joseph and Mary’ move from one house to another seeking a place to stay. At each stop a carol is sung and then the Holy pair are dutifully refused entrance and move on to the next home. At the last stop for the evening, they are finally invited in amongst singing and great festivities.

Our MDR version of Las Posadas is somewhat simpler as it takes place only on one day during the festivities. We move from one door of the Old Peoples Home (Come in famiglia) to another asking if we may enter the ladies’ rooms with singing, guitars, Mary, Joseph and all! Of course, with such commotion they refuse! Finally, we all come together in the common room where we sing Christmas carols and have various festivities.

As Advent draws to a close, the tradition of Las Posadas is very beautiful and rich in the symbolism of the season. In a spiritual sense, knocking on each door to gain entrance to the home is a metaphor for the coming of Christ who knocks on the door of our hearts. However, just like the inn keepers 2000 years ago, we must choose to make a space for Christ. Scriptures do not record which inn keeper allowed the Holy Family to rest in the stable. Nevertheless, even by giving this poor dwelling place, he prepared a place fit for a King! In the days leading up to Christmas let us open our hearts with all the joy of Las Posadas to allow Christ to find His home there.

God Bless Us
And the Virgin Protect Us