Photo by Alan M. Dumoff/More photos www.ccdphotoalbum.com
Sister Sonia Avi, assistant director of Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Camden, celebrates Las Posadas with Divine Mercy parishioners on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at the parish. Below, Msgr. Victor Muro, pastor, Divine Mercy Parish, stands with Maribel Santos, Santa Claus and Nelva Paraison.
VINELAND — From Dec. 16-24, Catholic Mexicans in the Camden Diocese celebrated Las Posadas (“The Inns”), remembering Mary and Joseph’s journey to find shelter before Jesus was born.
Customarily, each night, a neighborhood re-enacts Mary and Joseph’s search, with a designated house serving as the inn, and its occupants innkeepers. Other homeowners act as innkeepers that reject the couple, while others stayed outside and plead for shelter, just as Mary and Joseph did as recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke.
A procession involving candles, musicians, costumes and statues of Mary and Joseph is part of the ritual, and as the worshippers pass each house, they sing “Pedir Posada,” requesting shelter. They are rejected from each house, until they reach the host house, to be invited in and join in the fiesta.
On Tuesday, Dec. 22, parishioners at Divine Mercy Parish, Vineland celebrated Las Posadas, with a procession in the gym, followed by a meal including tamales. Children enjoyed piñata games, received gifts and met Santa Claus.