Monday, February 22, 2016

Stations of the Cross

The customary 14 Stations of the Cross
In every Catholic Church, you will notice usually hanging on the side walls 14 images, pictures or sculptures related to the Passion of Christ. These are the 14 steps Jesus went through before his death on Calvary. Also known as the Way of the Cross, or Via Crucis, this devotion is very popular during the season of Lent, as people meditate on the Passion and Death of Christ. This practice started during the 14th century by the Franciscan Monks, and St. Leonard of Port Maurice preached frequently about this devotion in the 18th century. Finally Pope Clement XII in 1735 gave the final guidelines, fixing the number of Stations at 14, commemorating the events related in the Gospel and from early tradition. Usually the Stations are erected on the walls of the Church, 7 on each side, but they may be placed outdoors too, as one can see in Church gardens and Retreat Houses. Most of the time, the Stations are prayed in the Church, with the people staying in their places, and genuflecting between each Station, as the leader and the altar servers move from one Station to another.

The customary 14 Stations are as follows:
1. Jesus is condemned to death          
2. Jesus accepts His Cross              
3. Jesus falls the first time.              
4. Jesus meets his mother Mary.          
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross  
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.          
7. Jesus falls the second time.              
8. Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments.
11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross.
12. Jesus dies on the Cross.
13. Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
14. Jesus is laid to rest in a tomb.

In 1975, Pope Paul VI approved a new series of Stations that are based on the Gospel. They start with the Last Supper and end with the Resurrection. The Pope leads the Stations every Good Friday in the Colosseo in Rome, while many pilgrims to the Holy Land pray the Stations right along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows), the same street on which Jesus was led to be crucified. 
Our parish holds the Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent. On March 4, the middle-school children will present the Living Stations, a dramatization of the Passion of Christ. On March 22, we will do the Stations around town, visiting 14 landmarks in Bend, praying also for the people who work in those places.

No comments:

Post a Comment