This site is a Wesleyan-based site, FYI.
For the non-Catholic readers: the Stations of the Cross is a devotion that has its origins in pilgrimages made throughout Christian history to the Holy Land. It has developed into a meditation that helps us understand the sacrifice Christ made for our salvation. Many Catholics have found it to be a uniquely powerful devotion, particularly at this time of year when we get ready for Easter. (FYI, it is only known as Easter in the Germanic languages. The remainder of the languages in the world refer to it in some local variant of passover, e.g., pascha, pasquale, etc.)
The web page has a suggested Protestant service for the communal celebration of the stations, developed by a protestant AF chaplain.
OK, let's give this "nice" concept a try...
Reference this thread
ping to your lists, please
Catholic/Orthodox caucus ping
This is an excellent point, which the author further elaborates in a very beneficial way.
I've been trying to make this point to my Sunday School class (5th grade) as we've been going through Lent. We have to work at "entering in" to the events of Holy Week, because we're not there when it's happening for the first time; we're not surprised, we already know how it ends. It's especially difficult for the children, since they're in the midst of school testing, sports, and the crush of life.
To make an analogy, if I can cry over Pickett's Charge, or Stonewall Jackson's death, every time I read about it, surely I can participate with some personal involvement in the Passion of Christ!
One of the finest Stations of the Cross that I have experienced is in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Millersburg, Pennsylvania. The former Pastor (who has since swum the Tiber) commissioned a series of Icons to be written for each of the Stations.
After the Iconography was completed the former co-pastor (wife of the aforementioned) composed an incredible series of meditations, many in first-person narrative.
One of the things about the stations of the cross is to remember that although there are a bunch of traditional meditations, the devotion recognized as the Stations of the cross is officially described as doing 14 reflections on the passion, and that the commonly accepted list of Stations of the Cross is only the most common arrangement, and it has varied over time.
For someone not catholic or who would like to use the meditation differently John Paul II did one Station of the Cross that could be easily adapted into a scriptural meditation and covers the events of the Passion quite well.
Pope John Paul II celebrated a series of scriptural stations on Good Friday in 1991, and again in 1994, in the Coliseum at Rome:
1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
2. Jesus betrayed by Judas
3. Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin
4. Jesus denied by Peter
5. Jesus condemned by the people
6. Jesus crowned with thorns and clothed in purple.
7. Jesus carries the cross.
8. Jesus assisted by Simon of Cyrene
9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
10. Jesus is crucified.
11. Jesus speaks to the thief
12. Jesus speaks to his mother
13. Jesus dies on the cross
14. Jesus is buried.
And a reflection:
It was no clean thing, this —
no easy walk into that dark night,
no staged and calm event
filled with memorable sound bites
and photo op moments,
soldiers in their dress uniforms
and dignitaries in their solemn regalia.
No clean thing, this —
filled instead with the sweat of pain
and the taste of blood,
the dust of the road,
the tears of grief,
the reality of betrayal,
the weight of sin.
No calm thing, this,
filled instead with noise:
the noise of mockery, bitter and undeserved,
punctuated with spittle and blows.
the noise of pain:
the slap of the flagellum against bare skin,
the sound of hammers driving spikes into wood
through human flesh,
cries ripped unbidden from the depths of the gut,
as flesh protested the hot sudden agony
that would not go away.
The noise of expediency: “Crucify him yourselves.”
No easy walk this,
rushed through the crowded streets
beneath a crushing weight,
stripped of everything that matters most to man,
standing naked in the light of day
bruised and bloody and battered,
with nothing left to give
except the acceptance of pain,
except the final acts of love,
Help me see, O Jesus,
beyond the pretty pictures
and sound bites
to the reality of how God descended to death,
the dirty, miserable realness of it,
of man’s willingness to be inhuman,
and you did this knowing how dark we can be,
and how unloving we can be,
and how we cling to the dark in spite of your light,
and you still chose to go.
Which the words of Jesus encapsulate with economical precision: "This is my body. Do this for a commemoration of me". Faith is what we do.
Speaking of things that are incredibly moving..
Amazingly beautiful. As a Protestant, I have never thought much about the stations of the Cross. Just one of those things that other churches do. I can honestly say that I will never see the SOTC in the same light again. Thank you so much for posting this. God bless.