Students re-enact Mary’s journey

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School celebrates Las Posadas

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter

Published:

 

Translation from Spanish: Lodging, inn or shelter.

What: Advent celebration signifying Mary and Joseph's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking lodging.

When: Dec. 16-24 annually.

Origins: Spain, but celebrated widely in Mexico and Guatemala.

Translation from Spanish: Lodging, inn or shelter.

What: Advent celebration signifying Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking lodging.

When: Dec. 16-24 annually.

Origins: Spain, but celebrated widely in Mexico and Guatemala.

Sixth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School walked through the exterior courtyard to the fourth-grade classroom. Mary Shamrell, a staff member, and Addie Lopez, mother of a student, played guitars and led them in singing.

Wearing a green tunic and a white head covering, sixth-grader Mary Martiniello, portraying the role of Mary, knocked on the door. When it opened, the sixth-graders sang:

“En el nombre del Cielo

os pido posada

pues no puede andar

mi esposa amada.”

Translated from Spanish, it means: ” In the name of heaven I ask of you shelter, for my beloved wife can go no farther.”

Pouring from their classroom into the courtyard, the fourth-graders sang in reply:

“Aquí no es mesón

sigan adelante

Yo no debo abrir

no sea algún tunante.”

The translation is: “There’s no

inn here. Go on with you. I can’t open up. You might be a scoundrel.”

Then the fourth-graders joined the sixth-graders in their procession along the courtyard. At each classroom door, Mary knocked, the procession sang a verse asking for shelter, but was denied. The procession of children, teachers and parents grew until the entire school, just under 300 students from preschool through eighth grade, sang the traditional Las Posadas song while making their way to the gym, where fifth-graders welcomed them with the good news that the pilgrims could enter.

It’s the first year the private Catholic school has experienced the Advent holiday Las Posadas, said Holly Rogers, who teaches Spanish.

“In Mexico, they have this tradition for nine days before Christmas Eve to knock on the door and ask to be let in,” Rogers said. “The first eight days, they aren’t invited in, but on the ninth night, they are. The different houses represent Mary and Joseph being turned away from the inns,” she said.

Beginning in preschool, Lourdes students take Spanish three days a week in a program that teaches proficiency through reading and storytelling.

“The Spanish program here is amazing,” said parent Priscilla Gamboa, who has been helping with the Las Posadas music and program.

On the stage, third-graders performed a Las Posadas play assisted by Martiniello and and fellow sixth-grader Jetzael Meza-Gonzales, playing the roles of Mary and Joseph.

The kindergartners then took turns tugging on pink streamers to break a Cuban pinata. When two boys pulled the last streamer together, the pinata broke. The gym erupted in cheers.

Candy and hot chocolate were doled out to all students.

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