Bridge the Divide
For quite a few years, Cedarburg has been known for the Live Nativity presentations on the Festive Friday Eves in December, when local churches take turns to present the classic Christmas story of Jesus’ birth. This year, a bit of traditional Mexican Christmas celebration will be adding a new flavor to that local tradition.
“Las Posadas” is a community or neighborhood celebration in which participants re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter just before Jesus was born. “Mary” and “Joseph” travel to several locations, stopping to ask for shelter in the music of a traditional song. “Innkeepers” at each location sing verses of the same song, turning the Holy Family away.
Finally, Mary and Joseph arrive at an inn where they are given shelter in a stable. Along the way, more people from the community join the singing procession. When they finally are granted shelter, a celebration begins, with traditional punch, food and maybe a piñata.
So, how will this traditional event look in downtown Cedarburg? Participants from several churches and the community will gather at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 6:00 to learn more about Las Posadas traditions as it is celebrated in Mexico and Hispanic communities. Then, about 6:45, the “journey” will begin, as Mary and Joseph and friends travel to the first of their stops, The Student Union. They will be singing as they walk, and any curious onlooker is invited to follow along and see how the journey unfolds.
The other stops will be outside the Washington House Inn, Cedarburg’s City Hall, and finally, Advent Lutheran church. At each of the four stops, Mary, Joseph and friends will sing the traditional song asking for shelter and, at all but the last stop, they will be refused.
Finally, the whole group will end up at the Live Nativity, outside Advent Lutheran Church. This time they will be welcomed, and the story will shift to the telling of the birth of Jesus. This will be at about 7:30. Everyone is invited inside Advent to warm up and enjoy some traditional food, drink and fun! Traditionally, this is a family-friendly event for all ages.
If you are interested in participating, call Pastor John, Faith Lutheran Church at 262-377-0960.
About Bridge the Divide
A forum for discussion and action around racial reconciliation, Bridge the Divide seeks to identify instances of inequity, foster empathy, and educate others to recognize their part in the problems and solutions in Ozaukee county...and beyond. Join the monthly discussions on the first Monday of each month at the Cedarburg Public Library, led by Erica Turner, Cedarburger and the group facilitator, who gained unique perspective regarding social justice growing up in poverty as a person of color, experiencing racial injustice in adulthood, and overcoming both to become a passionate advocate for treating all humanity with respect. To learn more, email:
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