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Las Posadas 2022

December 2, 2022 | Jessica Smith

Las Posadas, a Mexican celebration, has been a tradition of Mustard Seed School since the beginning. It began as a way to honor the strong Latinx presence in Hoboken when the school first opened and to help students and families embody the Christmas story by walking alongside Mary and Joseph as they look for a place to stay. Las Posadas is a  celebration full of deep meaning and great fun.  Together, we walk in solidarity with those who are searching for shelter as we remember the humble way that Jesus came into the world. We celebrate Christ’s coming as a light for all people.

We begin by meeting at the gazebo in Church Square Park. Eighth grade students dressed as Mary and Joseph follow a star to lead a procession of the entire MSS community around Church Square Park. As we walk, we are led in singing “Canción de las posadas” by The PROS and a mariachi band.

Following the Mexican tradition, the procession stops at different businesses and houses along the way. Mary and Joseph knock on the door to ask if there is any room. After being turned away a number of times, Mary and Joseph and the whole community is welcomed into Mustard Seed School by our Head of School Abby Hall Choi. We celebrate with a Christmas Concert by Mustard Seed School students and a reading of the Christmas story.

Las Posadas FAQs for 2022
On Friday, December 16th, all students in grades K-8 and their families are invited to participate in Las Posadas. 

What time should we be at the park?
Parents and children (K-6) should gather around the gazebo in Church Square Park by 6:20pm. The PROS and students in grades 6-8 should arrive by 6:10pm. The procession starts at 6:30pm. 

What do we wear?
It is traditional for people to come to Las Posadas dressed as a shepherd, angel, sheep, or  Bethlehem villager.  Students and parents are welcome  to wear a simple costume to help enter the Christmas story and celebratory fun!

Where should parents be in the procession?
During the procession, students will walk with their classmates.  Families and any younger siblings are welcome to join them.  We encourage parents to help the teachers keep all the children together as a class.  We are a big group, so try to pack in close when we stop so that our procession is not strung far off down the street. Some classes will stop ahead of the main star and will need to turn around to see Mary and Joseph.

We hope that this will be a special time when you can engage with your child and our community. Please turn your cell phone off and enjoy the procession!

What do I need to know about dismissal?

K & 1st Grade Dismissal
At the end of the procession (before the concert), students in grades K & 1 will go to their regular dismissal spot with their class. Students in grade K & 1 ONLY will dismiss to their families before the concert begins. K & 1 families may choose to leave or come into the gym to sit with their families and enjoy the concert and Christmas story. 

2nd -8th Grade Dismissal
Students in grades 2-6 will sit with their class during the concert and will dismiss at their regular dismissal spots after the concert. 7th and 8th Grade Chorus members will dismiss from the flip forms in the gym. Students in the Service Team and The PROS will help with the clean up after the concert. 

What is the song we sing as we process?
We all sing “Canción de las posadas” as we process. The sheet music is here as well as a video here! Please sing with us!

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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