Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My World Tuesday--Las Posadas

In My World today it was the time of Las Posadas, the novena (nine days prayer) which reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

In the traditional posadas, there is a procession of pilgrims from house to house, seeking shelter. At the first two houses the pilgrims are turn away.

In the name of heaven
I beg you for lodging,
for she cannot walk
my beloved wife.

This is not an inn
so keep going.
I cannot open
you may be a rogue.

The women gathered outside the doors of the body of the church in the vestibule. Well, at least most of them did. It was too crowded there, so some of us were just inside. We sang the verses requesting shelter.

Don't be inhuman;
Have mercy on us.
The God of the heavens
will reward you for it.

The men, led by Fr. Jaime                                  You can go on now
and Isaac, sang the responses                             and don't bother us,
of the people inside the houses.                          because if I become annoyed
                                                                            I'll give you a thrashing.

                     We are worn out
                     coming from Nazareth.
                     I am a carpenter,
                     Joseph by name.                      I don't care about your name;
                                                            Let me sleep,
                                                            because I already told you
                                                            we shall not open up.
                   I 'm asking you for lodging
                     dear man of the house
                     Just for one night
                     for the Queen of Heaven.      Well, if it's a queen 
                                                            who solicits it,
                                                            why is it at night
                                                            that she travels so alone?

The "householders" finally relent and let the pilgrims enter. They are led by a guitar and a lady playing bells.

My wife is Mary
She's the Queen of Heaven
and she's going to be the mother
of the Divine Word.

     Are you Joseph?
     Your wife is Mary?
     Enter, pilgrims;
     I did not recognize you.

         May God repay, gentle folks,                  
         your charity,
         and thus heaven heap                           Enter, holy pilgrims,
         happiness upon you.                             received this corner,
                                                             for though this dwelling is poor,
                                                             I offer it with all my heart.

My friend Lupe's nonagenarian dad stands for the blessing of all the fathers, and the children answer questions and sing songs to the Baby Jesus.    
Blessed is the house
that shelters this day
the pure Virgin,
the beautiful Mary.                          Oh, graced pilgrim,
                                                  oh, most beautiful Mary.
                                                  I offer you my soul
                                                  so you may have lodging.

Father Jaime and some of the children kneel before the altar to lead the final prayers of the evening.

And that's my world today, Tuesday. What's happening elsewhere in the world? Find out here.


Chloe said...

I've never read Las Posadas in English! I go every year to the Iglesia Espanol on he other side of town.

katney said...

It was all done in Spanish. It was supposed to be bilingual last night. The bilingualness was the translation handed out and I was the only one there that needed it. Fr. Jaime did not see my hand when he asked if everyone spoke Spanish. I didn't mind--caught up with my friend, I made sure she didn't get knocked off her feet and she translated when I needed it. The funny thing was, she says "I didn't get all of that, because he talks so fast and has that Colombian accent." The Colombian accent never occurred to me.