A "posadas" procession at the US/Mexico border in Arizona, 2015
"Las Posadas" is an old Mexican tradition enacting the effort by Mary and Joseph to find a place to stay on Christmas Eve. Actors depicting Mary and Joseph wander from "inn" to "inn" asking for a room, with a singing candlelight procession following them through the town. A link to the tune of the song: Pidiendo Posada. Here I offer my own words for the tune:
At each stop (4 inns plus the final destination), everyone sings:
Help us, dear innkeeper, we’re seeking shelter
Mary is pregnant, about to deliver
Help us, dear innkeeper, find a place to stay;
Mary must rest, for the baby is now on its way!
At each of the four stops the innkeepers answer:
We have no rooms and the hour is too late
You are too poor for our high nightly rate
Go down the highway and seek a cheaper place
Maybe you’ll find one that still has some space.
At the final destination, the innkeeper sings:
Welcome, dear travelers, wand’ring so far
Stumbling along by the light of a star
We have no rooms but we’ve got a place to stay
Back in our manger we’ll make you a bed in the hay.
All sing in response:
Jesus was born in a humble little manger
Honor him now as you welcome the stranger
Offer him room in your heart and soul tonight
Join in the spirit of giving and sharing his light.