This week I invite you to join me and walk through an adapted version of “The Stations of the Cross”. What is it?
The Stations of the Cross is the liturgical practice of studying selected events in the final hours of Jesus’ life as a structure for prayer and meditation. It is also known as the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross. These events encompass Jesus’ journey carrying his cross from the Hall of Pilate to the site of his execution on Golgotha (Calvary).
Early Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem retraced the route of Jesus as he carried the cross. Pilgrims began their journey at the place that originally housed Pilate’s Judgment Hall, now incorporated into the Ecce Homo Convent. It concluded at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher that marks the traditional site of Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus.
By the sixteenth century, the route this pilgrimage took through Jerusalem came to be called the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow. Along the Way, certain points on the journey (stations) were associated with specific events recounted (or implied) in the Gospel accounts.
This act, or journey, has been preserved through the centuries, albeit the journey is taken different within different denominations. Its origins in pilgrimage, however, provide the shape and content of the practice. The Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross are still a popular pilgrimage destination in Jerusalem. Each year during Lent and especially on Good Friday, thousands of Christians retrace the route of Jesus through the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, many carrying small or large wooden crosses.
This week, I am taking myself through the Stations of the Cross as an immersive experience in prayer and meditation. Though it will not be a physical walk through the streets of Jerusalem (how awesome would that be?!!), I hope to trace the steps of Jesus, and while thinking on His final hours physically here on earth, set apart time to honor and worship the Savior, repenting of my own sins at every step. The stations will be posted every day this week, with a few days having more than one station.
I hope you will join me.