What are the Stations of The Cross?
What are the Stations of the Cross? What do they mean? why do we do them?
The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of His Crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary.
The object of the stations is to help the Christians faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Pasion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western churches, including Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Roman Catholic ones.
Commonly, a series of 14 images will be arranged in numbered order along a path and the faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections. This will be done individually or in a procession most commonly during Lent, especially on Good Friday, in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion.
The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete. The style, form, and placement of the stations vary widely. The typical stations are small plaques with reliefs or paintings placed around a church nave.
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