Las Posadas, a nine-day re-enactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph as they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, was celebrated in the Filipino custom at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church as part of its second annual Advent celebration beginning Dec. 16 and ending Christmas Eve.
Alma Eclavea, who coordinated the event, said Las Posadas characters were played by the church’s confirmation students and children from Cultura Filipiniana Arts. Performances were at St. Paul Chong Hasang, St. Joseph in Killeen, Holy Family in Copperas Cove and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at Fort Hood.
“The nativity tradition and Novena Mass are combined to feature the Year of the Faith in a special Liturgical celebration in order to prepare for Christmas,” Eclavea said.
Las Posadas originated in Spain during the 17th century. The songs, originally sung in Spanish, are now performed in the Filipino culture by participants singing in their local languages.
After the Dec. 20 performance at St. Paul Chong Hasang, the Rev. Joseph Lee encouraged the congregation to live holy in order to be a positive change for the world.
“The Gospel gives us Mary as an example. The youth in the Posada demonstrate the principle of God’s word. We keep confession but don’t change,” Lee said. “Without change it’s only a tradition. When we go out to eat and don’t pray it is because we don’t want to let others know we are Christian.”
Parishioners also were treated to a buffet of Filipino foods after the Las Posadas ceremony.
St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church is at 1000 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights. For more information, call (254) 698-4110 or go to www.stpaulchonghasang.org.