The Puerto Rican Christmas season begins with Mass in Meridian

The Puerto Rican Christmas season begins with Mass in Meridian

Meridian – In Puerto Rico and overseas, November 18 is well known because the feast day of Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia or Our Woman of Windfall, the patroness of Puerto Rico.

To have fun, parishioners of St. Rose of Lima Church at 35 Heart St. noticed novenas all week and held a mass in her honor final Friday. After the mass, parishioners collect locally corridor to have fun with music, dance, and conventional Puerto Rican meals.

“That is for having an excellent time. We’ve had years with out ceremonies,” mentioned parishioner Amparo Villanova, in her native Spanish. Like many within the Puerto Rican neighborhood who started arriving in Meriden 50 years in the past, Villanova is from Aguada and has been on the church since 1985.

Longtime occasion coordinator Julie Aviles defined that this was the primary time food and drinks had been a part of the celebration for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic. She added that it was additionally the primary time that the mass was held on a weekday, because the celebration was a part of the Sunday mass in earlier years.


Parishioner Zenida Vasquez opened the service in Spanish on Friday by studying the historical past of Our Woman of Windfall from the pulpit. In keeping with historical past within the Catholic custom, Our Woman of Divine Windfall helped Monsignor Gil Esteve Thomas rebuild the Puerto Rican Church when he was ordained bishop in 1848.

In a decree signed on November 19, 1969, Pope Paul VI declared Our Woman of Windfall the Patroness of Puerto Rico, as Vasquez learn. This doc additionally confirmed that her feast day was to be moved to November 19, the identical day Controversial It mentioned that Italian explorer Christopher Columbus first arrived on Buriken Island in 1493.

“The objective is to convey collectively the 2 nice loves of Puerto Ricans: the love of the gorgeous island and the love of the Mom of God,” Vasquez mentioned.

After an preliminary procession with a picture of Our Woman of Windfall and a Bible studying, Rev. Jim Manship opened the sermon by inviting the trustworthy to replicate on the indigenous individuals of the island and the continuing battle of Puerto Ricans, particularly girls and members of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

“God has all the time blessed us,” he mentioned in Spanish. “We’re the Church. God introduced us into the world to handle those that really feel lonely.”

After the sermon, the guides sporting pavas, or conventional Puerto Rican straw hats, acquire choices. Manship defined that the supply was to be donated to the Chrysalis Heart, a Hartford-based nonprofit that gives housing, and may also help shoppers via the method of acquiring job coaching and well being care providers by offering hyperlinks to neighborhood help and sources.

In the direction of the tip of the mass, pairs of parishioners wearing conventional Puerto Rican clothes strategy a flowered communion on the steps of the altar with symbols of Puerto Rican heritage such because the Rosary, Bible, jiro, cuatro, picket sickle, yautea, yuca and bananas.

After the sacrament, a procession of parishioners proceeded to the neighborhood corridor throughout the road.

The start of Christmas

Occasion Coordinator Elena Medina from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, has been part of the St. Rose neighborhood for the previous 54 years. She defined that the celebration of Mass on the nineteenth is the opening of the Puerto Rican Christmas season.

Medina additionally defined that the parishioners ate conventional Puerto Rican dishes and sweets donated by volunteers and a big cake embellished with the Puerto Rican flag and a picture of Our Woman of Divine Windfall.

“Rice, beans and legumes are conventional elements of a Puerto Rican Christmas,” she mentioned.

The Cardona household additionally performed stay valencicos, or conventional Christmas music, whereas the parishioners danced and clapped. The Mass of Our Woman of Windfall kicks off the Christmas season in Puerto Rico, whereas Medina defined that the Mexican neighborhood celebrates the Nativity of Our Woman of Guadalupe, beginning on December 3.

[email protected] Twitter: @lguzm_n

Latino Communities Reporter Lau Guzmán is a panellist with Report for America, a nationwide service program that places journalists in native newsrooms. Help the Document-Journal’s Radio Free Asia correspondents with a donation at study extra about RFA, go to

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