For many of us, the Stations of the Cross is one of the most powerful devotional rituals of the Lent, and especially on Good Friday during Holy Week. It has been our custom at St. Andrew's to gather 30 minutes before the Good Friday services, outside on the front lawn, and pray the stations together.
This year, of course, we are unable to gather and so our tradition will be interrupted. But Stations of the Cross is a practice that has always been adapted to the realities of the time and space Jesus' followers have found themselves in, and we're going to follow in that tradition of adaptation with an audio version of Stations of the Cross.
Historically, the Stations of the Cross developed out of the practice of Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem, who offered prayer at a series of places in the holy city traditionally associated with Jesus’ passion and death. This path is known as the Via Delarosa. Rather than restricting the devotion just to pilgrims to Jerusalem, this journey of successive stops, or stations, now numbering 14, began to be practiced in the churches and places people lived. Each station commemorates a moment in of our Lord’s suffering and crucifixion.
Often the stations are accompanied by an image or depiction of the event commemorated at that stop. In this audio version of the stations, we’ve substituted a word picture — a spoken description of the moment in Christ’s passion — at the beginning of each station. (For those who really appreciate visual images, Deacon Pam Fairley has put together a collection of paintings as a PDF).
The descriptions themselves were written by Ginny Lamoureux. We had seven volunteers serve as Readers: Stephanie Jenkins, Joshua Nicketta, Michael Nicketta, Carolyn Nicketta, Tracy Hutchison, Syd Verinder, and Laura Verinder.
The text of the stations comes from The Book of Occasional Services.
You can use this version of Stations of the Cross however you wish. But I do want to encourage you, as you are able, to use your body. Pick up a small cross, take in your hand, put in your headphones, and go for walk. Walk from station to station, walk the Way of the Cross. Don't worry so much about every response in the liturgy, just walk with Jesus, and as you do so, may this prayerful devotion bring you closer to the depth of God’s amazing love for you, a love so great, he died for you.