Saturday, January 16, 2010
One Christmas tradition in my family (and for others) is called "La Novena." It stands for nine days of worship before Christmas. My family starts it a little before the nine days prior to Christmas to be able to be flexible to fit schedules. Each night we spend the "Novena" at a different house of a family member. One night it was at my aunt's house, another night my cousin's house, another night my uncle's house, and the final night it was at my house.
At 7:00 pm, we would meet outside the designated house on the patio. To start the "Novena," we'd sing songs. One that sticks out is the one we always sang first. Half of our group of family members would stand apart from the other half, sometimes standing on the other side of a fence or a window and othertimes just standing away from the other group. The song that accompanied this act dealt with Joseph and Mary looking for a place to rest in Bethlehem. The group on the outside was Joseph and the group inside was the innkeeper.
Then, a designated person would read the script for that specific night with some unison reading, too. The night at our house I read a little bit of the script! We'd then pray aloud, asking God for things ranging from safety to Barcelona (the soccer team) winning, and after each "petition," we'd say a line together (something like "y así sea") that meant something along the lines of "let it be so." We'd then sing Christmas carols in Spanish. There were two ridiculous tongue twister songs that I could never say and just laughed through. Then we'd eat something prepared by the host. New Christmas experience!