Published : Monday, December 17, 2018 | 1:00 PM
The Christmas and Advent Season at Mayfield Junior School holds many wonderful traditions and opportunities for giving and sharing. As a School of the Holy Child, this is an important time to prepare, reflect and celebrate gifts and blessings.
Each year an Advent prayer service opens this season of hope and light. During the service students learn about the symbolism of the Advent wreath and create one that will be lit throughout the month.
For nearly 18 years, MJS School Families led by the 8th graders, have participated in the Christmas Adopt-a-Family project providing Christmas gifts for the women and children at Good Shepherd Shelter in Los Angeles. Wish lists are collected in November and this month gifts are carefully wrapped and placed in large boxes for delivery. The boxes are blessed at the annual Mothers’ Christmas Luncheon, another beloved tradition. Each year the 8th graders join their mothers at the luncheon and the seventh graders assist in serving. A live Nativity portrayed by second graders and musical performances complete the celebration.
What was started over 30 years ago as a fun sculpture project for sixth graders to gain experience with balance, proportion and design, is now a middle school rite of passage and a shared experience for hundreds of Mayfield graduates. Not only do students look forward to making them but parents save them as keepsakes for use year after year as part of their holiday home décor. Many are in need of a few minor repairs so a new tradition was started: The Parents of Alumni Elf Workshop. Art teacher Penny Wong opens her classroom to parents of alumni and while the elves undergo repair, everyone enjoys the fellowship and festive spirit.
It would not be Christmas without the annual Kindergarten Nativity Play. It is perhaps one of Mayfield’s most beloved Christmas traditions and has been for 80 years. This retelling of the Christmas story by the youngest members of the school community has provided countless memorable moments and can easily spark flashbacks for the many alumni who once took the stage as angel, shepherd or king.
Music is a part of nearly every event at MJS and students have been celebrating the season in song for decades. First and second-graders perform followed by a tree lighting. Mayfield is blessed to hold a second concert featuring students in grades 3-8 at the glorious St. Andrew Church.
A busy yet joyous time! Additional events include an enthusiastic Las Posadas as third graders journey through the campus in costume as Mary and Joseph in search of shelter, seventh graders will share a holiday celebration with residents of the Monte Vista Grove Retirement Community and a Christmas Prayer service will include an inspirational speaker and a lovely performance by third grade Sacred Dancers.
About Mayfield Junior School
Founded in 1931 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Mayfield Junior School is a leading Catholic, independent school serving kindergarten to eighth grade boys and girls. Mayfield is distinguished by the Holy Child educational philosophy of Cornelia Connelly, the Society’s founder. Cornelia Connelly’s pioneering belief of developing the whole child as an intellectual, spiritual, creative and athletic person set the standard for Mayfield 87 years ago. Located adjacent to historic Old Pasadena, Mayfield’s elementary and middle school educational program, specifically designed for each developmental stage, best prepares students for high school and beyond. Learn more at www.mayfieldjs.org, or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mayfield Junior School, 405 South Euclid Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 796-2774 or visit www.mayfieldjs.org.