Posada is a Spanish word meaning ‘inn’. It is a celebration that started in Mexico where two young people were chosen to dress as Mary and Joseph and travel from house to house during Advent asking for a room for the night.
They told the people living there of the imminent arrival of Jesus and then returned home on Christmas Eve.The modern equivalent is based on this concept, but it enables people to give their nativity figures of Mary and Joseph a different home each day and night during Advent, symbolising making room for Jesus.
The figures travel around the church family, receiving a welcome at each home. They stay overnight and then travel to the next family. Light refreshments and fellowship are offered each day by the hosts. At the Service on Christmas Eve, Mary and Joseph are welcomed back into Church as the crib scene is set up ready for Christmas Day.
The original idea for adapting Posada came from the Church Army’s Nick Williams, because he saw something similar happening in Hereford. Sadly, he died of cancer in July 1998 before he could get it off the ground. The Church Army and Mandy Williams completed Nick’s work.
A PRAYER TO WELCOME MARY AND JOSEPH INTO OUR HOMES
Givers - Will you take Mary and Joseph into your home?
Host - We will. Mary and Joseph are welcome to shelter here for the night
Givers - May they be a symbol to you of taking the Lord Jesus into your hearts and lives this Christmas.
Short Reflection -Joseph would not have wanted to travel while Mary was expecting a baby but had no choice. It was a long way to go and he and Mary would have been very glad when family – friends – or kind strangers offered them beds for the nights on the journey. We cannot go back in time and open our homes to Mary and Joseph – but during Advent we take turns to show how we would have liked to. It is a sign too that we care for others who are without homes and security at the moment.
Givers (pray) - Lord we ask your blessing on this home and on all who live here. Just as our crib figures have found a welcome here this night, may all who enter find a welcome that speaks of your love. Amen
Hosts (pray) - Eternal God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, you are always present in the world unseen and often not acknowledged. Help us to experience the joy of looking forward this Advent and make it a time of new beginnings. We welcome these crib figures into our home. May they remind us that you are always with us. Bless this home and all who live here, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Light refreshments could be shared.
Some photos of Mary and Joseph’s Journey through Advent;