This morning I went to see the youngest of my 3, Rebecca, in a Christmas Posada at Old St. Mary's Church in Olde City. Rebecca's name was drawn out of a hat to play the part of Mary and she was accompanied by Joseph and a well-dressed coterie of angels, shepherds and innkeepers. The children sang in Spanish and moved from inn to inn and finally to the altar, where the Nativity took place. Several readers from the lower school took turns reading the Christmas story while the rest of the school sang carols. It was a very moving little performance.
At some schools, such pageants are topped off by Santa making a grand entrance at the end. Thankfully, that did not happen here, but I've been told about a local church that has a special children's Vigil Mass at 4:30 on Christmas Eve. Shortly after Holy Communion, Santa sneaks in a side door. He says nothing to anyone but quietly tiptpoes to the creche, where he kneels in silent adoration of the Christ Child.
Our children are inundated with the secular meaning of Christmas and it's good to see Catholic schools emphasizing what's most important. As the little ones in kindergarten reminded us this morning as they sang Happy Birthday to the Baby Jesus, He is the Reason for the Season.