In contrast to the business of Christmas shopping and other preparations, the season of Advent invites Christians to be still, quiet and reflect on the journey of their lives and what is really important to them. Many Christians decide to try to take a time of quiet reflection each day during advent. The time also remembers the journey taken by Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

The journey from Nazareth, where Mary and Joseph lived, to Bethlehem where they had to register for the census, would probably go via Samaria and Jerusalem and take about four days on foot. It is quite likely that Joseph would have a donkey to carry pieces of wood and other tools of the carpenter’s trade, as Mary was heavily pregnant with the baby Jesus at this time she would have ridden on the donkey. The Bible doesn’t mention her travelling on a donkey, so we can’t be sure.

It is about 120km from Nazareth to Jerusalem and another 10km from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. (About 80 miles in all). If Mary had not been feeling very well it could have taken nearly a week to complete the journey. We have produced a leaflet to give parents and carers more information about the Christian traditions of the season of Advent and you can download it here.

St. Jérôme Church of England Bilingual School Advent Leaflet

The Advent Wreath and Advent Prayers

Posada – Is there room in your home? Can you offer hospitality?

Many thanks to all the families who hosted our Posada during advent. We thank you for the photographs and look forward to doing it again next year.

‘Posada’ – an Advent tradition from South America. ‘Posada’ is the Spanish word for ‘Inn’ or ‘Hostel’ and this tradition helps us to reflect on the journey that Mary and Joseph made and the hospitality that they eventually found in Bethlehem.

Posada is a great way to talk to children about the importance of hospitality and to give thanks to God for our homes and think about those who are homeless. We invite families to host our wooden Posada Nativity sets, known to the children as the ‘Holy Family’ for a night or weekend in their home and take a photograph to send to the school (please use [email protected]) which we will then share with all the children via our website and social media. Families may want to have a meal together and share the story of the Nativity. There are some ideas in the pack. It is absolutely voluntary and it will be fun to see the journey of Mary and Joseph as they visit the homes of the families of St Jérôme School.