A Place For All To Worship

Day 18 | Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Las Posadas

So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. – Deuteronomy 10:12-19

Las Posadas, literally, “the shelters,” which begins on the 16th of December, is celebrated with great joy as the “holy pilgrims” (Mary and Joseph) move each night from house to house, one after another. It is always celebrated with song, prayers and special food, some of which are: tamales, donuts, champurrado and buffets. 

Why? Because it is the time of Advent, the time of expectation, the jubilant wait, the time when all await the birth of the Son, awaiting the celebration of his birthday. This is the time of Los Posadas, the time of joy, preparation and waiting.

Why do people carry lanterns in the procession of Las Posadas? Because all those carrying the lanterns represent the stars which illuminate the way for the shepherds who make their way to the house of the birth.

Celestina Castro

The time of 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.

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 owners 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 doing the 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 and for welcoming the stranger.

Fiestas Navidenas


Holy One,
May we be as faithful and obedient as Mary and Joseph,
as full of wonder as the shepherds,
and as persistent and generous as the wise men.
As we all travel through life, unite us in your love and help us to
draw comfort and strength from one another and to grow in love and grace.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.