A posada is a traditional Hispanic celebration depicting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem. Children dress up as Mary and Joseph and lead a procession going from house to house singing the traditional posada song asking for lodging. They are repeatedly turned away until, at long last, a kind innkeeper lets them enter and a celebration complete with traditional Mexican food and often a piñata ensues. This beloved tradition brings smiles to the faces of young and old alike.
During the month of December mission churches associated with Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLMHC) held seven posadas in El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. Over 900 people joined in the celebrations, most of them children. YLMHC’s music ministry team: “Mariachi San Pablo,” the only known Lutheran Mariachi in the world, led the singing with the joyful sounds of trumpets, violins, guitars, and a guitarrón (traditional Mexican bass). In addition to the traditional posada song at each house Mariachi San Pablo led everyone in joyful renditions of beloved Christmas carols such as Silent Night, Joy to the World, Go Tell it on the Mountain, and Feliz Navidad. On several occasions people came out of their houses or nearby storefronts to watch the procession, or even join in!
In Juarez, where residents have experienced increased hardship and despair from poverty and cartel-related murders, the mission posadas had greater than normal importance. The musicians, pastors, and congregations were able to use the posada procession and music to remind people that God is indeed with them and that there is a future and hope that no cartel or factory closing can take away. Jesus is Lord and Savior of all. Throughout the year YLMHC strives to reach out to the communities it serves by providing food, clothing, and shelter to the poor along with the saving message of God’s love. These actions are tangible expressions of the immense love God has for each of His children. Posadas are one unique way to proclaim the wonderful news of Christ’s birth and the hope that we have only in Him.
Find out more about LCMS Recognized Service Organizations and how you can get involved.