Is the correct layout for the Stations of the Cross counterclockwise?

Greetings to all. I am hoping someone can help me with this. I understand that there is a history of locating Stations of the Cross, or Via Crucis, in a counterclockwise fashion within a church. I also understand that parts of Italy still conduct processions of the Via Crucis counterclockwise.

Should this still be done today?

What is the reason for this layout?

Thanks in advance for help with my questions.
Sincerely,
Tony

According to the “New Catholic Encyclopedia” 1967 edition, volume 14, page 834, column 1

Erection of the Stations (of the Cross)
"…The stations may begin on either side of the church and should be so arranged that there is a walking distance between them."

There are two churches that I frequently attend for the Stations of the Cross during Lent. Both were built in the early 1900’s and one has the stations starting on the left, the other on the right. Both were built in communities of people of German heritage so customs of the mother country probably not contribute to the arrangement.

I have never seen, or heard, of a rule on this. However, I do not remember ever seeing them clockwise, indoors or out.

I do recall reading someplace of a superstition requiring one to go widdershins [counterclockwise] around a church. I don’t remember any of the details.

In my cathedral, both the stained glass (delineating the story of St. Joseph) and the Stations start on the left hand side of the cathedral and end at the upper right. Why, I don’t know.

I do recall reading someplace of a superstition requiring one to go widdershins [counterclockwise] around a church. I don’t remember any of the details.

Ooh no! Here in England there is an old superstition that if one walks widdershins round a church you’re sure to meet the devil!:eek:

I’ve never heard of any rule about which way round the Stations should go but in my church they go clockwise. However, you sometimes see people “doing” the Stations the other way round, starting with the entombment and finishing with Pilate’s condemning Our Lord! I often wonder what they are praying.

If we do the widdershins versus deocil argument the pagans will be sure to notice.

This may tie into the direction of processionals at mass. I’m not sure if it matters much in the Latin church - I think I’ve seen the priest processing more than one way when say blessing the congregation with holy water. However in the Eastern liturgies I’ve attended, the procession from the front of the church always proceeds down the left aisle, before returning up the center aisle to the sanctuary.

I can’t possibly give a reason for this other than my own personal thoughts, :o but the stations in our Church start at the left, go around clockwise and end up with you finishing before the tabernacle.

It may just be coincidence, but it seems rather fitting to me.

With love,
George

s the correct layout for the Stations of the Cross counterclockwise?

In all the Churches I have attended, that seems to be the case

Never thought about it until now but in the church I frequent, the stations in the upper Church run one way, in the lower chapel, the other. . . . I don’t suppose it makes much difference. . .

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