The Stations of the Cross is a devotion to the Passion of Christ allowing us to recall the events which occurred at the end of Jesus’ life: from his condemnation to his burial.
This liturgical ritual imitates the practice of visiting the places of Jesus’ Passion in the Holy Land by early Christian pilgrims. The number of stations for prayer and meditation in the Way of the Cross has varied, but we use the typical fourteen stations.
Each station, which are located inside our sanctuary, has a cross and an artistic representation of the scene. The stations represent the following: 1) Jesus is condemned to death; 2) Jesus takes up his cross; 3) Jesus falls the first time; 4) Jesus meets his afflicted mother; 5) the cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene; 6) a woman wipes the face of Jesus; 7) Jesus falls a second time; 8) Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem; 9) Jesus falls a third time; 10) Jesus is stripped of his garments; 11) Jesus is nailed to the cross; 12) Jesus dies on the cross; 13) the body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother; 14) Jesus is laid in the tomb. Eight of the stations are based on events that are recorded in the gospels. The remaining six (stations 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13) are based on inferences from the gospels or pious legends.
The liturgy provides opening devotions and the Lord’s Prayer. There is a versicle and response, a reading, a prayer, and a collect for each of the fourteen stations. Concluding prayers at the altar follow the fourteenth station.
This practice “tunes one’s heart” into the reality of what Christ has borne and continues to bear reconciling each of us in relationship with God. It opens the way for our continued spiritual renewal to become what God has called us to be – “His beloved children” created to love and care for one another and love and care for the world given to us.
Walking in remembrance of his passion intensifies our Holy Week experience and our joy on Easter Sunday!
St Matthew’s Episcopal Church will hosting an event each Wednesday during the season of lent. They will observe Christ’s passion by walking through the stations of the cross. Everyone is welcome, and can enter the church starting at 5:30 pm each Wednesday for silent meditation. The Stations of the Cross will beging at 6 pm each night.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is located at 727 W. Browning in Pampa. For more information, contact the church at (806)665.0701
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