I went to participate in Las Posadas and La Novena de Navidad last week with my parish, St. Luke's-San Lucas, Chelsea. It's a combination of different Latin American Christmas traditions, a series that runs nightly from December 16-24 in which the community reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.
I would like to post more about it later if I have time, but tonight I want to share with you a few excerpts from a responsive meditation entitled "Aspiraciones para la Venida del Niño Jesús/Hopeful Expectations for the Coming of the Baby Jesus." It reminds me of the "Great O Antiphons" that most of us first learned by singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." I’m sure there must be shared roots, perhaps from medieval times.
The way we did it was for each part of the prayer to be read by a different person, and then all would sing the refrain. I'm not sure if this is how it is always done, but it seemed to work. In our case, most of the reading was done in Spanish since I was the only Anglo present that night.
I will post each part I'm sharing first in Spanish, then in the (somewhat free) English translation which was given off to the side in my service booklet.
Dulce Jesús mío
Mi Niño adorado,
Ven a nuestras almas,
Ven no tardes tanto!
My sweet Jesus,
My beloved child
Come to our souls,
Come without delay!
Oh Sabiduria suprema del Dios soberano
Que bajas del cielo como un niño
Para abrazarnoes tiernamente,
Oh divino Niño, ven para enseñarnos la prudencia
Que hace verdaderos sabios.
Oh supreme Wisdom of the sovereign God,
Who comes down as a child
To meet us in loving embrace,
Oh divine Child, come to teach us prudence,
Which is the mother of all wisdom.
Rey de las naciones
Añoranza de Israel,
Pastor del rebaño,
Niño que apacientas con suave bastón,
Ya a la oveja arisca,
Ya al cordero manso.
King of the nations,
Shepherd of the flock
Child who calms with gentle rod
Both the untamed sheep
And the docile lamb.
Abranse los cielos
Y lluevan de lo alto benediciones,
Como riego santo.
Ven, hermoso Niño,
Ven, Dios humanado,
Luce hemosa estrella,
Brota flor del campo.
Let the gates of heaven be opened
And blessings pour down
Like holy rain.
Come, beautiful Child,
Come, incarnate God,
Shine, beautiful star,
Spring up, flower from the field.
Ven, que ya María alista sus brazos
Para acunar al Niño en tiempo cercano.
Ven, que ya José con sagrado anhelo,
Se dispone a hacerse
De tu amor sagrario.
Come, divine Word, as Mary longs to hold
her Baby in her arms in a fast approaching hour!
Come, divine Word, as Joseph opens his heart to you
so that it may become the tabernacle of your love.
Auxilio del débil,
Bálsamo del doliente,
Consuelo del triste,
Luz del desterrado.
Vida de mi vida, mi dueño adorado,
Mi constante amigo, mi divino hermano.
Strength of the weak,
Balm of the afflicted,
Comfort of those who grieve,
Hope of the outcast,
Life of my life, my beloved Lord,
my steadfast friend, my divine brother.
Ven Salvador nuestro
Por quien suspiramos.
Come, you long awaited Savior!