Stations of the Cross, also called Way of the Cross, is a series of 14 pictures or carvings portraying events in the Passion of Christ, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment. The series of stations is as follows: (1) Jesus is condemned to death, (2) he is made to bear his cross, (3) he falls the first time, (4) he meets his mother, (5) Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross, (6) Veronica wipes Jesus’ face, (7) he falls the second time, (8) the women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus, (9) he falls the third time, (10) he is stripped of his garments, (11) he is nailed to the cross, (12) he dies on the cross, (13) he is taken down from the cross, and (14) he is placed in the sepulchre.

The devotional exercise of visiting and praying in front of each of the 14 stations and meditating on the Passion of Christ stems from the practice of early Christian pilgrims who visited the scenes of the events in Jerusalem and walked the traditional route from the supposed location of Pilate’s house to Calvary. The number of stations originally observed in Jerusalem was considerably smaller than 14. In the early 16th century, Ways of the Cross were established in Europe, and the tradition of 14 stations probably derived from the best known of them. The Franciscans long popularized the practice, and in the 18th century they bowed to Western Christian devotional feeling and provided 14 stations in Jerusalem.

A more recent addition, a Fifteenth Station, of the Resurrection, is sometimes marked. Having walked with Christ on his way of sorrows, stood with Mary and John at the foot of the cross, and with Joseph of Arimathea and the women buried his body, we come with Mary Magdalen to the empty tomb, to greet the Risen Lord and share in the joy of the resurrection.

Prayerful meditation through the Stations of the Cross is especially common during Lent and on Fridays throughout the year, in commemoration of Christ’s Crucifixion on Good Friday. The devotion may be done individually or in a group and is particularly important in Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions. (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Stations-of-the-Cross-religion Accessed 3rd April 2019)

We will be walking the stations of the cross with music and prayer this Sun. April 7 at 4:00 pm. All are welcome and invited to attend.

Mother Lucy