Last Sunday, at the Lagos gathering, we watched the Symbolon episode discussing the Paschal mysteries of Christ. We learnt that in Christ’s sufferings, we were made free from sin and death. Now we can look forward to eternity with Our Heavenly Father. This week, let us seek to unite our daily sufferings with that of Christ, offering up sacrifices to Abba for our sanctification.
Now, let’s talk about the Stations or Way of the Cross which very easily refer to the same thing; the journey through the Paschal mystery of Christ. Growing up, Lenten season meant we had extra church hours on Wednesdays and Fridays for series of kneeling, standing and occasionally sitting. Well in addition to this physical exercise, we got to live through Christ’s journey to the cross over and over. This reminder of Christ’s public humiliation was humbling for me. I mean, why would the God of all the earth choose to suffer this much? The amazing answer to this is “For me, for you, for all eternity”.
So here are some facts about the Stations of the Cross;
The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Dolorosa, is a narration of the final hours in the life of Jesus Christ on earth that continues to provide spiritual conviction for every Christian and application to our lives.
The Stations of the Cross also refers to a series of images that show Jesus on the day of his crucifixion. The faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections.
The presence of the 14 Stations of the Cross arranged in a numbered order along a path is a significant indication that you are in a Catholic Church.
It can be prayed individually or in a procession or in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion. It doesn’t have to be Lenten season for the Stations of the Cross to be prayed; you can pick it up as a personal devotion.
There are several versions of the Stations of the Cross, but we are mostly familiar with the Traditional Stations:
1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus is given His cross.
3. Jesus falls down for the first time.
4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
6. Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.
7. Jesus falls down for the second time.
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus falls down for the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross – the Crucifixion.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross – the Deposition or Lamentation.
14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb
Now we have a clearer picture of the Stations of The Cross, lets endeavor to participate in the passion of Christ in our various parishes!
By Chika Eneh