Nearly every day during Advent, the beautiful statue of St Joseph leading the donkey carrying pregnant Mary, visited parishioners’ homes, providing opportunities to pray together and share hospitality.
One grandmother invited her children and grandchildren to journey down their candle-lit garden path, with the Posada statue, to the “stable” creating a moment of wonder, as they remembered the first Christmas journey. Some parishioners took the opportunity to invite friends and neighbours, others simply prayed together as a family.
At our home, we reflected on St Joseph, using Pope Francis’ words at the Angelus of 4th Sunday of Advent, 2013.
Looking back to 2015, when all the parishes of East Anglia received the gift of the Posada from Bishop Alan, I recall discussing it with a friend from another parish. Despite her reticence to invite people to her home to pray, she nonetheless extended the hand of friendship to parishioners she did not know. Although no one was able to attend, these people now regularly greet her at Mass. It is from such small steps that communities are built.
The feedback from Ramsey was very positive and people were very keen to sign up. People were concerned about what to do once they had the statue and what prayers they should say?
The suggested prayers and readings are a good starting point, so it is important to have several copies available with the statue. An alternative is simply to pray the rosary together or share some other relevant poem or reading.
As we put away the Posada statue, and set out into a new year, we will remember our Advent journeying and take courage for the challenges ahead.
[This article was first published at Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia]