We will be celebrating our own mini version of Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of the Southwester United States. Posada is Spanish for "lodging" or "accommodation" and typically is celebrated over nine days to represent the nine months of pregnancy, specifically the pregnancy of Mary carrying Jesus. Traditionally the head of the procession will have a candle inside a paper lampshade. At each house, the resident responds by singing a song either welcoming or dismissing Mary and Joseph from "the inn." Once "the innkeepers" finally let them in then the group of guests come into the home and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray. Individuals may actually play the various parts of Mary and Joseph with the expectant mother riding a real donkey, with attendants such as angels and shepherds acquired along the way, or the pilgrims may carry images of the holy personages instead. The procession is followed by musicians, there are Christmas carols, children break open star shaped piñatas, and a grand feast.
In our mini version of Las Posadas (or GA Posadas) we will have a small procession around the church, the children and congregation will help lead us in a special "posadas" song, and we will meet some grumpy inn-keepers along the way! At the end we will all come together at the altar to sing a final welcoming verse because we welcome Jesus into our hearts not only today, but every day of our lives.