Could someone please explain to me what happens during a Stations of the Cross service. The church in our town has them every Friday night during Lent. I would like to go, but I would also like to know what to expect. Thanks!
The Stations of the Cross consists of 14 prayers focused on Our Lord’s passion and death. In the Church there will be 14 pictures or plaques hung on the Church walls depicting moments in the passion - some are Scriptural, but others come from tradition. The one leading the Stations will usually walk down the aisle stopping in turn in front of each of the plaques and reciting the prayer that goes with that Station. Usually there are 2 parts to each prayer: the first part is recited by the priest (or other leader) and the second part is recited by the congregation. The Church provides the prayer booklets they will be using. (There are quite a few various Station of the Cross prayer books. The particular prayers will differ, the Station topic will be the same.)
The 14 Stations are:
- Jesus is Condemned to Death
- Jesus Accepts His Cross
- Jesus Falls for the First Time
- Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother
- Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
- Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus With Her Veil
- Jesus Falls for the Second Time
- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
- Jesus Falls for the Third Time
- Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
- Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
- Jesus is Laid in the Sepulchre
The best way to find out is just to go.
I get much value out of the Stations of the Cross. Will even do it by myself online. There are sevral sites online where you can do the Stations to see what they are like. I first did them at St Andrew’s Episcopla Church in Carlloton, TX several years ago. The exercise will draw your mind and heart to the death of Christ.
the first Stations of the Cross i did was at an Episcopal church many years ago. last friday i did my first Stations of the Cross at my Catholic parish. i have always enjoyed praying the Stations of the Cross by myself, but on Fridays during Lent, we have Mass followed by a Soup Supper (meatless of course!) and then the Stations of the Cross in the church. the deacon led the service and at each station the deacon read what the station was and the congregation read their response. it was very powerful and i hope i can go this friday if my work schedule allows me to. i would definitely recommend going to a Stations of the Cross service during Lent.